Saturday, November 21, 2009

I-90 Speed Limit

For the first time in four months, yesterday I drove on I-90 west from Elgin. I was surprised to find that the speed limit is now posted as 55MPH well past Randall Road and wondered why.

The speed limit used to be 55MPH until about 1/2-mile west of Randall Road, and then it changed to 65MPH. Now the 55MPH speed zone has been extended to about Milepost 29 1/4, which is really stupid.

Drivers pass under the Open Road Tolling,, very posh, worker overpass (what in the world did that creation cost???) and take off. Three lanes westbound crush into two lanes, with the right two lanes being for the Randall Road exit.

Speeds of 65-75MPH westbound from the Elgin cashbox are not uncommon. Lane-weaving is not uncommon, as drivers jockey for position to either continue west toward Rockford or exit at Randall Road.

What possible reason could there be for extending the 55MPH speed limit for another mile westbound from Randall Road? Did traffic engineers have any conceivable reason to believe that drivers would obey the lonely 55MPH sign?

If engineers and the Illinois State Police expect drivers to obey unreasonable speed limits, they should first post the speed limit adequately. That means enough signs and on both sides of the westbound roadway; i.e., not only on the outside shoulder, but on the inside shoulder.

Further, these speed limit signs should be "flagged" with orange flags installed atop the signs to draw a driver's attention to the speed limit signs.

And then the Illinois State Police should spend enough time there to attract attention and force drivers to slow down until the new habit is established.

PhotoRadar would be invaluable there, because it will work 24/7, rain-or-shine, and doesn't rely on an officer to run down a violator. Just mail the tickets!

Of course, a better solution would be to raise the speed limit back to 65MPH (and then enforce it with PhotoRadar).

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