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Author Topic: Why only 65 on most of I-95 in NC?  (Read 9455 times)

wdcrft63

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Re: Why only 65 on most of I-95 in NC?
« Reply #25 on: October 10, 2021, 06:12:53 PM »

In addition to age, one factor that might/should figure into speed limit decisions is the accident rate on a section. There are many accidents on I-95, especially between Fayetteville and Benson and in the Lumberton area.
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sprjus4

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Re: Why only 65 on most of I-95 in NC?
« Reply #26 on: October 10, 2021, 09:27:45 PM »

^ And from anecdotal experience, the reduced 65 mph speed limit does nothing. Everyone is still blowing through at 80+ mph. Having a 70 mph posted speed limit wouldn’t do much to “worsen” anything, IMO.
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cowboy_wilhelm

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Re: Why only 65 on most of I-95 in NC?
« Reply #27 on: October 11, 2021, 08:15:06 AM »

The 70 mph speed limits are so inconsistent across the state that I think it just comes down to whatever the division traffic engineers decide, or, more importantly, if someone has requested a review of the speed limit. If Joe Armchair Engineer requests a higher speed limit, it may not happen. If a grumpy legislator trying to get to Raleigh faster requests it, it's more likely to happen.

I-85 is now 70 mph from Kannapolis to Greensboro. High traffic volumes, high truck volumes, and close interchanges in some areas (Salisbury). I-485 and I-540 see (saw) daily congestion and wrecks, but both are 70 mph. US 74 was increased to 70 mph from Columbus to outside Shelby a few years ago, but US 421 from Wilkesboro to Lewisville/Winston has comparable terrain and traffic volumes, but is still 65 mph. I-26 is being rebuilt and widened, but the speed limit is remaining 60 mph west of the US 25 interchange in Fletcher, despite being pretty level terrain with spaced out interchanges. That could change later, but it could also have something to do with the traffic noise analysis for the project. Higher speeds = more noise. More noise = more noise walls. More noise walls = more money. Mo money, mo problems.
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Dirt Roads

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Re: Why only 65 on most of I-95 in NC?
« Reply #28 on: October 11, 2021, 09:49:58 AM »

Unlike other states, it seems like NCDOT waits for another improvement project to pay for signage upgrades when raising speed limits from 65 MPH to 70 MPH.  It's not like they don't ever increase speed limits on Interstates, as there are still plenty of old speed limit signs that have labels over the old 55 MPH signs (many with only a "6" pasted over the first "5").  They've also blended old sections adjacent to new sections, such as the US-70 LaGrange Bypass was upgraded to 70 MPH after the Goldsboro Bypass Bypass was completed.
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wdcrft63

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Re: Why only 65 on most of I-95 in NC?
« Reply #29 on: October 11, 2021, 06:18:55 PM »

^ And from anecdotal experience, the reduced 65 mph speed limit does nothing. Everyone is still blowing through at 80+ mph. Having a 70 mph posted speed limit wouldn’t do much to “worsen” anything, IMO.
Yes and I've had that experience myself, many times. But still, if a road has an elevated accident rate it's hard to make a case for raising the speed limit.
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sprjus4

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Re: Why only 65 on most of I-95 in NC?
« Reply #30 on: October 11, 2021, 08:05:55 PM »

^ And from anecdotal experience, the reduced 65 mph speed limit does nothing. Everyone is still blowing through at 80+ mph. Having a 70 mph posted speed limit wouldn’t do much to “worsen” anything, IMO.
Yes and I've had that experience myself, many times. But still, if a road has an elevated accident rate it's hard to make a case for raising the speed limit.
The lower speed limit can also cause a greater differential in traffic speeds between those following the limit and those traveling the faster, more reasonable speeds, which can increase accidents as well. Lowering that differential can be achieved by raising the speed limit, if the roadway can safely handle it.
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Mapmikey

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Re: Why only 65 on most of I-95 in NC?
« Reply #31 on: October 11, 2021, 08:15:43 PM »

^ And from anecdotal experience, the reduced 65 mph speed limit does nothing. Everyone is still blowing through at 80+ mph. Having a 70 mph posted speed limit wouldn’t do much to “worsen” anything, IMO.
Yes and I've had that experience myself, many times. But still, if a road has an elevated accident rate it's hard to make a case for raising the speed limit.
The lower speed limit can also cause a greater differential in traffic speeds between those following the limit and those traveling the faster, more reasonable speeds, which can increase accidents as well. Lowering that differential can be achieved by raising the speed limit, if the roadway can safely handle it.

Another factor is that the oldest parts of NC interstates have little to no accel/decel lanes and short off-ramps.
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tolbs17

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Mapmikey

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Re: Why only 65 on most of I-95 in NC?
« Reply #33 on: January 05, 2022, 06:48:52 PM »

Signing plans still show that I-95 will be 65 mph even when widened. Wonder why that is...

https://xfer.services.ncdot.gov/dsplan/2021%20Highway%20Letting/07-20-21/Plans%20and%20Proposals/HARNETT_JOHNSTON_47532.3.3_I-5986B,%20I-5878,%20I-5883C204543/Standard%20PDF%20Files/

One potential reason would be that this would be just 10 miles so maybe they don't want to have that short of a 70 mph zone.
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tolbs17

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Re: Why only 65 on most of I-95 in NC?
« Reply #34 on: January 05, 2022, 07:07:32 PM »

Signing plans still show that I-95 will be 65 mph even when widened. Wonder why that is...

https://xfer.services.ncdot.gov/dsplan/2021%20Highway%20Letting/07-20-21/Plans%20and%20Proposals/HARNETT_JOHNSTON_47532.3.3_I-5986B,%20I-5878,%20I-5883C204543/Standard%20PDF%20Files/

One potential reason would be that this would be just 10 miles so maybe they don't want to have that short of a 70 mph zone.
But, the other section is being widened and it will have a 75 mph design, I just can't find the signing plans for that segment... I don't know if it will stay 65 or it will be 70 mph...
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sprjus4

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Re: Why only 65 on most of I-95 in NC?
« Reply #35 on: January 05, 2022, 08:10:25 PM »

It will probably be 65 mph initially, then they will go back after and increase the entire section between I-40 and I-74 (Fayetteville already at 70 mph) to 70 mph once all construction is fully complete and a traffic study is completed.

No reason it shouldn’t ultimately go to 70 mph.
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