Regional Boards > Great Lakes and Ohio Valley

Michigan Notes

<< < (208/235) > >>

JREwing78:
A recent Michigan State University study linked the bump in posted speeds from 70 to 75 mph on rural freeways with a 5% bump in accidents, based on statistics from 2014-2016 crash data (pre-increase) and 2018-2019 crash data (post-increase).

From the Free Press article (requires subscription): https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2022/11/28/msu-study-speed-limit-increases-crashes/69673491007/
Former Michigan Rep. Bradford Jacobsen sponsored the 2016 bill that led to the 75-mph limit changes. The Oxford Republican left the state House in 2017 because of term limits.

"What they don't do is look at the actual accidents themselves, which is what I think you need to do," he said. "This doesn't take into account accidents caused by alcohol, drugs or excessive speed. It's usually not the speed necessarily, its driver error, distraction, excessive speed."

Many of Michigan's freeways were designed for traveling speeds of up to 80 mph, Jacobsen said. During the gasoline shortages of the 1980s, freeway speeds were reduced 65 or 70 mph to 55 mph "and things never changed back," he said.

The 2016 bills were motivated by motorists "who drive extensive miles in areas that were designed for higher speeds but they were artificially low," Jacobsen said. The bill left it to MDOT and Michigan State Police to determine what roads could safely implement the increases.

That approach seems to have helped the crash statistics, said Nischal Gupta, an MSU graduate researcher and coauthor of the study. By implementing the changes on more rural freeways with wide shoulders and fewer access points, it provided more areas for avoiding crashes.

"That is a primary reason why we are seeing a lower increase in crashes compared to other literature" from other states, he said.

But that also means that if the Legislature looked to expand increased speed zones in the state to other areas, the safest areas for such changes are already utilized.

Study results: https://tsr.international/TSR/article/view/24337

JREwing78:
The areas that got bumped from 55 to 65 mph were also touched on. Again, from the Free Press:

At the same time as freeway speeds were increased, the state Legislature in 2016 also hiked speed limits to 65 mph on nearly 950 miles of two-lane highways in northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula. The MSU researchers, in a separate study using video camera, radar and LIDAR speed guns, found traveling speeds on those highways the so-called 85th percentile speed, at which 85% of motorists will drive during free-flowing conditions increased by 5 mph two years after the speed limit changes. The impact on crashes from those two-lane highway speed changes is a topic of ongoing research, Savolainen said.

Personal commentary: It would be nice if MDOT was able to arrive at design standards that would allow the bump to 65 mph in at least the U.P., or north of US-10. With areas like the Keweenaw and Ironwood being 9-10 hours away from the capitol, those 2017 speed limit hikes easily save 1-2 hours of drive time. If they were able to apply those hikes more universally, it would save even more.

dlovechio:

--- Quote from: Flint1979 on November 18, 2022, 11:34:45 AM ---Indiana and Ohio are looking like better places to live.

--- End quote ---

As an Indiana resident, I am always jealous when driving on Michigan roads, (while I understand some road conditions may be worse and Indiana) Indiana may be widening and upgrading infrastructure at a faster rate than Michigan (interstates like 65 and 465) However when I drive through Three Rivers on the newly redone 131 with the 50mph speed limit, TIMED LIGHTS, and Michigan lefts it would take twice as long to get through any divided highway in an Indiana city. Every state road in the South Bend area has horrendous lights that need to be timed and could benefit from Michigan lefts to improve efficiency even more. For Indiana 331 between the US 20 bypass and SR 23, which I drive every day and 90% of the time get stopped by every light, or have them change and run through the cycle when no one is even at the intersection or wants to turn left, it will give a left turn arrow to no one, and also only uses protected left turns which makes the lights even longer) Many people have complained to INDOT with a similar story on almost every state road I have driven on in Indiana, but they just put in all this nice infrastructure and don't care about efficiency the way MDOT does. I think MDOT does the best it can with its limited money, and still ends up running more efficiently. Even driving through Kalamazoo all the stop lights were timed on the arterial roads unlike South Bend-Mishawaka or Indy areas. Similar story with speed limits, Indiana has a 65 mph cap on any freeway that isn't an interstate, and 60 mph for four-lane highways (like US 31) that isn't to freeway standards. I was so shocked when I was up north in Michigan on 131 and the speed limit was 75mph on a road similar to US 31 between Veterans Pwky Pierce Rd. (only 65mph)

catch22:
As part of the ongoing I-275 reconstruction between Eureka Road and the M-14/I-96 interchange, MDOT is starting the process of moving two-way traffic from the NB lanes to the newly-built SB lanes beginning today.  There will be short-term ramp closures over the next few days as traffic is flipped, but the biggest headache will be that I-275 will be down to one lane in both directions for "two to three weeks" as MDOT moves the concrete barrier sections over to the new pavement.  Then, there will be two lanes in both directions on the new pavement with all ramps open until the SB lanes are reconstructed next year.

Details here in this MDOT press release:  https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/MIDOT/bulletins/3395e16

Flint1979:

--- Quote from: dlovechio on November 28, 2022, 09:55:03 PM ---
--- Quote from: Flint1979 on November 18, 2022, 11:34:45 AM ---Indiana and Ohio are looking like better places to live.

--- End quote ---

As an Indiana resident, I am always jealous when driving on Michigan roads, (while I understand some road conditions may be worse and Indiana) Indiana may be widening and upgrading infrastructure at a faster rate than Michigan (interstates like 65 and 465) However when I drive through Three Rivers on the newly redone 131 with the 50mph speed limit, TIMED LIGHTS, and Michigan lefts it would take twice as long to get through any divided highway in an Indiana city. Every state road in the South Bend area has horrendous lights that need to be timed and could benefit from Michigan lefts to improve efficiency even more. For Indiana 331 between the US 20 bypass and SR 23, which I drive every day and 90% of the time get stopped by every light, or have them change and run through the cycle when no one is even at the intersection or wants to turn left, it will give a left turn arrow to no one, and also only uses protected left turns which makes the lights even longer) Many people have complained to INDOT with a similar story on almost every state road I have driven on in Indiana, but they just put in all this nice infrastructure and don't care about efficiency the way MDOT does. I think MDOT does the best it can with its limited money, and still ends up running more efficiently. Even driving through Kalamazoo all the stop lights were timed on the arterial roads unlike South Bend-Mishawaka or Indy areas. Similar story with speed limits, Indiana has a 65 mph cap on any freeway that isn't an interstate, and 60 mph for four-lane highways (like US 31) that isn't to freeway standards. I was so shocked when I was up north in Michigan on 131 and the speed limit was 75mph on a road similar to US 31 between Veterans Pwky Pierce Rd. (only 65mph)

--- End quote ---
The thing is Michigan lefts aren't everywhere in the state, they are in a lot of places but there are still traffic lights that are poorly timed. We have lights like that in my area where there will be a green light and no traffic will be present on the street that has the green light but there will be 10-15 cars at the red light making all that traffic stop for no reason at all. The 75 mph speed limit is mostly in rural areas, except for US-10 between Midland and Bay City and I-69 between Flint and Lansing, those two highways have quite a bit of traffic on them for a 75 mph speed limit. I'd still rather live in Ohio or Indiana than this messed up state.

Navigation

[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

[*] Previous page

Go to full version