Lee County to Install Speed Sign near Denmark

May 13, 2014

Lee County will try to reduce the speed on a rural, gravel road.

Two trucks prepare to turn onto 320th Avenue on Tuesday, May 13, 2014.
Credit Jason Parrott / Tri States Public Radio

The Board of Supervisors agreed to place an electronic sign on 320th Avenue that displays how fast a vehicle is traveling.

Supervisor Gary Folluo says it would help deter speeders and possibly track some information for the county.

Frankie Reyes owns a home on the road.  He has been asking the board for weeks for help in slowing down the traffic.

“My reaction to that is that’s great.  That’s something I did not think about but that is better than being in complete denial and saying nothing will be done.“

Reyes says the large trucks heading to and from a rock quarry several hundred yards from his home are driving way too fast for conditions.

Frankie Reyes wants trucks to slow down as they travel on 320th Avenue, in front of his home.

County Engineer Ernie Steffensmeier says the speed limit on gravel roads is 55 MPH during the day and 50 MPH at night, but he says the owner of the rock quarry has tried to limit the speed to 25 MPH.

The board was willing to put up the electronic sign, which is available through the Southeast Iowa Regional Planning Commission, but it does not appear to be in favor of changing the speed limit.

Meanwhile, law enforcement has gotten involved in the effort to slow down traffic on 320th Avenue.

The Lee County Sheriff’s Office has opened an investigation into a sign that was placed near Frankie Reyes’ home along 320th Avenue.

Reyes, who is Hispanic, believes the sign is related to his asking the supervisors about how his complaints would be handled if he were white.

“Somebody read it and I think they read it wrong.  I did not accuse anyone, I simply asked a question and someone took it wrong and we saw it out on the street."

The sign mentions the word “Racism” and Reyes’ family.  He says it was placed in a nearby field.