WISDOT Blind Eye on the Highway was developed in response to the lack of cooperation of WISDOT to a dangerous section of Hwy 61 at Readstown, WI, from the junction of Hwy 61 with Hwy 14 to the blind corner 1/2 mile south.
The problem is several fold. First and foremost Crooked River Resort has their driveway located on Hwy 61, 1/4 mile south of the intersection with Hwy 14. The Resort's business has been growing every year since 1998. This means increased traffic into and out of a driveway that used to have only 1 or 2 cars a day use it. Many of these vehicles are slower moving, such as campers, RV's and 15 passenger vans pulling light canoe trailers. On busy weekends, the vans and their trailers approach the drive from the south and many times must stop and wait on the highway for traffic to clear from the north before they can safely enter the driveway. A blind corner exists south of the driveway less than a 1/4 mile. The speed limit is 55mph. Even tho the Resort is in the village limits of Readstown, the DOT refuses to lower the speed limit to 40mph such as is posted thru Readstown on Hwy 14. Traffic on Hwy 61 is over 3200 vehicles a day according to the latest traffic count and many of these vehicles are semi's. Many, if not the majority of vehicles are speeding. There is a narrow shoulder across from the driveway and a steel guard rail. Cars can pass on the right, but semi's cannot.
Here is a recipe for disaster in the making, combining fully loaded 80,000# semi's traveling 55mph or more, a blind corner less than 1/4 mile away, slow or stopped vehicles on the highway and no passing lane.
And what you can imagine.....nearly happened just this past summer. A semi couldn't react fast enough, for what reason we do not know, and passed one of the 15 passenger vans on the left after the van began its turn into the drive. Only lightning reflexes by the driver prevented a catastrophic accident and the possible deaths of up to 15 people.
We met the WISDOT representative, described the incident and enumerated the factors that together is setting this area up for a lethal accident. His response: The WISDOT will not lower the speed limit because people will drive as fast as they want, irregardless of the posted limit, so there is no justification in putting up a sign that will be ignored.
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