“Lives could have been saved:” Is speed limit too fast on Hwy. 164?

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RICHFIELD (WITI) -- Too many tragic accidents on Highway 164 have some people calling for a lower speed limit.

To say Jeff Gonyo knows highway 164 well is a bit of an understatement.

"This is my home right here, I grew up here, I'm about 100 feet from the road," said Gonyo.

The highway is something Gonyo says he's incredibly passionate about. He's lived beside it for more than 48 years and even keeps a scrapbook of sorts dedicated to it; though it's not filled with happy memories.

"I have photographs some of these accidents just up the road here right up about two houses up this accident occurred in the 55 mile an hour zone right here right next to the 55 mile an hour sign and it killed the driver of the van," said Gonyo.

Gonyo has meticulously cataloged accident after accident that has happened on the highway. Friday's crash that killed a mother and father of five young children was just the latest in a string of deaths in recent years.

"Since 2008 we've had eight fatalities on this roadway that I know of," said Gonyo.

Gonyo says he and others would like to see the speed limit drop to 45 mph. David Radermacher says he spent 22 years on the Washington County Board.

"The county board supported a uniform 45 mile an hour speed limit on here, we had a resolution that passed by the county board," said Radermacher.

FOX6 has reached out to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation for a comment, but our calls have not yet been returned.

13 comments

  • Jim

    Quit messing around and widen it already. We need a highway between Hartford and Waukesha. People opposed to widening 164, “don’t want to ruin the rural views”. Well, even Forest Home Avenue used to be “out in the country” 100 years ago. Cudahy used to be farmland, swamps and apple orchards. Time to grow up because like it or not, we as a city are growing out, and it’s not going to magically stop because you enjoy the view.

    • ben pedersen

      Turning it into a 4 lane hwy would make it safer and more practical. The same people that appose the 4 lanes are the ones responsible for these accidents.This is a major pipeline between waukesha and slinger connecting us to hwy 41. People aren’t going to stop using it so it needs to be updated to handle the volume that it demands.

  • troy

    Accidents happen. I have lived in this area since I was born 52 years. Changing the speed limit isnt going to help. This has been going on with gonyo for years. So many differnt factors are there in accidents. People need to realize the power of the vehicles theyre driving.

  • John

    I’ve lived out here for 40 years. There are bad stretches of road and bad intersections everywhere. People jump to conclusions before an investigation is barely started and generalize about the road, speed limit, etc, etc…this was a tragic event to say the least.. but it is possible that the speed limit was not a factor. What about road conditions…was the pavement wet? What if this couple made an evasive maneuver to avoid someone who suddenly crossed the center line in front of them or a deer that ran in front of them?

  • troy

    I totally agree with Jim’s opinion, the highway needs to be widen but gonyo and his friends dont want their countryside view destroyed. The country view and life style no longer exists in this area .

  • Tony

    My parents live right off Hwy 164 and growing up I knew friends who lived right on or near Hwy 164. The problem is traffic and not the speed limit. If it is dropped to 45 mph people will go 55-60 since it is still a rural area and it is the only main road North to South. Plus you will have people passing more frequently because they will be stuck behind slow traffic more often. During the non peak hours traffic really isn’t a huge problem, but the road should be widened because there is going to be more and more subdivision development because people always want a Holy Hill view and that country feel.

    I think a perfect model of widening the road is Hwy 60 between Jackson and Slinger/Hartford. It still maintains a country feel but handles the large volume of traffic. I think peoples biggest fear is that the large 2 lane roads will lead to development and ruin the country vibe. It’s all up to the cities and villages to zone properly to ensure this doesn’t happen.

  • PLK

    I grew up just north of 164 on Monches Road. As this accident is being investigated we may never know what really happened on this tragic night. The speed limit had nothing to do with this accident. The accident happened on a straight road and what happened was a tragic accident. Accidents will occur on roads like this whether the speed limit is 45 or 55. You need to maintain a higher rate of speed to move traffic along on this main thorough fare. This road can handle the posted 55 mph speed limit and if people choose to go faster then I guess they are making a unsafe choice.

  • 2econd

    here we go again with mr. gonyo. this road needs to be widened, but it keeps getting pushed off. if mr. gonyo doesnt like the speed limit then he should move. i drive this every day, the real issue comes with heavy traffic on a two lane road. the accident that happened the other nite was at 2:30 a.m., when there is all but nothing on that road for traffic. no one knows the cause, but mr. gonyo uses speed right away, nice job.

  • Carrie (@Mycoffeescold)

    Lowering the speed limit will do nothing. It’s a large stretch, no different than any other county highway out there that has 55 MPH posted. I drive this road often and set my cruise to 55-59. I get passed alot, needless to say, and that’s up to the drivers if they want to speed. There are plenty of areas for them to pass. But with all the running deer, I choose to not go any faster. Lowering it to 45 will do nothing to those people driving 65-70 on there now. It’s never patroled.

  • Plow Boy

    We need 4 Lanes so we can drop the speed to 45 like on the Slinger end of 164 and the Sussex end of 164 were it is 4 lanes. Also the speed radar information signs need to be taken down because they show many cars exceeding 65 MPH and divers must think it is the posted speed limit.

  • Terri H

    Why even bother with speed signs, the major part of drivers don’t even go the speed limit. Or frankly care that they go faster. Usually have a reason for it, that they are running late, or some other lame excuse. I live in Sussex, and I drive to Green Bay occasionally, I take 164 to 41/141 and on north to Green Bay. Every time I do this, it never fails that some “speed demon” comes up too fast behind me, and tries to pass even when the area states no passing. As for the deer crossing, going the correct speed, does let you keep an eye out for them crossing the road, If I would have been driving fast as most, every time I took the trip I would have hit a deer. There is no plausible reason to drive that fast on a two lane road, for that matter in a four lane, Another example is the speed on Hwy 16 just before Oconomowoc, there was a reason for the lowering of the speed limit, People just need to take the lead out of their foot.

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