Law enforcement cracks down on speeders in Afton

Warning to speeders: You’re not welcome in Afton.

The Afton City Council earlier this summer voted to spend $15,000 to hire extra patrol deputies from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office to address an increase in speed and noise complaints from city residents.

“We were having more and more issues all over the city with excessive vehicle speed and noise,” Mayor Bill Palmquist said. “It’s a serious safety and quality-of-life concern for residents. It’s also the single biggest complaint most of us on the council get each year. It felt like we were at a tipping point, and that if we didn’t get a handle on it at some point, it was going to be impossible to fix.”

Now, after a month, the extra patrol has helped, Palmquist said.

“They’re finding no shortage of work,” he said. “I have seen multiple reports of vehicles going 50 mph in 30-mph zones.”

Part of the problem is the noise that is created by speeding vehicles. Because the city has many valleys, the noise doesn’t just impact the house in front of the speeding vehicle, “it echoes throughout the whole valley,” he said.

Palmquist said visitors are always welcome in the city. “We love having visitors, especially in the summer.” he said. “It’s a beautiful place. We just want people to slow down and enjoy the scenery.”

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