The McCall City Council wants to lower the speed limits along a two-mile stretch of Idaho State Highway 55, just west of the Valley County city. But State of Idaho officials say they know better and have nixed the idea.
The McCall Star-News reports that a new law, passed by the 2012 Idaho Legislature, gives the State of Idaho full control over state highway speed limits, including stretches that run through a number of Idaho's rural communities.
"It would have clearly been a misuse of taxpayer funds to make the change," Reed Hollinshead, spokesman for the Idaho Transportation Department, told the Star-News. Hollinshead confirmed that the City of McCall could have lowered the speed limit prior to July 1, but the state would have reverted the speed limit to its choosing after July 1, when the new law took effect.
But McCall officials say there's a problem with that stretch of Idaho 55, especially during the winter when high snow drifts and piles can cause limited visibility.
The stretch of Idaho 55 currently has speed limits ranging from 35 mph to 55 mph. McCall officials said they wanted to be able to lower speeds limits to 25 mph to 45 mph.