A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Time to adjust the speed limit

Written February 20th, 2013 by
On Interstate 5 south of Albany. (Taking a snapshot is not yet as unlawful as using a cell phone while driving, is it?)

On Interstate 5 south of Albany. (Taking a snapshot is not yet as unlawful as using a cell phone while driving, is it?)

Several years ago the legislature authorized ODOT to raise the speed limit on interstate highways to 70 miles an hour if the agency determined the higher speed would be safe enough. Perhaps unsurprisingly, ODOT found that no, 70 mph would not be safe anywhere on I-5, even on the 30 miles or so that run straight as a ruler between Albany and Eugene.

Amazingly, 70 mph is a perfectly safe speed limit on I-5 all through California. Is it just that California motorists are better drivers than Oregonians? Probably not. In any case, it might be time to remind the Oregon Transportation Commission of its authority to raise the speed limit on the freeway just a bit.

Actually, most of the time, freeway traffic moves along at about 70 anyway, even with Oregon’s lower limit, and the State Police don’t seem to mind. So, another kind of change in the speed regulations might be even more helpful. That would be to equalize the limit for cars and trucks.

Trucks now are supposed to go 55, and when they do, they cause occasional backups, especially when one sticks to the limit and causes other trucks to pass it at 60.

If all vehicles could legally travel at roughly the same speed, traffic would flow more smoothly. Also, the potential for accidents would be lower because there would be less changing of lanes. And above all, the capacity of the freeway, especially the two-lane stretch from Salem to Albany and Eugene, would be greatly enhanced. (hh)

From LaMont Matthews: Good ideas. Actually a lot of California is 75 mph.
The one piece I disagree with is increasing truck limits to the same as cars. That is the case in Arizona and I have found it makes it more difficult to drive strategically and plan the passes. Plus it can be scary to have an 18-wheeler bearing down on you at 75.

Posted in: Uncategorized

Comments are closed.


HH Today: A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley
Albany Albany Carousel Albany City Council Albany council Albany downtown Albany Fire Department Albany housing Albany parks Albany Planning Commission Albany police Albany Post Office Albany Public Works Albany riverfront Albany Station Albany streets Albany traffic Albany urban renewal Andy Olson Benton County Benton County parks bicycling bike lanes Bowman Park Bryant Park Calapooia River CARA City of Albany climate change coronavirus COVID-19 Cox Creek path Crocker Lane cumberland church cycling Dave Clark Path DEQ downtown Albany Edgewater Village global warming gun control Highway 20 Interstate 5 Kitzhaber Linn County marijuana medical marijuana Millersburg North Albany Road Obama ODOT Oregon coast Oregon legislature Oregon passenger rail Pacific Power Portland & Western Republic Services Riverside Drive Santiam Canal Talking Water Gardens The Banks Tom Cordier Union Pacific urban renewal Water Avenue Willamette River

Copyright 2020. All Rights Reserved. Hasso Hering.
Website Serviced by Santiam Communications
Hasso Hering