Change the rest of Philbin Rd’s speed for safer conditions

Houses on the side should make a road residential, even if it’s on one side


Rebecca Mayfield

Screenshot of 35 mph sign

Rebecca Mayfield, Reporter

As I was staring out the window of the car leaving my school, we passed by several kids walking home near the road until they reached the actual sidewalk. They were being wary around cars. This was when the whole road of Philbin was still 45mph, and now it’s 35 mph on only the Chubbuck side, which the school (Connor Academy) sits on. Kids need a safer place to walk, giving drivers more of a reaction time to the kids or other pedestrians.

In any residential area that people are living on or near, any road should always be 35 mph, which is safer than going 45 mph. The road near  Philbin Rd is West Chubbuck Rd, and it is 30-35 mph, and not 45 mph since people live on it.

According to Houston Car Accident Lawyers, about 400 kids that are under the age of 15 are injured by cars annually. In 2019 alone, about 55% of vehicle accidents happened in urban areas while about 45% of crashes happened in rural areas.

The problem with the Pocatello side of Philbin Road is that it’s still 45mph and people are living near the road, and moving into houses or the new apartments near it. Changing 45 mph to 35 mph would be beneficial for people living near the road, since they could be in a more safer environment.

A 35 mph road is the set road speed for residential and urban areas, here in Idaho. According to Law Insider, the definition of a residential area is “land used as a permanent residence or domicile, such as a house, apartment, nursing home, school, child care facility or prison, land zoned for such uses, or land where no zoning is in place.” Residential areas on a higher speed road are not safe for anyone, pedestrians or drivers, to be on.

People who are driving on a faster road will have less reaction time than a road going 35 mph. While it is fast, it gives the driver a better reaction time to stop for anyone crossing. A driver needs time to react to pedestrians and other cars on the road so it does not cause an accident.

While pedestrian deaths have decreased, it is never a bad idea to lower a speed limit for people moving into an area. As I have heard from what a family member told me when appealing to the county about making it 35 mph, the county still sees it as a country road, even though people are moving in.

If the county were to place some crosswalks for the people in the area, it would have safety benefits. The county could also place some sidewalks to make sure pedestrians in the area have places to walk and be safer from the road.

The speed limit on the road has been 45 mph for a long time, but people are moving on the road, and need the safety other streets get. The county needs to see that, with all the people moving into the area on the Pocatello side of Philbin Rd.

A road with a slower speed limit will give less accidents in future events on the road, and give a safer place for new residents and drivers. It gives newer people moving into these houses and apartments a benefit when moving there, and a sense of comfort knowing that the speed limit is lowered down.

With Bannock County in their planning and zoning department, they are still considering the road to be country. The department also has to look at what they have to do with the road by re-evaluating the traffic for any future changes.

Bannock County is growing and needs to change for the growth in the area. The new people moving into the neighborhoods and apartments need a safe option for their families, and to know the road speed is safer and slower than a fast speed which can cause harm to people if not careful.