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Afton targeting motorcycle traffic

Afton City Council has decided to address motorcycle speed and noise through saturated and directed enforcement. Primarily, Washington County Sheriff's Department will be set up for a four-hour period in Afton during peak motorcycle traffic.

Afton City Council has decided to take a stand against motorcyclists.

During its May 15 meeting Afton City Council discussed ways to enforce speed and noise limits in relation to motorcycles.

Motorcycles are a common problem in Afton in terms of noise and high speed, Interim City Administrator Ron Moorse said.

The Washington County Sheriff's Department presented two options to Afton City Council related to speed and noise enforcement.

The first option would be to have regular staffing through directed patrol and signage.

The second option would be a saturation effort by four deputies assigned specifically to speed enforcement for a four-hour period when motorcycle traffic is at its highest.

The city receives a portion of payment from all traffic tickets.

Since the saturation patrol would require overtime hours, the extra cost would be $960 for one day and $1,920 for two days.

Afton City Council was in favor of taking steps to solve the problem.

"It's about time," Council Member Bill Palmquist said. "We need to get it known that we take it seriously."

Both Palmquist and Council Member Randy Nelson said they were favor of implementing both regular patrol and the saturated patrol.

"It's needed," Nelson said. "If we do it once or twice, it gets out there.

"We've got to slow people down - it's money well spent."

Council Members Joe Richter and Peg Nolz were not in support of either plan until they could see something laid out.

Additionally, Richter said he wasn't sure how much an effect it will have.

"I don't think it's going to be a long term fix," he said.

City Council approved both options on a 3-2 vote.

Amber Kispert-Smith

Amber Kispert-Smith has been the schools and Afton reporter at the Woodbury Bulletin since 2008. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota. She previously worked as a reporter for Press Publications in White Bear Lake.

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