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Slow down on Commerce Drive in Marquette Twp.

Just because you can drive relatively fast doesn’t mean you should.

Marquette Township officials are formally requesting a traffic speed and engineering study of Commerce Drive, a busy corridor between Werner Street to Wright Street, from the Marquette County Road Commission and the Michigan State Police.

The township board believes current speeds on Commerce are “hazardous to pedestrians and bicyclists,” citing an increase in commercial, residential and educational development that increased the number of ingress/egress points and traffic congestion.

A lot of development is located along the aptly named Commerce Drive. They include the township community center, fire department, Thomas Theatres, Marq-Tran and the Safe Routes to School pathways along and intersecting the corridor.

All this means more traffic.

According to Michigan Public Act 447, a speed limit should be determined by an engineering and safety study, and by the 85th percentile speed of free-flowing traffic under ideal conditions of a section of highway rounded to the nearest multiple of 5 mph.

The speed study conducted by the road commission determined the 85th percentile speed on Commerce Drive to be 37.8 mph.

Currently, there is no posted speed limit on Commerce, but people are allowed to travel up to 55 mph.

Commerce Drive isn’t exactly a four-lane highway, so 55 mph probably is a tad fast, especially when there are curves on the road. You might get to your destination along Wright Street a bit quicker coming from Commerce, but is the loss of safety worth it?

The township’s request is being considered by the MSP and MCRC, who will make the ultimate decision regarding the speed limit.

We believe this issue needs to be addressed for the safety of motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists.

Being proactive is important in this situation, as we’d hate for someone to be injured because of a too-fast speed limit.