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Regional Boards => Mid-Atlantic => Topic started by: froggie on February 17, 2010, 07:29:24 AM

Title: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: froggie on February 17, 2010, 07:29:24 AM
These are the raw links from the General Assembly's website, showing both the bill text (http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?101+ful+HB856H1+pdf) and the bill tracking (http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?101+sum+HB856).

The bill passed the Senate yesterday, and now will go to Governor McDonnell for his signature.

And it's not just the Interstates that are allowed to go to 70 MPH.  Non-Interstate freeways can also go to 70, as can the barrier-separated HOV lanes on both I-64 in Norfolk and I-95/395 in Northern Virginia.  Of course, per state law, VDOT must do a traffic engineering study before any speed limit increase can take effect.

I forsee this mainly being done in the rural areas, especially the lighter-traveled sections of I-64.  Except maybe the I-64 HOV lanes, I don't see any urban area speed limit changes as a result of this, nor do I expect the speed limit to change on I-81, I-64 east of Richmond, or I-95 north of Richmond due to the high accident rates along those routes.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: Chris on February 17, 2010, 07:47:05 AM
Very good. One of my pet peeves are those annoying and not credible speed limits of 65 mph outside urban areas. I'd say 70 mph is the first step, 75 would be better. Hopefully, other states in the northeast will follow.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: froggie on February 17, 2010, 07:53:53 AM
Doubtful.  Most of the Northeast state freeways have heavy traffic, high accident rates, and subpar geometry.  Several of them used design speeds less than the standard 70 MPH.  Given the lack of wide-openness east of the Appalachians (save for I-95 in northern Maine), I don't see 75 being considered, let alone approved...
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: Chris on February 17, 2010, 08:12:36 AM
Still, if it is possible in Europe, I don't see why it isn't possible in eastern U.S. Germany often allows 120 km/h (75 mph) in urban areas, and 75 mph speed limits are also common in mountainous areas in Euroland. The Netherlands has numerous 75 mph limits on congested sections (70,000 - 90,000 AADT on 4 lanes).

Only urban areas with visible housing in short distance of the freeway have a 100 km/h (60 mph) limit, and sometimes 80 km/h (50 mph). Switzerland, on the other hand, has urban speed limits as low as 60 km/h (40 mph) on several freeways. But you need very strict and continuous traffic enforcement to enforce a speed limit lower than 60 mph on freeways.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: Truvelo on February 17, 2010, 08:47:56 AM
Unfortunately the opposite is happening here in the UK. 70mph is the default for a divided highway without streetlighting or with derestriction signs where lighting is present but more and more 50mph sections are appearing as el cheapo quick fixes to rush hour congestion. These 24/7 speed limits address a problem that occurs for 6 hours a day Mon-Fri. At other times these lower limits are a hindrance to free flowing traffic.

For example, this (http://maps.cheshire.gov.uk/cheshirecc.interactivemapping.web.internet/Default.aspx) shows speed limit cuts for one county. On the left is a list of options, click on Speed Limit Review and check all the boxes. The map will soon fill up with roads where the speed limit will be cut :banghead:
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: froggie on February 17, 2010, 10:00:48 AM
Chris:  traffic congestion is only one factor.  Another thing to consider is that at least one Western European country (and likely more) engineers their freeways to a higher design speed than the U.S, especially in the rural areas.  Some years ago, a German E-mailed me regarding a comparison between U.S. Interstate and German Autobahn design specifications.  While the U.S. tops out in most categories, Germany utilizes a higher design speed (he quoted 160kph/100MPH in the rural areas).
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: Chris on February 17, 2010, 11:34:47 AM
Speed limits can easily be higher than design speeds in rural areas. Inside urban areas; not so much, but it's possible to have a 55 mph design speed and a speed limit of 65. Design speeds of 70 to 80 mph can generally have blank speed limits (like in Germany).
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: J N Winkler on February 17, 2010, 01:25:28 PM
Speed limits can easily be higher than design speeds in rural areas. Inside urban areas; not so much, but it's possible to have a 55 mph design speed and a speed limit of 65. Design speeds of 70 to 80 mph can generally have blank speed limits (like in Germany).

We already have speed limits which are higher than design speeds--we have no Interstates built to a design speed higher than 70 MPH but we have considerable mileage with a 75 MPH speed limit and some with an 80 MPH speed limit.  There is also not a whole lot of "slack" in the designs of some freeways receiving speed limits above 70 MPH.  On the whole, I don't think this is a trend that should be encouraged.

Froggie is right.  Bauanweisung Nr. 3 (1933) had a headline design speed of 160 km/h, as did the Trassierungsgrundsätze of 1942.  Plus the Germans, and Europeans in general, do something we Americans don't do.  For a given curve radius at a given design speed, the side friction demand is always a single value.  In the US it can be multiple values because we allow the use of different values for maximum superelevation according to local climate.  This means it is hard to be sure that 70 MPH in Montana, for example, means the same as 70 MPH in Kansas.  Obviously this impairs design consistency, but there has so far been no appetite to change the Green Book so that this is no longer the case.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: froggie on February 17, 2010, 02:25:30 PM
It should also be noted that those 75 and 80 MPH speed limits are in the western/Plains states where the Interstates are wide open and traffic is lighter than those east of the Mississippi.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: vdeane on February 17, 2010, 03:53:45 PM
You can still support them east of the Mississippi.  I could easily see these speed limits working in NY, if only the state would allow them:
-I-90 over the entire ticket system: 75 mph
-I-390 south of Rush: 75 mph
-I-81 north of Fort Drum: 75 mph

For anything I haven't already mentioned:
-All urban freeways outside of NYC and some downtown areas: 60 mph
-All suburban freeways: 65 mph
-All rural freeways: 70 mph

And this is just the roads I'm on regularly on.  I would also support 65 mph for NY 12 north of Alexandria Bay and 60 mph for US 11 north of Fort Drum.  I'm sure there are many other areas that could be increased.  In may cases these proposed speed limits are lower than the speed people travel at anyways.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: mightyace on February 17, 2010, 09:17:25 PM
I would say in PA that you could do 75 mph on the following:

I-70 (free sections): I don't think I'd do any of it. The part from the WV line to New Stanton is below standards and the section from Breezewood to Maryland may be too hilly.
I-76 (free section, aka Sure-kill Expressway):  :rofl:
I-78: possibly the section west of the NE Extension of the Turnpike (I-476)
I-79: I don't know enough about this highway to comment
I-80: all of it except for the cramped alignment near Stroudsburg
I-81: the sections outside of Harrisburg and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre
I-83: as much of it is still similar to how it was as US 111, I'd say none of it
I-84: all of it
I-90: all of it except around Erie
I-95: none of it (all urban)
I-99 (current): all of it except possibly around Altoona and State College
PA Turnpike mainline (I-70, 76, 276, Future 95): the sections outside of Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, and Philadelphia.
PA Turnpike Northeast Extension (I-476): only sections that have been rebuilt to modern standards

But, given how long it took Pennsylvania to legalize 65 mph.  I doubt that it will ever change.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: Revive 755 on February 17, 2010, 11:35:16 PM
^ I think most PA drivers already are going 75 on most of those, especially on the Turnpike and around Harrisburg in the off hours.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: rickmastfan67 on February 18, 2010, 02:28:12 AM
I would say in PA that you could do 75 mph on the following:

I-79: I don't know enough about this highway to comment
PA Turnpike mainline (I-70, 76, 276, Future 95): the sections outside of Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, and Philadelphia.

I-79 in Butler County was at 70mph for a little while.  I clearly remember seeing a few 70 signs South of the PA-68 interchange in the late '90's for a little while before they were changed to 65mph.  Too bad I didn't have a camera back then of my own to get any pictures.

Anyways, I could see I-79 being 75mph from Exit #78 (PA-228) up till I-90.  And South from I-70 to the WV State Line (except for going NB once you pass Exit #33 where you need to get people slowed down for the loop onto I-70).

As for the PA Turnpike (I-76) in the Pittsburgh area, I think you could make it 75 as well.  It's far enough out from Pittsburgh and only has 3 exits in all of Allegheny county (Exit #57 I-376; Exit #48 to PA-28; Exit #39 PA-8)

=====

Anyways, getting back to the subject of this post, I can't wait till they get the study done for I-77.  Because I hate having to slow down along it because the two states around it have 70mph on their segments of the highway (WV & NC).
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: SP Cook on February 18, 2010, 07:32:37 AM
The myth that artificially underposted SLs ever saved even one life is disproven everytime traffic mortality and morbidity statistics are published after an SL increase.

77 in Virginia, consisting of only 58 independent miles (8 are multiplexed into 81) and wedged between 70 states in WV and NC, is among America's worst speed traps.  Well designed, fairly lightly traveled, with almost 99% of the traffic passig through, rather than using the exits or entrances, and in a totally rural setting, the Virginia cops have trampled on the rights of motorists there for decades. 

It will be good to see it go to 70, which is still not fast enough.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: Mr_Northside on February 18, 2010, 11:04:28 AM
I-79 in Butler County was at 70mph for a little while.  I clearly remember seeing a few 70 signs South of the PA-68 interchange in the late '90's for a little while before they were changed to 65mph.  Too bad I didn't have a camera back then of my own to get any pictures.

That is a shame you couldn't get any pictures... cause I have to admit that I really can't believe that.  
It obviously would have been an error sign, as PA had no 70MPH-S.L. in the 90's (Or as long as I've been alive).  
And unlike a lot of erroneous signs (Such as a US route shield for a a PA route, or a misspelled name or something like that) that aren't THAT critical and can stay up for a while, I'm sure the minute a trooper or alert PennDOT employee (insert PennDOT joke here) noticed that sign error, it would've come down almost right away.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: 74/171FAN on February 18, 2010, 03:23:19 PM
Honestly I think that the freeway portion of VA 168 between the toll plaza and the Battlefield Blvd interchange(Exit 13) could possibly also handle a 70 mph speed limit.  I know summer traffic probably wouldn't allow the speed limit to be that high but if it's still 55 it could at least be 60 or 65 to get rid of the speed trap. (Note: I haven't ridden on VA 168 since 2005 but was 55 last I saw)  I also think that VA 288 from north of VA 76 andSR 720/Lucks Ln to I-64 could also be 70 as the traffic is less on that section than south and east of VA 76.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: WillWeaverRVA on February 19, 2010, 08:13:07 AM
Honestly I think that the freeway portion of VA 168 between the toll plaza and the Battelfield Blvd interchange(Exit 13) could possibly also handle a 70 mph speed limit.  I know summer traffic probably wouldn't allow the speed limit to be that high but if it's still 55 it could at least be 60 or 65 to get rid of the speed trap. (Note: I haven't ridden on VA 168 since 2005 but was 55 last I saw)  I also think that VA 288 from north of VA 76 andSR 720/Lucks Ln to I-64 could also be 70 as the traffic is less on that section than south and east of VA 76.

A good chunk of VA 168 could be at least 60mph despite being in the Chesapeake city limits, but I'm not sure about 70. Maybe 65.

Other routes that would work with a 70mph speed limit would be I-295 between I-64 and Hopewell, I-95 south of Petersburg, and I-64 west of VA 288 (with some exceptions, e.g. I-81 multiplex and cities).
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: vdeane on February 19, 2010, 12:47:45 PM
There's a post on MTR arguing that a lot of I-81 could actually go to 70 mph.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: deathtopumpkins on February 20, 2010, 12:14:40 AM
VA-168 was still 55 last August (last time I drove it--lately I've been taking the Alt OBX Route (US-17) every time I go down to NC), and could very easily handle 70+. It's recently built, meets full interstate standards (I believe), and has relatively few exits, especially on the southern portion, which around the toll plaza goes a LONG way between interchanges.
And traffic on it already does 70+ anyway.

Another potentially 70-mph road: Pocahontas 895. When I drove it last summer it was posted at 65 the whole way (except for a stretch temporarily 55 for a work zone around the under-construction airport connector interchange), was built to very high standards, and was very lightly traveled.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: PAHighways on February 20, 2010, 01:46:06 AM
^ I think most PA drivers already are going 75 on most of those, especially on the Turnpike and around Harrisburg in the off hours.

That is why the speed limit won't go higher than 65 because we go 10 MPH over.  When PA went to 65 (and that took a lot of arm twisting), I remember the State Police saying they didn't want to see it go any higher because people would be going 10+whatever that limit might be.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: PAHighways on February 20, 2010, 01:50:09 AM
I-79 in Butler County was at 70mph for a little while.  I clearly remember seeing a few 70 signs South of the PA-68 interchange in the late '90's for a little while before they were changed to 65mph.

I drove that section several times during that period and don't remember a 70 speed limit, and that is something that would have stuck out like a red arrow in a left turn signal.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: rickmastfan67 on February 20, 2010, 01:56:02 AM
I-79 in Butler County was at 70mph for a little while.  I clearly remember seeing a few 70 signs South of the PA-68 interchange in the late '90's for a little while before they were changed to 65mph.

I drove that section several times during that period and don't remember a 70 speed limit, and that is something that would have stuck out like a red arrow in a left turn signal.

Well, it was going SB right after the PA-68 interchange.  It might have been maybe around '96, maybe '97.  But it was there for about 1-2 weeks if I remember correctly.  It was also during Summer.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: D-Dey65 on February 20, 2010, 08:58:56 AM
For anything I haven't already mentioned:
-All urban freeways outside of NYC and some downtown areas: 60 mph
-All suburban freeways: 65 mph
-All rural freeways: 70 mph
Hell, I'd go for 70 mph on the Long Island Expressway. The same for the New Jersey Turnpike, and I-95 between Delaware and Virginia. In the Carolinas and Florida, I'd prefer 80.

Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: Nexis4Jersey on February 20, 2010, 10:48:40 AM
I think the NJTPK was designed for 100mph speeds , even if these new speed limits increase , the bulk of Traffic will still make it 20mph for most of the Day.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: NJRoadfan on February 20, 2010, 10:19:35 PM
I think the NJTPK was designed for 100mph speeds , even if these new speed limits increase , the bulk of Traffic will still make it 20mph for most of the Day.

Between Exit 1 and 4 can easily be signed 70mph. Same goes for I-295 from Exit 1C to the beginning of the US-130 multiplex. I'd like to see VA purposely sign I-95 through Emporia and Greenville County as 70mph, teach them a lesson. It even connects with NC's 70mph zone, the highway is just as busy in that state, so why not? Heck the southern part of I-295 around Richmond can goto 70mph without any issue as well (north of I-64 is a little busy for that).
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: njroadhorse on February 21, 2010, 10:22:10 AM
I think even I-85 from US 460 south to the NC state line could handle 70 MPH limits, and definitely I-95 south of I-295 to NC.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: 74/171FAN on February 21, 2010, 01:18:52 PM
I think even I-85 from US 460 south to the NC state line could handle 70 MPH limits, and definitely I-95 south of I-295 to NC.
  The I-85 portion has been 70 for at least two-three years now.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: Bryant5493 on February 27, 2010, 08:00:52 PM
I think that I-16 east of Macon and west of the Chatham County line could be posted at 75 or 80. 70's too slow for that road -- there's nothing out there, really. Additionally, I feel I-85 south of Newnan could be posted at 75 or 80 as well. Not a lot down near LaGrange and West Point, but Lake West Point and the Kia Plant.

This is a good step in the right direction, posting higher speed limits where prudent.


Be well,

Bryant
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: agentsteel53 on February 27, 2010, 08:38:04 PM
a lot of roads would remain safe with speed limits of 80, 85, 90, even 95 or 100 mph.

for those extra-high speed limits I am thinking of western rural routes like I-94 in Montana, I-10 in Arizona, etc.  But even for I-16 in Georgia I would agree with 80mph.  The current speed limits we have in the US are ridiculously low - the roads were built for much higher speed limits (the curves on I-55 in Illinois between Chicago and Springfield are all rated 100-110mph, for example) and driving fast has little do with driving dangerously - it just happens to be an easy law for the lazy to enforce, so it is enforced hard.

drive 95 down a straight section of a little-used road?  get a speeding ticket.  do 60 weaving in and out of rush-hour traffic, on occasion use the median and even the opposite lanes of traffic?  get away with it.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: froggie on February 28, 2010, 07:25:35 AM
Quote
The current speed limits we have in the US are ridiculously low - the roads were built for much higher speed limits (the curves on I-55 in Illinois between Chicago and Springfield are all rated 100-110mph, for example) and driving fast has little do with driving dangerously - it just happens to be an easy law for the lazy to enforce, so it is enforced hard.

Do you have anything to verify this?  Every design plan/document I've seen, for several states, notes a 70 MPH design speed.  Which, BTW, takes more than just curves into account.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: J N Winkler on February 28, 2010, 09:38:03 AM
for those extra-high speed limits I am thinking of western rural routes like I-94 in Montana, I-10 in Arizona, etc.  But even for I-16 in Georgia I would agree with 80mph.  The current speed limits we have in the US are ridiculously low - the roads were built for much higher speed limits (the curves on I-55 in Illinois between Chicago and Springfield are all rated 100-110mph, for example) and driving fast has little do with driving dangerously - it just happens to be an easy law for the lazy to enforce, so it is enforced hard.

Nope, sorry, won't work, for three reasons:

*  Joints

*  The "dead dog" rule

C is too high

In the caes of freeways, rather than speed limits of 100 MPH or more, I would favor derestriction combined with the posting of advisory maximum speeds and (for the benefit of drivers wishing to go faster than the advised maximum) certain relevant geometric parameters.  For example, you might see a black-on-yellow sign (format similar to a speed limit sign) reading "ADVISED MAXIMUM 70," followed by a black-on-yellow sign reading "04-23-70-1000" (translation:  4% maximum superelevation, side friction demand no greater than 23% of gravitational acceleration at 70 MPH for curves on this section, 1000' clear forward sight distance).
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: agentsteel53 on February 28, 2010, 12:33:11 PM
I unfortunately do not know what those three points are.

what is a joint, a dead dog, or C? (other than the speed of light, which would be an amazingly badass speed limit)
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: agentsteel53 on February 28, 2010, 12:33:46 PM

Do you have anything to verify this?  Every design plan/document I've seen, for several states, notes a 70 MPH design speed.  Which, BTW, takes more than just curves into account.


I do not remember where I read that about I-55; it was many years ago - just one of those facts that sticks with you.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: J N Winkler on February 28, 2010, 01:58:21 PM
what is a joint, a dead dog, or C? (other than the speed of light, which would be an amazingly badass speed limit)

Joints are gaps in the pavement or bridge deck which are provided to accommodate thermal expansion.  On curves they can lead to brief failures of tire adhesion which in turn result in out-of-control skids if the side friction demand is less than the coefficient of static friction but greater than the coefficient of sliding friction.  This is what kills teenage daredevils who take 45 MPH flyover ramps at 70 MPH or faster.

The "dead dog" rule refers to the derivation of our standards for vertical curvature.  They are based on the assumption that a person cruising at the design speed should be able to see a dead dog in the road ahead in enough time to stop for it, given certain assumptions about reaction time and braking efficiency.  Since assumed driver eye height is fairly high in the US, and the dead dog means that assumed object height is a few inches above the ground rather than right at the road surface, this means our standards for vertical alignment are unconservative.  That in turn affects drivers' ability to see hazards in the road in plenty of time to react when they are cruising significantly faster than the design speed, which is what a suggestion of 100+ MPH limits amounts to.

C in this instance is not the speed of light, but rather the rate of change in lateral acceleration as a vehicle enters a curve.  The value of C (which has traditionally had units of ft/sec³) at the design speed determines the length of the transitions leading into and out of a curve.  C = 1 ft/sec³ is a fairly conservative standard, used in Britain for many years, but we use C = 2 ft/sec³, which results in shorter transitions which are easier to set out in the field.  These are values as measured at the design speed.

Values of C greater than 10 ft/sec³ are considered unsafe.  (Think of someone in an old Model T Ford driving forward while wildly slewing the steering wheel back and forth so that only two wheels are on the ground at any given time--that is what high C looks like.)

If you drive through a curve significantly faster than its design speed, the C you experience will be significantly greater than the design value.  This is because the transition to full superelevation has to occur within the same length but the side friction demand has to reach a higher value and it has to reach that higher value within a shorter period of time.  If the curve has a radius close to the minimum specified for the design speed, there is little slack in the design and C can easily jump to a very high value.  If you are not prepared to supply steering input quickly and smoothly, you could easily skid even with an entry speed well within the performance envelope defined by the car and its tires.  Very fast driving is therefore white-knuckle driving.

As a general rule of thumb, I do not support speed limits significantly above the design speed (which, to my knowledge, has never been more than 70 MPH for a rural Interstate) because in this country our standards for horizontal and vertical curvature are significantly more relaxed than those used elsewhere and we have no tradition of using perspective evaluation to optimize alignments for consistency.  We are not as bad as the Italians in the 1920's, but we belong firmly in the long-tangent, short-curve camp.  Speed enforcement does not deserve to be elevated to the status of a fetish anywhere, including in the US, but because of the geometric characteristics of our Interstates, a focus on it is more nearly in the public interest than in, say, the UK or Germany.

Even if we abolished speed limits on freeways of a certain high quality, there would still be a public interest in regulating speed.  The advantage to posting advisory maximum speeds and certain parameters of road geometry is that it devolves the choice of a safe cruising speed onto the driver, who (assuming weather and traffic are not ruling constraints) can then choose a speed which matches his or her comfort level and the performance characteristics of his or her vehicle.  It would still be necessary to have a legal presumption that the duty to drive defensively weighs more heavily with each increment above the advised maximum.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: agentsteel53 on February 28, 2010, 02:15:36 PM
thanks for the answers!

Even if we abolished speed limits on freeways of a certain high quality, there would still be a public interest in regulating speed.  

I think the public's interest is in regulating safety, and to me (or to you, as noted in the next paragraph) that does not involve absolute speed limits.  

Quote
The advantage to posting advisory maximum speeds and certain parameters of road geometry is that it devolves the choice of a safe cruising speed onto the driver, who (assuming weather and traffic are not ruling constraints) can then choose a speed which matches his or her comfort level and the performance characteristics of his or her vehicle.  It would still be necessary to have a legal presumption that the duty to drive defensively weighs more heavily with each increment above the advised maximum.

this sounds like something that Germany does... there is an advisory speed, and if you are traveling faster than that and get in an accident, that fact is taken into account when determining fault, for the purposes of issuing a citation and for the insurance companies.

I would really love to have absolutely no speed limit out in the open.  The closest I've come to that is in Utah, where I believed that the highway patrol would not be anywhere near state route 21, which has absolutely nothing on it for 83 miles between Milford and Garrison.  It makes the Loneliest Road (US-50 in Nevada) look like downtown Los Angeles.  I chose for myself a speed I thought safe and reasonable given the road conditions (sunny day, driving west in morning, no traffic) and my rental car's handling qualities (a midsize Chevy; I forget which one - Malibu?), and set the cruise control.  

My safe and confortable speed was was 104mph.  Nobody harmed, even though the posted limit was 65.  Saw two cars come the other way, didn't pass anyone going my way.  And, as surmised, no highway patrol anywhere.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: mightyace on March 01, 2010, 11:49:59 PM
driving fast has little do with driving dangerously - it just happens to be an easy law for the lazy to enforce, so it is enforced hard.

Also, in this era of heavy lawyering, it is much easier to enforce than "reckless driving."

To get a speeding conviction, you simply have to show that your objective measurement of the speed of the alleged violator is correct.

"Reckless driving" and other similar offenses (distracted driving) are a subjective judgment of the arresting officer and, hence, easier to question in court.

So once again, thank the lawyers!  :pan:
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: agentsteel53 on March 01, 2010, 11:51:48 PM
oh, I thank the lawyers every day, and I thank the legislators that have perverted the constitution and forbidden the judicial branch to be in favor of common sense.

back in the day, cases that were deemed to be full of idiocy were promptly dismissed.  Now they are accepted. 

Can you imagine "Mcdonalds Coffee Lady" in 1818?  I bet you can't.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: mightyace on March 02, 2010, 12:34:25 AM
oh, I thank the lawyers every day, and I thank the legislators that have perverted the constitution and forbidden the judicial branch to be in favor of common sense.

I agree totally.  And, what are most legislators? (at least at the federal level)

LAWYERS!  :evilgrin:
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: agentsteel53 on March 02, 2010, 12:39:08 AM

I agree totally.  And, what are most legislators? (at least at the federal level)

LAWYERS!  :evilgrin:

remember when serving in government was not a permanent sinecure?  Martin Van Buren was president, and after that he was a senator, never taking either position for granted.  Now we get folks like Ted Kennedy who think their position is theirs for life. regardless of how many people they drown.

Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: Chris on March 02, 2010, 02:36:57 AM
At least they take the effort of pulling you over. On a per-capita basis, I don't think the U.S. has as many speed cameras as in Europe. I've read somewhere there are 5000 speed cameras on 308 million people. The Netherlands has 1500 speed cameras on only 16 million people...

NL has 94 speed cameras per 1 million
US has 16 speed cameras per 1 million*

* if the figure of 5,000 is correct.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: rawmustard on March 02, 2010, 09:02:20 AM
At least they take the effort of pulling you over. On a per-capita basis, I don't think the U.S. has as many speed cameras as in Europe. I've read somewhere there are 5000 speed cameras on 308 million people. The Netherlands has 1500 speed cameras on only 16 million people...

NL has 94 speed cameras per 1 million
US has 16 speed cameras per 1 million*

* if the figure of 5,000 is correct.

You can credit that with plenty of states' laws which require that a law enforcement officer personally observe a violation in order for a citation to be issued. Even in states where speed or red-light cameras are permitted, there are still plenty of restrictions on how they are implemented. (For example, in Illinois, speed cameras are only permitted in construction zones.)
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: 74/171FAN on June 12, 2010, 10:19:03 AM
I saw the first sign of I-295 becoming 70 on Thursday when I saw two covered-up "Speed Limit XX Ahead" signs with a "Speed Limit 65" sign just beyond it.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: WillWeaverRVA on June 12, 2010, 11:56:04 PM
I saw the first sign of I-295 becoming 70 on Thursday when I saw two covered-up "Speed Limit XX Ahead" signs with a "Speed Limit 65" sign just beyond it.

Which part of I-295 was this?
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: froggie on June 13, 2010, 06:56:05 AM
Based on VDOT's phasing plan, it'd be the section between I-64 West and US 1.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: 74/171FAN on June 13, 2010, 11:30:55 AM
I saw the first sign of I-295 becoming 70 on Thursday when I saw two covered-up "Speed Limit XX Ahead" signs with a "Speed Limit 65" sign just beyond it.

Which part of I-295 was this?
Based on VDOT's phasing plan, it'd be the section between I-64 West and US 1.

  Actually it was SB just before the southern I-95 interchange
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: NJRoadfan on June 16, 2010, 01:21:17 PM
I saw the first sign of I-295 becoming 70 on Thursday when I saw two covered-up "Speed Limit XX Ahead" signs with a "Speed Limit 65" sign just beyond it.

All the speed limit signs on this section now have temporary "65" panels covering "70" from what I saw last Sunday driving though there.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: vdeane on June 17, 2010, 12:00:55 PM
If the DOT has approved 70mph for that section, and the law allows it, why are the signs covered up?  What's the hold-up?
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: 74/171FAN on June 17, 2010, 12:15:31 PM
If the DOT has approved 70mph for that section, and the law allows it, why are the signs covered up?  What's the hold-up?
  Because the law doesn't come into effect until July 1 like most Virginia laws
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: vdeane on June 18, 2010, 12:31:06 PM
Well that's silly.  Laws should go into effect immediately unless there's a very good reason not to.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: agentsteel53 on June 18, 2010, 12:47:28 PM
Well that's silly.  Laws should go into effect immediately unless there's a very good reason not to.

I think the "very good reason" in this law is the fact that they do need a bit of time to change the signs from 65 to 70 (with temporary covers to be all taken down on a single early morning).

Looks like the contractors did it more efficiently than the legislature thought they would. 

The law should've certainly taken this into account, and have been written to say "July 1st at the latest; earlier if the contractor finishes the job early".
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: J N Winkler on June 19, 2010, 07:19:52 AM
I think the "very good reason" in this law is the fact that they do need a bit of time to change the signs from 65 to 70 (with temporary covers to be all taken down on a single early morning).

I don't buy this.  In Kansas all Interstates received new speed limits in 1995 and the speed limit signs were stickered over with the new speed limits between midnight and 6 AM on the day the law went into effect (a Friday, if memory serves).  Kansas had then, and still has, nine Interstate routes with a cumulative mileage of 874.34.  There was no faffing around with black bags and so on.

BTW, if this was actually done by contract, it must have bypassed VDOT's construction contract lettings because I never saw it advertised and I check regularly for signing-related work.

Quote
Looks like the contractors did it more efficiently than the legislature thought they would.

To me it looks more like VDOT "efficiency":  two bites at the apple when one will do.  Virginia has about three times the population of Kansas, only 250 more miles of Interstate (1117 miles), of which only a small fraction is affected by this speed limit change.  Moreover, VDOT has far more maintenance staff than KDOT.  What's the matter with Virginia?
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: froggie on June 19, 2010, 07:55:04 PM
What's the matter?  Start with the fact that VDOT has about 56,000 miles of road under its responsibility.

The delay in the law, besides being Virginia standard to begin laws on July 1, also takes into account the time needed to do traffic engineering and speed studies on the Interstate segments in question, since such studies are required by state law before VDOT can implement any speed limit changes.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: J N Winkler on June 20, 2010, 12:00:20 PM
The delay in the law, besides being Virginia standard to begin laws on July 1, also takes into account the time needed to do traffic engineering and speed studies on the Interstate segments in question, since such studies are required by state law before VDOT can implement any speed limit changes.

My "What's the matter with Virginia?" comment (admittedly a bit over-the-top) arose from other posters' observations, upthread, that some 70 MPH speed limit signs are already up with temporary "65" plates over the "70" speed limit values.  Arguably this is inefficient compared to leaving the existing signs in place and sending trucks out with "70" stickers in the small hours of the morning on July 1, which is essentially how Kansas handled the speed limit change on Interstates in 1995.  The temporary plates require at least two steps (installation of the plates on the signs, either in the shop or the field, and then removal of the plates) while stickering the new limits requires just one step, which can be done very quickly.  There might be ulterior considerations, such as the limit change coinciding with wholesale replacement of speed limit signs, which would alter the efficiency comparison.

In general I don't have an issue with choosing a specific calendar date for the entry into force of new laws.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: vdeane on June 20, 2010, 01:41:21 PM
What's the matter?  Start with the fact that VDOT has about 56,000 miles of road under its responsibility.

The delay in the law, besides being Virginia standard to begin laws on July 1, also takes into account the time needed to do traffic engineering and speed studies on the Interstate segments in question, since such studies are required by state law before VDOT can implement any speed limit changes.

I don't recall reading anywhere that any section of road had to be raised immedietly, just that it was an option now to have a 70 mph speed limit.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: agentsteel53 on June 21, 2010, 12:49:11 AM
The delay in the law, besides being Virginia standard to begin laws on July 1, also takes into account the time needed to do traffic engineering and speed studies on the Interstate segments in question, since such studies are required by state law before VDOT can implement any speed limit changes.


if the signs are posted (albeit, still covered up), that implies that VA has done the necessary traffic study.

as for laws being enacted July 1 - is there any other date during the calendar year or is that it?  If a law gets passed July 2, does the commonwealth have to wait 364 days?
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: Scott5114 on June 21, 2010, 02:28:33 AM
I assume the date of enaction is defined by the law itself. Oklahoma generally has such time-release laws go to effect on January 1, but other dates (generally the first of some arbitrary month) have been used.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: J N Winkler on June 21, 2010, 05:35:29 AM
In Virginia I suspect the July 1 effective date is chosen to correspond with the start of the state fiscal year, as this would make it easy to study the fiscal impact of new laws without having to disaggregate for part-year validity.  Having a consistent start date for all legislation also aids enforceability, in contradistinction to other approaches such as having a law take effect from the moment of the governor's signature or from the moment of publication in the official gazette.  In general ignorantia non excusat, but if you are charged under new provisions, you can usually mount a successful defense if you can show you had no reasonable opportunity to know that the new provisions were effective.  Avoidance of such challenges is one reason law enforcement agencies publicize a grace period before they start enforcing new laws.

If Virginia's state legislature concludes its business well before the start of summer, as is (I think) the case for most state legislatures, there shouldn't be any problems with long (up to one full year) waits for new laws to take effect.  Of course this general observation wouldn't hold for extraordinary sessions in the autumn, for example.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: hbelkins on June 23, 2010, 09:20:04 PM
I would guess the effective date of legislation depends on when the legislature meets, and how often. Kentucky has biennial 60-day sessions that must be over by a date certain, and only recently has begun having 30-day sessions between the 60-day biennial sessions. Here, by either statute or constitution, the effective date of legislation is established and is overridden only if the legislature declares an emergency and for the law to go into effect immediately upon the governor's signature. Most recently, our anti-texting law went into effect immediately, but officers only will be writing warnings until the first of the year, after which they can write citations.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: deathtopumpkins on July 05, 2010, 09:35:28 PM
Finally clinched the southern end of I-295 today, and snagged a few photos of speed limit 70 signs.

(http://img85.imageshack.us/img85/6369/dsc00044se.jpg)
(http://img85.imageshack.us/img85/1414/dsc00042yn.jpg)
(http://img85.imageshack.us/img85/6164/dsc00047nv.jpg)
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: rickmastfan67 on July 05, 2010, 09:44:46 PM
Nice to see more 70MPH signs in VA.  Now if they can only migrate over to I-77. :P
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: Mr. Matté on July 06, 2010, 07:41:26 AM
What the heck are the things on the side of the Speed Limit 65 Ahead sign? They're probably for grabbing your attention but what do they specifically do?
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: D-Dey65 on July 06, 2010, 07:44:23 AM
I didn't see a single Speed Limit 70 sign on I-95 in Virginia on my drive in June.


Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: Bryant5493 on July 06, 2010, 12:40:40 PM
^^

I think the speed limit became effective as of July 1, 2010, is probably why you didn't see any in June.


Be well,

Bryant
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: deathtopumpkins on July 06, 2010, 02:15:02 PM
The new limits went into effect July 1, as stated previously in this thread, and only on I-295. VDOT has to finish doing the studies for the other roads before they can be raised as well.

Mr. Matté: They're exactly what you thought. I can't recall seeing any at night, as they aren't used where I live, but I think they're reflective as well just to grab your attention and reinforce that this limit is new.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: NJRoadfan on July 08, 2010, 05:27:20 PM
Mr. Matté: They're exactly what you thought. I can't recall seeing any at night, as they aren't used where I live, but I think they're reflective as well just to grab your attention and reinforce that this limit is new.

They are on the "Reduced speed ahead" and actual speed limit signs on I-85 and on I-95 north entering Richmond (the 55mph zone).
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: hbelkins on July 08, 2010, 11:28:47 PM
I would guess the effective date of legislation depends on when the legislature meets, and how often. Kentucky has biennial 60-day sessions that must be over by a date certain, and only recently has begun having 30-day sessions between the 60-day biennial sessions. Here, by either statute or constitution, the effective date of legislation is established and is overridden only if the legislature declares an emergency and for the law to go into effect immediately upon the governor's signature. Most recently, our anti-texting law went into effect immediately, but officers only will be writing warnings until the first of the year, after which they can write citations.

I need to correct myself. The Kentucky State Police put out a press release erroneously saying that the anti-texting law went into effect immediately. Turns out that's not the case. There was no emergency notation made in the legislation and no other effective date specified. Therefore it goes into effect on July 15 like all the rest of the legislation passed this year.

So for another week, it's still legal to text and drive in Kentucky.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: agentsteel53 on July 08, 2010, 11:35:29 PM
attacking the causes, not the effects, as legislatures tend to do.  

I think Germany's recommended speed law is an ideal model for driving restrictions.  The autobahn has no speed limit, but if you are driving over 140 km/h and cause an accident, then the circumstances will be taken into account.

it should be the same way with texting, applying makeup, paying too much attention to the radio, and a thousand other activities that are just not possible to legislate by specific action, but easy enough to legislate by effect.  Basically, the principle that some drivers are just fine while a little inattentive, while others are morons no matter how well we train them.

"Go ahead and do something dangerous - but heaven help you if you cause an accident!"

then again, this is the country that thinks that lack of seatbelt use should be fined.  If you're fixing to kill yourself stupidly, why again are we stopping you?
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: J N Winkler on July 09, 2010, 04:02:42 AM
then again, this is the country that thinks that lack of seatbelt use should be fined.  If you're fixing to kill yourself stupidly, why again are we stopping you?

I don't think the Autobahnpolizei let you get away with not wearing a seatbelt either.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: froggie on July 09, 2010, 09:22:37 AM
Quote
If you're fixing to kill yourself stupidly, why again are we stopping you?

Probably because if they do go kill themselves in such a way, they're incurring a fair chunk of cost on society which they don't pay, but taxpayers do.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: agentsteel53 on July 09, 2010, 10:16:58 AM

Probably because if they do go kill themselves in such a way, they're incurring a fair chunk of cost on society which they don't pay, but taxpayers do.

how much does the spatula treatment cost?  how many days of imprisonment of a felon does that buy you?  I'm guessing hosing down highways to clean off the brains is a drop in the bucket compared to everything else.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: froggie on October 20, 2010, 07:16:40 AM
There's still the cost of the response (usually several entities including police and fire), traffic control, autopsy (if performed), road repair (if needed), etc etc.  It's more than just taking a spatula and a hose to the road...


Back on topic, the CTB will be getting briefed on the recommendations (http://www.ctb.virginia.gov/resources/2010/oct/prelim/Agenda_Item_4_CTB_BriefingIII.pdf) today.  Page 4 of the PDF has a map showing the general locations where a 70 MPH speed is being recommended.  The goal is to have the speed limits changed by end of the year.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: rickmastfan67 on October 20, 2010, 07:38:29 AM
Nice to see that all of I-81 between TN and I-77 South should become 70.  Little miffed that they don't think more of I-77 should become 70 as well.  I honestly think I-77 between Exits #32 (I-81/US-11 North) and Exit #24 (VA-69) could be posted as 70 as well.  Especially since they rebuilt the bridge over the New River and there are no massive hills unlike South of Exit #24.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: WillWeaverRVA on October 20, 2010, 11:31:43 PM
There's still the cost of the response (usually several entities including police and fire), traffic control, autopsy (if performed), road repair (if needed), etc etc.  It's more than just taking a spatula and a hose to the road...


Back on topic, the CTB will be getting briefed on the recommendations (http://www.ctb.virginia.gov/resources/2010/oct/prelim/Agenda_Item_4_CTB_BriefingIII.pdf) today.  Page 4 of the PDF has a map showing the general locations where a 70 MPH speed is being recommended.  The goal is to have the speed limits changed by end of the year.


That link is dead but the contents have moved:

http://www.ctb.virginia.gov/resources/2010/oct/pres/Agenda_Item_4_CTB_BriefingIII.pdf

The proposed areas make a lot of sense, and it seems common sense in general played a major role in choosing where to increase speed limits. The only areas not being considered for speed limit increases are those areas with heavier traffic and more accidents, mostly urban areas (as well as I-64 near Afton Mountain - as decent as the road is 70mph there is asking for trouble).

Now if only there could be some exception put in place to raise the speed limits on VA 288 and VA 895 (east of the toll plaza) to 70...
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: deathtopumpkins on October 24, 2010, 10:11:57 AM
Every article I've read has said that the legislation includes non-interstate freeways as well... Though that link does not.

Still, I really don't see what the problem is. If those roads can be posted at 65, why not 70.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: rickmastfan67 on October 26, 2010, 02:11:39 AM
Looks like I-77 WILL become 70 MPH South of I-81 after all.
http://www.virginiadot.org/info/resources/70_mph_Phase_List.pdf

I-77 will be posted as 70 MPH in two phases.

Phase 1 will be the following:

Phase 2 will be the following:

So, all of I-77 will become 70 MPH in VA. :)  It will just take some time. :clap:
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: oscar on October 26, 2010, 06:57:09 AM
Looks like I-77 WILL become 70 MPH South of I-81 after all.
http://www.virginiadot.org/info/resources/70_mph_Phase_List.pdf

I-77 will be posted as 70 MPH in two phases.
Alas, no.  The phase list was a months-old priority list for segments to be studied.  Studies have been completed for both of the I-77 segments south of I-81, but neither was approved for an increase, at least not at this time.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: froggie on October 26, 2010, 06:58:06 AM
James, that's the list of segments that VDOT planned to study.  They wound up studying all the Interstate segments in one swoop.  The link Will posted last week is the recommendations...I-77 south of Wytheville will remain 65.


(EDIT) Oscar:  not quite true either.  They're recommending 70 MPH north of Wytheville to Big Walker Mtn.  Unless you know something we don't and CTB didn't follow through on that recommendation.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: oscar on October 26, 2010, 03:46:54 PM
The I-77 segment(s) approved for 70mph are north of I-81.  I was referring, as was rickmastfan67, to the segments south of I-81.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: rickmastfan67 on October 26, 2010, 07:22:48 PM
 :ded: :banghead:
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: froggie on October 28, 2010, 06:55:45 AM
It's still a bit early, but as of yesterday, no 70 MPH signs yet on I-81 near Strasburg or on I-66.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: WillWeaverRVA on October 29, 2010, 09:21:50 PM
Here's a more specific list of areas that will increase to 70mph speed limits:

http://www.virginiadot.org/news/resources/Statewide/VDOT_FINAL_RECOMM_LISt.pdf

I have yet to drive around the Richmond metro area and see if 70mph speed limits have been posted but I can say that I-64 is not yet posted at 70mph between Charlottesville and VA 288.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: froggie on October 30, 2010, 10:34:29 PM
No 70 yet on I-66, or on 81 north of Harrisonburg, but I saw a 70 MPH sign today south of Harrisonburg, beginning just south of Exit 243 on the south side of town.  Don't know how far this zone goes, as I was getting off at the following exit (Exit 240/VA 257).

I-64 east of Clifton Forge is also signed now at 70 MPH, at least between Exit 27 (US 220 South) and Exit 43 (SR 780).
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: froggie on November 02, 2010, 07:32:04 AM
A poster on MTR commented yesterday that northbound 81 is now 70 MPH between Harrisonburg and Strasburg.  Which means it A) got changed since Saturday, or B) they changed northbound first.  I'd gone southbound Saturday morning and it was still 65 MPH on that stretch going south.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: WillWeaverRVA on November 03, 2010, 06:39:37 PM
I-295 between I-64 (Short Pump) and Woodman Road is now posted at 70mph. However, there are no reduced speed signs posted near the northern terminus, meaning the route is signed at 70mph clear up to the final loop ramp to I-64 eastbound (which has a 25mph ramp speed). There's even a SPEED LIMIT 70 sign right in front of the I-295 ENDS 1 MILE sign. This is rather dangerous and I'm going to contact VDOT to get this corrected.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: agentsteel53 on November 03, 2010, 07:07:10 PM
There's even a SPEED LIMIT 70 sign right in front of the I-295 ENDS 1 MILE sign. This is rather dangerous and I'm going to contact VDOT to get this corrected.

I wouldn't have them lower the limit -just put up an advisory sign for the curve.  If you *can* do 70mph around that curve (because you drive a Z3 or something) then you should be allowed to.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: WillWeaverRVA on November 03, 2010, 08:34:07 PM
There's even a SPEED LIMIT 70 sign right in front of the I-295 ENDS 1 MILE sign. This is rather dangerous and I'm going to contact VDOT to get this corrected.

I wouldn't have them lower the limit -just put up an advisory sign for the curve.  If you *can* do 70mph around that curve (because you drive a Z3 or something) then you should be allowed to.

I understand your opinion of speed limits (or the lack thereof), but it's simply not possible to do 70mph on that curve. Even 55mph is dangerous; it's signed 25mph for a reason, but only at the curve itself - drivers stop dead in their tracks to slow for the curve after doing nearly 90 right up to it. That's why that interchange was reconfigured between 2006 and 2009 (though only the I-64 EB entrance to I-295 SB was reconfigured into a flyover where 70mph is perfectly fine).
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: vdeane on November 04, 2010, 11:05:45 AM
Why should the speed limit for a whole mile of road be lowered for one curve that can be signed with an advisory speed?  They should warn of the curve sooner, but if I saw the speed limit lower for no apparent reason, I'd just think the state was trying to get more ticket revenue.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: agentsteel53 on November 04, 2010, 11:15:52 AM
if I saw the speed limit lower for no apparent reason, I'd just think the state was trying to get more ticket revenue.

it's Virginia.  I wouldn't put the idea past them.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: froggie on November 04, 2010, 11:43:06 AM
If anything, the segment of I-295 in question should remain 65 MPH.  Partly for the curves, and partly for consistency with what the speed limit is on I-64.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: agentsteel53 on November 04, 2010, 11:55:19 AM
what about raising I-64 to 70mph?

I've always thought lowering the speed limit for a winding section of road is lame.  Especially out in rural areas - Nevada comes to mind.  US-50 is 70mph for most of it, but just when you get to an interesting mountain section and think you can do 75 around the curves and have a fun time ... wham, instant 55 with the police waiting.

assholes.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: froggie on November 04, 2010, 04:15:50 PM
Raising I-64 to 70 MPH was considered and studied.  For whatever reason, VDOT recommended and CTB chose to keep that stretch of I-64 at 65 MPH.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: WillWeaverRVA on November 04, 2010, 06:53:23 PM
Traffic is too consistently heavy on that stretch of I-64 for a speed limit increase to be safe. (And I don't want to hear about letting nature take its course, etc.)
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: agentsteel53 on November 04, 2010, 06:58:59 PM
Traffic is too consistently heavy on that stretch of I-64 for a speed limit increase to be safe. (And I don't want to hear about letting nature take its course, etc.)

how fast does traffic in general move on that road?  if everyone's doing 80, it may help resolve cognitive dissonance to raise the speed limit.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: WillWeaverRVA on November 04, 2010, 07:48:55 PM
Depends on the time of day, but it's irrelevant since there are two significant freeway-to-freeway junctions within 1 1/2 miles of one another, and I-64 is only 4 lanes west of I-295. Traffic backups are common not only during rush hour, but sometimes on weekends or other shopping days since Short Pump is now a huge shopping district. The interchange between I-64 and US 250 is at such an oblique angle (and can't be reconfigured due to nearby development; no one really envisioned that Short Pump would become such a developer magnet when the interchange was built) that traffic on the offramps often backs up onto I-64 between 9am and 9pm on most days.

By the time the "danger zone", you're pretty much already approaching Richmond (speed limit drops to 60 near Parham Rd) and I-64 gradually becomes more substandard (no median, limited shoulders, etc).

Given how bad traffic can be along the I-95 corridor in much of Virginia, high speed limits are suicide in dense suburbs and urban areas. I-95 in downtown Richmond will likely never be signed at higher than 55mph, and it never should be since between VA 161 and Maury Street (about 6 miles), you're usually not going over 50.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: agentsteel53 on November 04, 2010, 07:51:15 PM
developer magnet

in that case, nature really needs to take its course!  :pan:
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: WillWeaverRVA on November 04, 2010, 07:52:50 PM
developer magnet

in that case, nature really needs to take its course!  :pan:

I'll agree with you there. Development exploded around 2000 or so. I first traveled to Short Pump in 1999, when it was completely empty and the only sign of development was Walmart on US 250!
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: rickmastfan67 on November 04, 2010, 10:21:07 PM
Why should the speed limit for a whole mile of road be lowered for one curve that can be signed with an advisory speed?  They should warn of the curve sooner, but if I saw the speed limit lower for no apparent reason, I'd just think the state was trying to get more ticket revenue.

Well, PennDOT for example slows down I-79 to about 40 MPH going downhill about 1 mile before NB I-79 intersects I-70 because of the horrific 270-degree turn to get onto I-70 WB / I-79 NB.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: WillWeaverRVA on November 05, 2010, 01:57:02 AM
Why should the speed limit for a whole mile of road be lowered for one curve that can be signed with an advisory speed?  They should warn of the curve sooner, but if I saw the speed limit lower for no apparent reason, I'd just think the state was trying to get more ticket revenue.

Well, it's not just any curve. At the terminus, the left two lanes quickly merge into the right lane, which makes the loop onto I-64 WB. The acceleration lane from this ramp becomes an exit only lane for the US 250 WB (Short Pump) exit.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: vdeane on November 05, 2010, 09:31:03 AM
So why not just have "Ramp - 55 mph" or something like that?  We do such things in NY all the time.

They could also eliminate a lane or two on the ramp to deal with the merge.  I've never understood why you would start a ramp with multiple lanes only to narrow before the ramp ends.  Fortunately, such things are very rare in NY.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: WillWeaverRVA on November 05, 2010, 12:47:03 PM
So why not just have "Ramp - 55 mph" or something like that?  We do such things in NY all the time.

They could also eliminate a lane or two on the ramp to deal with the merge.  I've never understood why you would start a ramp with multiple lanes only to narrow before the ramp ends.  Fortunately, such things are very rare in NY.

Well, officially the ramp doesn't begin until the exit sign (yes, there is a gore point exit sign, as I-295 was originally planned to continue on as an unbuilt part of the John Rolfe Pkwy).
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: MichiganDriver on November 05, 2010, 02:17:00 PM
Given how bad traffic can be along the I-95 corridor in much of Virginia, high speed limits are suicide in dense suburbs and urban areas. I-95 in downtown Richmond will likely never be signed at higher than 55mph, and it never should be since between VA 161 and Maury Street (about 6 miles), you're usually not going over 50.

We aren't dying left and right in Metro Detroit where freeways are signed to 70 except within a few miles of downtown.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: froggie on November 05, 2010, 04:23:53 PM
Quote
We aren't dying left and right in Metro Detroit where freeways are signed to 70 except within a few miles of downtown.

You also don't have drivers from all 50 states and numerous countries with all their bad habits, like we do in Northern Virginia...
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: mightyace on November 05, 2010, 05:43:28 PM
You also don't have drivers from all 50 states and numerous countries with all their bad habits, like we do in Northern Virginia...

I didn't think you were worried about a few congressmen and diplomats.  :sombrero:
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: froggie on November 05, 2010, 05:56:35 PM
You forget the families.  The tourists.  The lobbyists.  Especially the lobbyists... :ded:
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: agentsteel53 on November 05, 2010, 06:30:10 PM
if a lobbyist dies, another will spring forth from the soil to take its place.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: deathtopumpkins on November 07, 2010, 10:58:51 AM
Veering back on topic, I-64 between I-295(E) and VA 199(E) is still posted at 65 as of last Tuesday. I'm making it a point to get up there and check on it semi-regularly, since I'm already on 64 anyway most days.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: njroadhorse on November 21, 2010, 08:13:03 PM
I can happily report that you can go 70 on Interstate 81 from Christiansburg to Strasburg, except in Salem/Roanoke, Staunton, and Harrisonburg.  Those are 60, 65, and 60 respectively.  Also, 66 East is also posted at 70 from 81 to Gainesville IIRC.


EDIT: Changed Blacksburg to Christiansburg since I-81 technically doesn't go to Blacksburg.  I see why you would put that though as I'm a Hokie. -Mark
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: 74/171FAN on November 22, 2010, 12:32:08 AM
I can happily report that you can go 70 on Interstate 81 from Christiansburg to Strasburg, except in Salem/Roanoke, Staunton, and Harrisonburg.  Those are 60, 65, and 60 respectively.  Also, 66 East is also posted at 70 from 81 to Gainesville IIRC.


EDIT: Changed Blacksburg to Christiansburg since I-81 technically doesn't go to Blacksburg.  I see why you would put that though as I'm a Hokie. -Mark
  Actually I'm sure that I-81 between Christiansburg and Salem was supposed to remain 65.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: njroadhorse on November 22, 2010, 09:32:58 PM
I can happily report that you can go 70 on Interstate 81 from Christiansburg to Strasburg, except in Salem/Roanoke, Staunton, and Harrisonburg.  Those are 60, 65, and 60 respectively.  Also, 66 East is also posted at 70 from 81 to Gainesville IIRC.


EDIT: Changed Blacksburg to Christiansburg since I-81 technically doesn't go to Blacksburg.  I see why you would put that though as I'm a Hokie. -Mark
  Actually I'm sure that I-81 between Christiansburg and Salem was supposed to remain 65.
I definitely saw 70 after Exit 118.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: WillWeaverRVA on November 22, 2010, 10:31:23 PM
I-95 between SR 802 (Lewistown Road) and the US 1 exit in Spotsylvania is now posted at 70mph.

(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4086/5199929069_fb18519f94_z.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/coredesatchikai/5199929069/)

(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4128/5199929557_46ed4bce1e_z.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/coredesatchikai/5199929557/)

Ignore the watermarks, I accidentally had Lightroom watermark ALL the photos I took on Saturday and not just the non-road-related ones.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: 74/171FAN on November 22, 2010, 11:35:59 PM
I-95 south of US 301(exit 45) to the NC state line(I'm presuming it goes all the way there) is now 70 as of tonight.
I can happily report that you can go 70 on Interstate 81 from Christiansburg to Strasburg, except in Salem/Roanoke, Staunton, and Harrisonburg.  Those are 60, 65, and 60 respectively.  Also, 66 East is also posted at 70 from 81 to Gainesville IIRC.


EDIT: Changed Blacksburg to Christiansburg since I-81 technically doesn't go to Blacksburg.  I see why you would put that though as I'm a Hokie. -Mark
  Actually I'm sure that I-81 between Christiansburg and Salem was supposed to remain 65.
I definitely saw 70 after Exit 118.
   As of last Thursday I know I-81 did not become 70 until past Roanoke/Salem until after the US 220/US 220 ALT exit (Exit 150).
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: NJRoadfan on November 24, 2010, 08:16:16 PM
I-95 south of US 301(exit 45) to the NC state line(I'm presuming it goes all the way there) is now 70 as of tonight.

Emporia must be crying right about now.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: froggie on November 25, 2010, 12:25:57 PM
Quote
Emporia must be crying right about now.

Not really.  Most of their enforcement is along US 58.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: deathtopumpkins on November 25, 2010, 08:42:33 PM
Well VDOT's really been busy... I-64 west of VA 199 is now posted at 70 as well. A friend of mine who commutes from Williamsburg told me when it went up but I was unable to verify until tonight. And interestingly enough, traffic isn't moving any faster. I stuck to the left lane with the cruise control set at 75 my whole trip.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: vdeane on November 26, 2010, 01:15:02 PM
Not that surprising.  Most people don't care about speed limits beyond knowing how much they have to slow down if they see a cop.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: 74/171FAN on November 29, 2010, 06:04:43 PM
I-95 south of US 301(exit 45) to the NC state line(I'm presuming it goes all the way there) is now 70 as of tonight.
I can happily report that you can go 70 on Interstate 81 from Christiansburg to Strasburg, except in Salem/Roanoke, Staunton, and Harrisonburg.  Those are 60, 65, and 60 respectively.  Also, 66 East is also posted at 70 from 81 to Gainesville IIRC.


EDIT: Changed Blacksburg to Christiansburg since I-81 technically doesn't go to Blacksburg.  I see why you would put that though as I'm a Hokie. -Mark
  Actually I'm sure that I-81 between Christiansburg and Salem was supposed to remain 65.
I definitely saw 70 after Exit 118.
   As of last Thursday I know I-81 did not become 70 until past Roanoke/Salem until after the US 220/US 220 ALT exit (Exit 150).
  I did see 70 going SB on the I-81 C/D Road at exit 118 but idk of where the 70 section technically ends NB.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: froggie on December 03, 2010, 01:13:52 PM
Some of the news media up here is reporting that VDOT has finished the job.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: NJRoadfan on December 04, 2010, 02:05:08 PM
Quote
Emporia must be crying right about now.

Not really.  Most of their enforcement is along US 58.


I have yet to drive through Emporia once and NOT see someone pulled over on I-95. Surrounding Greensville County isn't much better either.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: froggie on December 04, 2010, 10:15:31 PM
Quote
I have yet to drive through Emporia once and NOT see someone pulled over on I-95. Surrounding Greensville County isn't much better either.

Meanwhile, I have yet to drive through Emporia and actually SEE someone pulled over on I-95.  As for Greensville County, their favorite place to hide is in the median on 58 just on their side of the Greensville/Southampton County line, which is at the top of a small rise.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: 1995hoo on April 28, 2011, 06:03:03 PM
Not that surprising.  Most people don't care about speed limits beyond knowing how much they have to slow down if they see a cop.

The thing I've found irritating when I've driven on I-66 since the 70-mph limit was posted is that people slow down to 60 mph every time they see a cop even if they're only doing 70. Last time I went out that way earlier this spring I had the cruise control set at 70 and wasn't passing anyone, yet everyone else still slowed down when there was a cop in the median (I did not, and he didn't budge). I guess after so many years of being conditioned to the idea that going 70 mph was "speeding" people find it hard to break that habit.

As some other comments very early in this thread have noted, the 70-mph statute doesn't restrict the higher speed limit to Interstates only, but VDOT has refused to consider any non-Interstates. I think the Dulles Greenway is one "Interstate look-alike" that could easily accommodate a 70-mph limit, although no doubt a lower limit would be posted on the approach to the toll plaza and perhaps on the approach to the western end of the road in Leesburg. (I recognize why with all the construction they would not consider the original Dulles Toll Road for a higher limit.)

VDOT seems generally unwilling to consider splitting the speed limit so that one side of a highway has a higher limit than the other, and I've never been sure why. I recall back in the summer of 1997 when I was living in Montgomery, Alabama, the state posted a 70-mph limit on northbound I-65 immediately when you crossed the river leaving town, yet on the same stretch of highway going south the limit was either 60 or 65. That sort of thing has always made sense to me in urban areas or in areas where there are more ramps on one side of the highway (say, partial interchanges), yet it's very uncommon.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: agentsteel53 on April 28, 2011, 06:42:29 PM
VDOT seems generally unwilling to consider splitting the speed limit so that one side of a highway has a higher limit than the other, and I've never been sure why. I recall back in the summer of 1997 when I was living in Montgomery, Alabama, the state posted a 70-mph limit on northbound I-65 immediately when you crossed the river leaving town, yet on the same stretch of highway going south the limit was either 60 or 65. That sort of thing has always made sense to me in urban areas or in areas where there are more ramps on one side of the highway (say, partial interchanges), yet it's very uncommon.

is that even legal?  I would imagine for separate carriageways it may be, but I know many states will throw out tickets if the speed limit for a road is different for the two directions.  for example, signed 35 one way and 25 the other, I've heard of a ticket for 32 being thrown out.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: 1995hoo on April 28, 2011, 10:12:42 PM
VDOT seems generally unwilling to consider splitting the speed limit so that one side of a highway has a higher limit than the other, and I've never been sure why. I recall back in the summer of 1997 when I was living in Montgomery, Alabama, the state posted a 70-mph limit on northbound I-65 immediately when you crossed the river leaving town, yet on the same stretch of highway going south the limit was either 60 or 65. That sort of thing has always made sense to me in urban areas or in areas where there are more ramps on one side of the highway (say, partial interchanges), yet it's very uncommon.

is that even legal?  I would imagine for separate carriageways it may be, but I know many states will throw out tickets if the speed limit for a road is different for the two directions.  for example, signed 35 one way and 25 the other, I've heard of a ticket for 32 being thrown out.

Totally a question of state law on legality. I was thinking of dual-carriageways, true, in which case there's little reason for concern about different speed limits, but since the feds have no say on speed limits since 1995, it's up to each state whether to allow such things.

Virginia tends to take a very restrictive (IMO paranoid) approach where the General Assembly insists on retaining excessive control. VDOT's ability to set limits is very narrow. 
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: froggie on April 28, 2011, 10:43:08 PM
Not really.  VDOT has a lot of power to set speed limits...they just don't use it very often.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: vdeane on April 29, 2011, 10:46:06 AM
Not that surprising.  Most people don't care about speed limits beyond knowing how much they have to slow down if they see a cop.

The thing I've found irritating when I've driven on I-66 since the 70-mph limit was posted is that people slow down to 60 mph every time they see a cop even if they're only doing 70. Last time I went out that way earlier this spring I had the cruise control set at 70 and wasn't passing anyone, yet everyone else still slowed down when there was a cop in the median (I did not, and he didn't budge). I guess after so many years of being conditioned to the idea that going 70 mph was "speeding" people find it hard to break that habit.

As some other comments very early in this thread have noted, the 70-mph statute doesn't restrict the higher speed limit to Interstates only, but VDOT has refused to consider any non-Interstates. I think the Dulles Greenway is one "Interstate look-alike" that could easily accommodate a 70-mph limit, although no doubt a lower limit would be posted on the approach to the toll plaza and perhaps on the approach to the western end of the road in Leesburg. (I recognize why with all the construction they would not consider the original Dulles Toll Road for a higher limit.)

VDOT seems generally unwilling to consider splitting the speed limit so that one side of a highway has a higher limit than the other, and I've never been sure why. I recall back in the summer of 1997 when I was living in Montgomery, Alabama, the state posted a 70-mph limit on northbound I-65 immediately when you crossed the river leaving town, yet on the same stretch of highway going south the limit was either 60 or 65. That sort of thing has always made sense to me in urban areas or in areas where there are more ramps on one side of the highway (say, partial interchanges), yet it's very uncommon.
Well, don't hold your breath for people to get used to it.  A ton of people drive 55 on I-490 even though the limit on some portions was increased to 65 a decade ago.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: hbelkins on May 01, 2011, 01:08:08 AM

is that even legal?  I would imagine for separate carriageways it may be, but I know many states will throw out tickets if the speed limit for a road is different for the two directions.  for example, signed 35 one way and 25 the other, I've heard of a ticket for 32 being thrown out.

I-79 in Pennsylvania, between I-70 and the WV state line, has a split speed limit for a stretch. 65 in one direction, 55 in the other.

It's between I-70 and WV, and I know where you're talking about. - rmf67
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: 1995hoo on May 01, 2011, 04:02:21 PM
Not really.  VDOT has a lot of power to set speed limits...they just don't use it very often.


I don't entirely agree as to non-Interstates. The General Assembly allows speed limits above 55 on roads that aren't "Interstate look-alikes" only when they statutorily provide for it on a given road. I think that's an asinine way to handle the issue.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: mightyace on June 01, 2011, 02:10:42 PM
^^^

If you are correct, I agree.

As has been often discussed in many places on this forum, an Interstate shield does not guarantee a road is built to higher standards than one without.

The speed limit should be based on what is safe to drive on the road, not what it is signed as.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: froggie on June 01, 2011, 02:24:01 PM
The only thing the General Assembly has done is set what the maximum speed limit could be...70 on the Interstates and limited-access roads, 60 MPH on 29, 58, 360, 460, and part of 17, and 55 MPH otherwise.  As long as it doesn't exceed that maximum, VDOT (through the CTB) has the authority to set the speed limit to whatever they want, subject to a traffic and engineering study.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: agentsteel53 on June 01, 2011, 02:57:43 PM
what is the legislature doing setting speed limits with such fine-grained control?  why not just say "our state speed limit is 70, with any exact number up to that point subject to engineering studies"

the legislature does not know the road quality, service level, amount of traffic, etc ... anywhere nearly as well as the traffic engineers do.  To say "60 mph on part of 17" implies a level of familiarity that I seriously doubt a congress-schmuck would ever have.
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: 1995hoo on June 01, 2011, 02:59:45 PM
The only thing the General Assembly has done is set what the maximum speed limit could be...70 on the Interstates and limited-access roads, 60 MPH on 29, 58, 360, 460, and part of 17, and 55 MPH otherwise.  As long as it doesn't exceed that maximum, VDOT (through the CTB) has the authority to set the speed limit to whatever they want, subject to a traffic and engineering study.

Which is what I think is a very poor way of handling the issue and what I consider to be giving VDOT not enough discretion. A road like VA-28 north of I-66, for example, is better than many of the Interstates in Virginia yet is limited to 55 mph under the current system because the portion from about Sully Plantation south doesn't qualify for a higher limit. That's dumb, too; there's no reason why a road can't be posted higher in one place where it's a better and wider road, except for the General Assembly wanting to keep control. This is sort of the point "mightyace" and "agentsteel53" make: Having the General Assembly make road-by-road assessments of which roads might be allowed a higher speed limit is inefficient and impractical because it's not something legislators are well-suited to doing.

(VDOT's not without blame either, of course. The statute as amended last year allows 70-mph speed limits on what are often called "Interstate look-alikes." The prime one in my mind would be the Dulles Greenway. VDOT has thus far refused to consider any road not posted with an Interstate shield for the 70-mph limit. I kind of understand why the Dulles Toll Road is kept at 55, especially with the Metrorail construction, but there's no good reason not to post 70 on the Greenway. I passed a speedtrap on there last Saturday with my cruise control set at 70 and the cop didn't budge, although I briefly wondered if he'd pursue me since I saw his brake lights come on after I went by. The Greenway is a better road than many portions of Virginia's Interstates.)
Title: Re: VA: Bill allowing 70 MPH passes GA, goes to Gov for signature
Post by: oscar on June 01, 2011, 03:47:17 PM
Which is what I think is a very poor way of handling the issue and what I consider to be giving VDOT not enough discretion. A road like VA-28 north of I-66, for example, is better than many of the Interstates in Virginia yet is limited to 55 mph under the current system because the portion from about Sully Plantation south doesn't qualify for a higher limit. That's dumb, too; there's no reason why a road can't be posted higher in one place where it's a better and wider road, except for the General Assembly wanting to keep control.

Nailed it!  That's very consistent with the General Assembly's usual tendency, not just in transportation matters, to keep state agencies as well as local governments on a short leash, in keeping with the "Dillon Rule".  Not the most efficient system of governance, especially for a part-time legislature with short annual sessions, but at least speed limits are not being singled out for special (mis)treatment.