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Author Topic: Gov. Brown signs Oregon speed limit increase bill  (Read 29463 times)

Tarkus

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Re: Gov. Brown signs Oregon speed limit increase bill
« Reply #25 on: July 29, 2015, 03:33:12 PM »

If the actual wording associated with 55 zones in 811.111 has been amended to read "speed limit", then it's very likely that it'll mean the end of "Speed 55" signs as well. 

Personally, I don't see any justification for using the existing "Speed XX" signs at all, 55 mph zones or otherwise. The message is ambiguous when everywhere else uses "Speed Limit XX".

The National MUTCD has never used the "Speed XX" sign (or at least hasn't in any recent edition) to indicate a speed limit. So unless Oregon has a state MUTCD that allows this, it's a nonstandard sign anyway. (Not unlike Oregon's "Rocks" warning sign instead of the national standard "Falling Rocks", prior to the 2009 symbol sign.)

The Oregon MUTCD supplement did allow the "Speed XX" sign (OR2-1) as a replacement for the "Speed Limit XX" sign (R2-1).  The most recent revision of it [here] significantly curtailed its usage (Section 2B.13), however, with OR2-1 only to be used "on all Speed Limit signs (R2-1a) on highways outside City limits that are not interstate highways or school zones".  ODOT's actual signing policy in recent times, however, has been to use R2-1 in most cases for non-55mph zones.  There's quite a few spots on US-97, for instance, which run through unincorporated locales (i.e. Gilchrist and Chemult, which, legally, aren't cities), where ODOT has installed the "Speed Limit" signs.  (There have been some newer installations where they've still used "Speed" signs--probably leftovers they had laying around.)

The original Oregon wording way back when was "Speed XX Miles", but "Miles" was later dropped off.  The technical/complicated legal reasoning behind omitting the word "limit" had to do with Oregon's Basic Rule law, but in actual practice, most of the support for it was because of the fact that it made the most pertinent information on the sign--the numbers--much more visible.  If you know how to interpret Oregon's "Speed" signs, the standard MUTCD "Speed Limit" sign is actually less readable, as its numbers are half the size (or less) than those on the Oregon design.  The extra "Limit" verbiage takes up a lot of real estate on the sign, and not even the bolder font on the numbers really compensates for what is lost in readability.
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portlandexpos04

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Re: Gov. Brown signs Oregon speed limit increase bill
« Reply #26 on: July 30, 2015, 01:18:08 PM »

It would be nice if the freeways west of the Cascades are addressed during the next legislative session.  Disappointed that the final version of the bill spelled out specific routes only in Eastern Oregon, whereas, the original draft did not seem to call out specific routes, rather, seemed to legislate state-wide increases.

IMO, the next series of increases should be:
*- truck speed shown in (XX)

"Rural" areas:
1.) I-5 from I-205 south to Salem: 65 (55) to 70 (65)
2.) I-5 from Salem to Eugene: 65 (55) to 70 (65)
3.) I-5 in Southern Oregon all areas currently posted 65 (55) to 70 (65)
4.) US 26 from Cornelius pass Rd to OR-6: 55 to 65 (60)
5.) I-84 (Gorge): 65 (55) to 70 (65)

Portland metro area:
1.) I-5 from Washington State border to Fremont Bridge: 55 to 60
2.) I-205 all areas currently posted 55 to 65 (60)
3.) I-84 from I-5 to I-205: 55 to 60
4.) US 26 from I-405 to Sylvan: 50 to 55
5.) US 26 from Cornelius Pass Rd to Sylvan: 55 mph to 65 (60)
6.) I-84 east of I-205: all areas currently posted 60 (55) to 65 (60)
7.) I-5 curves to I-205: 55 to 65 (60)
8.) OR-217: 55 to 60


« Last Edit: July 30, 2015, 01:23:19 PM by portlandexpos04 »
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Sub-Urbanite

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Re: Gov. Brown signs Oregon speed limit increase bill
« Reply #27 on: July 31, 2015, 01:35:06 PM »

It would be nice if the freeways west of the Cascades are addressed during the next legislative session.  Disappointed that the final version of the bill spelled out specific routes only in Eastern Oregon, whereas, the original draft did not seem to call out specific routes, rather, seemed to legislate state-wide increases.

It's a start, but as a Nevada transplant to Portland (and also a Democrat) it was interesting to talk to politically-minded friends (who are lifelong Portlanders) and hear them basically shrug, if not straight up oppose, higher speed limits. Just like a sales tax and self-serve fuel, I think higher speed limits just aren't in Oregon's DNA.

The thing about Oregon is the speed limits are so lightly enforced anyway… I've driven the length of I-84 in Oregon a dozen times and I've probably seen OSP patrols on half those trips.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2015, 12:35:08 PM by NickCPDX »
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portlandexpos04

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Re: Gov. Brown signs Oregon speed limit increase bill
« Reply #28 on: August 02, 2015, 05:04:04 AM »

It's a start, but as a Nevada transplant to Portland (and also a Democrat) it was interesting to talk to politically-minded friends (who are lifelong Portlanders) and hear them basically shrug, if not straight up oppose, higher speed limits. Just like a sales tax and self-serve fuel, I think higher speed limits just aren't in Oregon's DNA.

The thing about Oregon is the speed limits are so lightly enforced anyway… I've driven the length of I-84 in Oregon a dozen times and I've probably seen OSP patrols on half those trips.


I moved to California about 10 years ago, but before then it seemed like speed limits on Portland metro freeways, especially the Sunset (US 26), were heavily enforced by Portland PD, Beaverton PD and Washington Co. Sheriffs.  I also remembered Portland PD regularly enforcing I-205.  Maybe things have changed.  You're right about OSP, though, even back then I rarely saw OSP patrols in rural areas and pretty much never in the Portland metro.

It seems that OSP pretty much leaves the speed enforcement on Portland metro area freeways to local agencies.  This in contrast to neighboring states where the state patrol or highway patrol does all the speed enforcement state-wide on highways/freeways.  At least in the Bay Area, you NEVER see a local agency enforcing speed limits on interstates... its all CHP.

My guess is that it might have something to do with OSP being a "state police" agency as opposed to a "patrol" agency and therefore having responsibilities other than enforcing the vehicle code, as well as budget constraints and OSP funding.




« Last Edit: August 02, 2015, 05:15:04 AM by portlandexpos04 »
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Bickendan

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Re: Gov. Brown signs Oregon speed limit increase bill
« Reply #29 on: August 02, 2015, 05:57:21 PM »

OSP trolls I-205 on a regular basis.
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doorknob60

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Re: Gov. Brown signs Oregon speed limit increase bill
« Reply #30 on: August 03, 2015, 02:07:47 PM »

OSP trolls I-205 on a regular basis.

Why the fuck is I-205 still 55? It should easily be 65. And after I-5 and I-84 got raised to 60 through Salem, Eugene and Gresham, I don't see why 205 couldn't get the bump to 60 as well.

Bickendan

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Re: Gov. Brown signs Oregon speed limit increase bill
« Reply #31 on: August 03, 2015, 04:57:23 PM »

OSP trolls I-205 on a regular basis.

Why the fuck is I-205 still 55? It should easily be 65. And after I-5 and I-84 got raised to 60 through Salem, Eugene and Gresham, I don't see why 205 couldn't get the bump to 60 as well.
Because Reasons.
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doorknob60

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Re: Gov. Brown signs Oregon speed limit increase bill
« Reply #32 on: August 14, 2015, 06:39:01 PM »

Interesting article about how this bill affects the Basic Speed Rule. http://www.bendbulletin.com/localstate/3414770-151/oregon-speed-limit-hike-not-so-basic-change

I always thought I understood how the Basic Speed Rule worked in the past (eg. the 55 is still a maximum limit, but conditions may require going slower), but article makes me question my understanding of it. I'm mildly confused. Does this mean the basic rule no longer applies at all on roads with "Speed Limit" signs? That doesn't make sense. If anything, raising speed limits to 65 makes the basic rule even more necessary.

For example, US-20. In the day, I feel comfortable going 70-75. At night, I feel comfortable at 65. During icy or otherwise inclement conditions I may only feel comfortable at 55 MPH. With the SPEED 55 signs, the basic rule never really was relevant unless it was bad enough that I needed to go below 55. With the limit at 65, bad conditions are more likely to require slowing below the limit to remain safe. Hopefully that makes sense.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2015, 06:42:46 PM by doorknob60 »
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roadfro

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Re: Gov. Brown signs Oregon speed limit increase bill
« Reply #33 on: August 14, 2015, 09:48:55 PM »

^ Thanks for posting that article. Interesting interpretation of basic rule and why the signs say "speed" as opposed to "speed limit".

The explanation doesn't jive well with me, But maybe I am used to Nevada's law:
Quote
      NRS 484B.600  Basic rule; additional penalties for violation committed in work zone or if driver is proximate cause of collision with pedestrian or person riding bicycle.
      1.  It is unlawful for any person to drive or operate a vehicle of any kind or character at:
      (a) A rate of speed greater than is reasonable or proper, having due regard for the traffic, surface and width of the highway, the weather and other highway conditions.
      (b) Such a rate of speed as to endanger the life, limb or property of any person.
      (c) A rate of speed greater than that posted by a public authority for the particular portion of highway being traversed.
      (d) In any event, a rate of speed greater than 75 miles per hour.
(Note that the "75" will turn into "80" soon, with passage of the recent speed limit bill at the legislature that was signed by Governor Sandoval.)

Seems like Oregon could craft a similar basic speed rule that would not be so easily misinterpreted...
« Last Edit: August 14, 2015, 09:51:06 PM by roadfro »
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Mr. Matté

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Re: Gov. Brown signs Oregon speed limit increase bill
« Reply #34 on: August 15, 2015, 06:10:47 PM »

I had forgotten that Oregon now has a Governor Brown. I first saw the title and wondered how Jerry affected Oregon's speed limits.
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doorknob60

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Re: Gov. Brown signs Oregon speed limit increase bill
« Reply #35 on: September 04, 2015, 02:17:46 PM »

ODOT Adjusting passing zones for the increased speed limits.

AlexandriaVA

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Re: Gov. Brown signs Oregon speed limit increase bill
« Reply #36 on: September 06, 2015, 04:12:12 PM »


70 MPH on US 95 is going to economically cripple Jordan Valley though...

How so? (I don't know the area).
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nexus73

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Re: Gov. Brown signs Oregon speed limit increase bill
« Reply #37 on: September 07, 2015, 12:29:21 AM »


70 MPH on US 95 is going to economically cripple Jordan Valley though...

How so? (I don't know the area).

Tickets won't be as frequently given out.  Jordan Valley is a wide spot in the road where cops like to sit and catch the zoom-zooms.

Rick
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doorknob60

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Re: Gov. Brown signs Oregon speed limit increase bill
« Reply #38 on: September 08, 2015, 02:56:47 AM »


70 MPH on US 95 is going to economically cripple Jordan Valley though...

How so? (I don't know the area).

Tickets won't be as frequently given out.  Jordan Valley is a wide spot in the road where cops like to sit and catch the zoom-zooms.

Rick

They'll focus on where it drops to 35 (or whatever) through town then (which is probably where they focus anyways; if not, that's where they should be and not out in the open stretches).

vdeane

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Re: Gov. Brown signs Oregon speed limit increase bill
« Reply #39 on: September 09, 2015, 01:22:25 PM »

I imagine they're currently focusing on the 55 zones because they can get more money that way.  Speed enforcement is almost never about safety, no matter what the government says.
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Duke87

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Re: Gov. Brown signs Oregon speed limit increase bill
« Reply #40 on: September 18, 2015, 10:24:35 PM »

ODOT Adjusting passing zones for the increased speed limits.

Okay if they were painting them based on the speed limit rather than the 85th percentile speed (which shouldn't change too much as a result of this), that's bad.
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doorknob60

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Re: Gov. Brown signs Oregon speed limit increase bill
« Reply #41 on: September 21, 2015, 03:26:52 AM »

ODOT Adjusting passing zones for the increased speed limits.

Okay if they were painting them based on the speed limit rather than the 85th percentile speed (which shouldn't change too much as a result of this), that's bad.

I don't disagree. Which might further make the roads safer after the limits get increased. I hope this has positive results in accident rates, and ODOT and/or the legislature can be convinced to expand this to other parts of the state based on that.

doorknob60

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Re: Gov. Brown signs Oregon speed limit increase bill
« Reply #42 on: January 12, 2016, 09:25:14 PM »

I found this map of the new speed zones on the ODOT website (PDF): https://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/COMM/Documents/Speed%20Increase%20Map.pdf

It highlighted some holes I didn't think of before. The obvious one I mentioned a while back is US-97 north of the 197 split, but US-97 between Klamath Falls and the California border also has missed the mark. That is ridiculous, I hope that doesn't become a speed trap (because it's 65 in CA and 65 north of K Falls). I'd also like to see this applied to some sections of cross-cascades highways like US-20, OR-126, OR-58, and most of all US-26. Not all sections of the highways, but good chunks of them.

At this point, "hard-coding" in speed limits into legislation is not the way to handle the rest of these highways, it's too complicated an issue for that. The law should be changed so speeds up to 70 are allowed to be posted on any highway at the discretion of ODOT (and then we hope they actually do it). Maybe setting the "default" limits to 65 on 2 laners and 70 on interstates (changed from the current defaults of 55 and 65) would do the trick, and then ODOT could lower them in sections as necessary from there.

Also, I find it both funny and sad that trucks can drive faster on US-97 than they can on I-5. The truck limit should be raised to 60 (or abolished) statewide.

Sub-Urbanite

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Re: Gov. Brown signs Oregon speed limit increase bill
« Reply #43 on: January 13, 2016, 02:18:41 PM »


At this point, "hard-coding" in speed limits into legislation is not the way to handle the rest of these highways, it's too complicated an issue for that. The law should be changed so speeds up to 70 are allowed to be posted on any highway at the discretion of ODOT (and then we hope they actually do it). Maybe setting the "default" limits to 65 on 2 laners and 70 on interstates (changed from the current defaults of 55 and 65) would do the trick, and then ODOT could lower them in sections as necessary from there.

I *think* the law did give ODOT the discretion, but they never exercised it, thus the legislative directive. Not positive though.

It highlighted some holes I didn't think of before. The obvious one I mentioned a while back is US-97 north of the 197 split, but US-97 between Klamath Falls and the California border also has missed the mark. That is ridiculous, I hope that doesn't become a speed trap (because it's 65 in CA and 65 north of K Falls). I'd also like to see this applied to some sections of cross-cascades highways like US-20, OR-126, OR-58, and most of all US-26. Not all sections of the highways, but good chunks of them.

When *can't* you drive 65 on the Santiam Pass feeders? I've seldom seen a cop out there and never had a problem going 65-70. It's always seemed to me that Oregon's 55 speed limits are understood by all to be a little flexible; I worry that by adding in specific 65-70 zones, we're going to lose some of the wiggle room we've had in the past.

As for US 26, you could make the speed limit 80 but until you make it 4 lanes from Redmond to Sandy, you're still going to be mostly going 55 because of all the traffic and limited passing opportunities.
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Ace10

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Re: Gov. Brown signs Oregon speed limit increase bill
« Reply #44 on: January 13, 2016, 02:46:04 PM »


At this point, "hard-coding" in speed limits into legislation is not the way to handle the rest of these highways, it's too complicated an issue for that. The law should be changed so speeds up to 70 are allowed to be posted on any highway at the discretion of ODOT (and then we hope they actually do it). Maybe setting the "default" limits to 65 on 2 laners and 70 on interstates (changed from the current defaults of 55 and 65) would do the trick, and then ODOT could lower them in sections as necessary from there.

I *think* the law did give ODOT the discretion, but they never exercised it, thus the legislative directive. Not positive though.

The relevant law (ORS 810.180) did give ODOT discretion to post (up to) 70 MPH, but only on interstate highways.

Quote
ORS 810.180

(3) The Department of Transportation may establish by rule designated speeds on any specified section of interstate highway [...]

(a) The department may not establish a designated speed under this subsection of more than:

(B) Seventy miles per hour for all other vehicles.

(4) (a) The department may establish, pursuant to a process established by rule, a designated speed on a state highway outside of a city. A designated speed established under this subsection [...] may not exceed 55 miles per hour.

I remember pulling up the bill that was voted on and passed, but since I don't have it on me now, I wonder if the maximum limit under (4) above has been raised to 70 (since US 95 will now be posted at 70 and lots of other mileage is going from a 55 limit to 65) or if the new limits are "hard-coded" overriding the 55 maximum but otherwise keeping the 55 maximum in place for roads not part of the increase.

Cannot wait for the day ODOT raises the limit of US 26 west of Portland to something higher than 55 - at least on the freeway portion. I understand when it's congested, but otherwise when there is light traffic, it can easily handle 70+. Raising the limit and then posting advisory speed signs (like what was done on I-5, I-405, and OR 217 in the area) might be a good idea, too.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2016, 02:51:20 PM by Ace10 »
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Sub-Urbanite

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Re: Gov. Brown signs Oregon speed limit increase bill
« Reply #45 on: January 13, 2016, 04:30:38 PM »

Cannot wait for the day ODOT raises the limit of US 26 west of Portland to something higher than 55 - at least on the freeway portion. I understand when it's congested, but otherwise when there is light traffic, it can easily handle 70+. Raising the limit and then posting advisory speed signs (like what was done on I-5, I-405, and OR 217 in the area) might be a good idea, too.

Good luck. Every time I've had a conversation with someone about this, I get a very flat "It's not an interstate highway, so why would you raise the speed limit?" Just an Oregon thing.
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Ace10

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Re: Gov. Brown signs Oregon speed limit increase bill
« Reply #46 on: January 13, 2016, 04:41:45 PM »

^ Right, it's more wishful thinking and I know it will probably be a ways off if it happens at all. However, I'd love to see a recent engineering study that takes vehicle speeds on the freeway portion of US 26 into account, just to see how fast people are actually driving.

Plus, Oregon has a few freeways that are off the Interstate system but seem to conform pretty well to Interstate standards. Portions of I-84 hit 60 and 65 mph limits not far from Portland, and even the windy Columbia River Gorge has a 65 mph limit. The logic behind why a six-laned, grade-separated freeway with shoulders is stuck at 55 mph, just because it lacks an interstate designation, while a curvier, narrower Interstate highway can have a 65 mph limit escapes me sometimes.
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Re: Gov. Brown signs Oregon speed limit increase bill
« Reply #47 on: January 13, 2016, 06:03:07 PM »

   I posted the suggestion below on this thread on July 28, 2015. Since that time I have shared it with several Oregon state Senators and Representatives and have received some positive feed back from a few. While this proposal falls short of the wishes of many, I sincerely believe that with some encouragement, the Oregon House and Senate could be persuaded to pass this interim measure (that is better than nothing at all) during the 2017 legislative session, if not the impending short 2016 session that I was originally trying for. I would like to encourage anyone who reads this to pass it on to as many Oregon state law makers as they may feel that they have time to contact and encourage them to support this modest and reasonable proposal. Thank you.

   Original post, 07.28.2015: I would like to suggest that the 2016 Oregon Legislature take up a modest companion bill to 3402 that adds modest increases to just a few routes that were overlooked by HB 3402. These would be as follows:

   Interstate 5 from the McKenzie River Bridge to the Junction with U.S. 20 and from the Junction of Salem Parkway/Chemawa Road Exit 260 to the French Prairie (formerly Baldock) Rest Area: Autos 70 m.p.h., Trucks 65 m.p.h.

   Interstate 5 from the Junction with Interstate 205 to the Junction with Oregon 217: All Vehicles 60 m.p.h.

   Interstate 5 from the Junction of Oregon 99 at Ashland Exit 11 to Hugo Exit 66 (excluding the existing 55 m.p.h. zone through Medford) and from the Junction of Oregon 99 at Exit 162 to the McKenzie River Bridge and from the Junction with U.S. 20 to the Junction with Salem Parkway: Trucks 60 m.p.h. (This would reduce the "split" by 5 m.p.h. from Ashland to Hugo and from Albany to Salem and eliminate it entirely through Eugene and Salem.)

   Interstate 82 (excluding the Columbia River Bridge East Bound): Autos 70 m.p.h., Trucks 65 m.p.h.

   Interstate 84 from Mile Marker 219 to Deadman Pass Exit 228 and from Mile Marker 332 to Rye Valley Exit 340: Autos 65 m.p.h., Trucks 55 m.p.h. (Reduced from Autos 70, Trucks 65 as in HB 3402.) (Amendment to original post): Reasoning for this is based upon numerous sharp curves and, in the case of the "Cabbage Hill" section, long, steep grades, that I feel are not appropriate for the increases authorized by H.B. 3402.

   Interstate 205 from 10th Street to the Washington State Boarder: All Vehicles 60 m.p.h.

   Interstate 205 from the Junction with Interstate 5 to 10th Street: Trucks 60 m.p.h.

   U.S. 26 from the Junction with Oregon 6 to Cedar Hills Boulevard: All Vehicles 60 m.p.h.

   U.S. 26 from the Junction of Oregon 216 to Madras: Autos 65 m.p.h., Trucks 60 m.p.h.

   (Amendment to original post): U.S. 26 from Madras to Prineville

   U.S. 97 from the California State Boarder to Klamath Falls and from Madras to Biggs: Autos 65 m.p.h., Trucks 60 m.p.h.

   Oregon 11 from Pendleton to Milton-Freewater: Autos 65 m.p.h., Trucks 60 m.p.h.

   Oregon 22 from Lancaster Drive to the Stayton/Sublimity Exit 13: All Vehicles 60 m.p.h.

   As a side note, while I believe that "Split" Speed Limits for trucks should be limited to certain mountain and canyon freeways and expressways where autos can safely navigate curves and grades at higher speeds than trucks AND there are ample lanes for safe overtaking, I have retained most of them here to be consistent with otherwise existing Oregon laws and practices. I did specifically eliminate the split on three 60 m.p.h. segments of I-5, two existing and one proposed herein and one proposed 60 m.p.h. segment each of I-205, U.S. 26 and Oregon 22 as a way of easing Oregon into the concept of eventually eliminating most split speeds. I am specifically in favor of retaining them on mountainous stretches of I-5 and I-84.
 
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jakeroot

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Re: Gov. Brown signs Oregon speed limit increase bill
« Reply #48 on: January 13, 2016, 06:04:06 PM »

The logic behind why a six-laned, grade-separated freeway with shoulders is stuck at 55 mph, just because it lacks an interstate designation, while a curvier, narrower Interstate highway can have a 65 mph limit escapes me sometimes.

Reminds me of Washington a little bit. As far as I know, there are no sub-60 mph limits on any interstate freeway. Even the largely expressway-feeling I-705 in Tacoma is posted at 60 (and its one of the few interstates where some people feel like it's over-posted -- I completely disagree but that's not my point here). The only freeways that are sub-60 that I know of (which is exceptionally rare) are WA-410 for its short freeway stretch, a bit of WA-16 where it meets the 5, the West Seattle Bridge, and the Alaskan Way Viaduct (which I assume will be 60 once the tunnel is finished).
« Last Edit: January 13, 2016, 06:30:41 PM by jakeroot »
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Re: Gov. Brown signs Oregon speed limit increase bill
« Reply #49 on: January 13, 2016, 06:18:20 PM »

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That's really great and I hope that gets some traction! Barring the legislature taking it up, I guess the only way to get those limits increased would be to do a ballot initiative, but I wonder how successful that would be (a) getting signatures, and (b) having more people vote for it than against it.

I find it odd how western Oregon was totally left out of HB 3402. I halfway wonder if the legislature wants to "see" what the effects of raising the limits are in the eastern part of the state and, if they deem their experiment successful, would perhaps consider raising limits in other parts of the state.

The logic behind why a six-laned, grade-separated freeway with shoulders is stuck at 55 mph, just because it lacks an interstate designation, while a curvier, narrower Interstate highway can have a 65 mph limit escapes me sometimes.

Reminds me of Washington a little bit. As far as I know, there are no sub-60 mph limits on any interstate freeway. Even the largely expressway-feeling I-705 in Tacoma is posted at 60 (and its one of the few interstates where some people feel like it's over-posted -- I completely disagree but that's not my point here). The only freeways that are sub-60 (which is exceptionally rare) are WA-410 for its short freeway stretch, a bit of WA-16 where it meets the 5, the West Seattle Bridge, and the Alaskan Way Viaduct (which I assume will be 60 once the tunnel is finished).

I don't know if you'd consider WA 500 in Vancouver to technically be a freeway (it sort of is for a good stretch barring two at-grade intersections in the middle, which I believe WSDOT is planning to grade separate, that currently split the freeway in two) but it's posted at 55 currently. I'd bet after the intersections are grade separated, it would go to 60. After all, WA 14 in the same area is posted at 60 except for the westernmost bit before the I-5 interchange.
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