Street, Road and Highway Projects

Roads - Rails - Sidewalks - Bikeways
DanPatchToget
Foshay Tower
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Re: Street, Road and Highway Projects

Postby DanPatchToget » March 7th, 2021, 4:19 pm

https://www.startribune.com/speed-limit ... 600031541/

Just what we need, instead of people speeding at 60 now they're going to be speeding at 70. :roll: I've already seen this on Highway 100 since they raised the speed limit through Edina and St. Louis Park.

Trademark
Nicollet Mall
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Re: Street, Road and Highway Projects

Postby Trademark » March 7th, 2021, 4:50 pm

https://www.startribune.com/speed-limit ... 600031541/

Just what we need, instead of people speeding at 60 now they're going to be speeding at 70. :roll: I've already seen this on Highway 100 since they raised the speed limit through Edina and St. Louis Park.
The design speed will influence the speed that people travel. Just like 100, 394 is a no brainier to upgrade to 60. 62 not so much there are a lot of entrance and exit ramps that often don't have the greatest merging.

We should be looking to raise the speed limit on 94 inside the beltway. The majority of traffic already goes over 65. Create a culture where the posted speed limit is too far below design speed and it's no surprise why everyone speeds.

DanPatchToget
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Re: Street, Road and Highway Projects

Postby DanPatchToget » March 7th, 2021, 4:58 pm

You underestimate the amount of people who treat the speed limit as a suggestion and go 10+ over the limit.

Trademark
Nicollet Mall
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Re: Street, Road and Highway Projects

Postby Trademark » March 7th, 2021, 6:28 pm

You underestimate the amount of people who treat the speed limit as a suggestion and go 10+ over the limit.
That is true but the reason people treat it as a suggestion is due to our enforcement practices and the culture of lowering it we'll below safe design speeds. If we're serious about speed enforcement we need speed cameras. I'm not personally a fan of them but that's the solution. Keeping a speed limit artificially low only motivates people to normalize speeding.

DanPatchToget
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Re: Street, Road and Highway Projects

Postby DanPatchToget » March 7th, 2021, 6:47 pm

Just because a highway is designed for higher speeds doesn't mean we should raise the speed limit. The problem isn't lowering speed limits, that's the solution. The problem is our impatient culture where we need to get somewhere as quickly as possible even if it means compromising the safety of ourselves and those around us. Lights flashing at a railroad crossing? Check to see how far the train is and then floor it. Pedestrian wanting to cross a road? They can just wait for a break in traffic, stopping for them would add a minute to travel time. Speed limit is 60? Go 70 and just watch out for speed traps. Heaven forbid it takes slightly longer to get somewhere.

Trademark
Nicollet Mall
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Re: Street, Road and Highway Projects

Postby Trademark » March 7th, 2021, 8:01 pm

It's not culture to want to get somewhere fast if it's safe to do so, it's human nature. If the traffic studies and engineering says it's safe to increase speeds then we should do it. We know from traffic calming studies that if a road is built to a higher design speed people will drive faster. Many people don't stare at their speedometers and drive by feel.
If anything, when the majority of people are driving over the speed limit and others are driving the speed limit the road becomes more dangerous.

If we're talking about a culture of quickness should we not put bus lanes on hennepin and just ask transit users to embrace a culture of slowness.

I'm not saying Lake street should be 45 mph or anything like that. But the freeways are a different beast. Many of them can handle faster speeds. Like I said I don't think 62 should be 60 because of the design of the ramps, the fact that it is two lanes, and short intersection spacing. But we should make these decisions on a case by case basis on the qualities of each individual corridor instead of by ideology.

Anondson
IDS Center
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Re: Street, Road and Highway Projects

Postby Anondson » March 8th, 2021, 12:08 am

It feels practically a stealth endeavor compared to the amount of stride dredged up for lowering speed limits on state aid roads.

The state legislature should make reducing speed limits on roads as effortless as it is for raising.

tmart
Rice Park
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Re: Street, Road and Highway Projects

Postby tmart » March 8th, 2021, 9:14 am

Just because a highway is designed for higher speeds doesn't mean we should raise the speed limit. The problem isn't lowering speed limits, that's the solution. The problem is our impatient culture where we need to get somewhere as quickly as possible even if it means compromising the safety of ourselves and those around us. Lights flashing at a railroad crossing? Check to see how far the train is and then floor it. Pedestrian wanting to cross a road? They can just wait for a break in traffic, stopping for them would add a minute to travel time. Speed limit is 60? Go 70 and just watch out for speed traps. Heaven forbid it takes slightly longer to get somewhere.
I think in general it's bad to have badly mismatched speed limits and street/road designs. It creates variance in speeds between those following the posted limit and those using the road as designed, reduces trust in posted guidance, and makes traffic enforcement seem arbitrary.

I'm not advocating for higher speed limits necessarily (certainly not on urban streets), but I do think that if we want lower speeds on highways we need to demonstrate that through our infrastructure. Unfortunately for as much progress as we've made on road diets and traffic calming for local and county streets, at the state and federal levels the only levers that seem to work are the ones that make roads and intersections bigger, wider, and faster.

DanPatchToget
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Re: Street, Road and Highway Projects

Postby DanPatchToget » March 8th, 2021, 9:32 am

Well we clearly have different ideologies. Drivers thinking they can go at a certain speed and be safe doesn't mean it's actually safe. I prefer the speed limit on all highways in the region be 55 mph, and outside of that (e.g. on I-35 south of Lakeville) then they can jack up the speed limit to whatever they want.

amiller92
Wells Fargo Center
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Re: Street, Road and Highway Projects

Postby amiller92 » March 8th, 2021, 9:41 am


That is true but the reason people treat it as a suggestion is due to our enforcement practices and the culture of lowering it we'll below safe design speeds. If we're serious about speed enforcement we need speed cameras. I'm not personally a fan of them but that's the solution. Keeping a speed limit artificially low only motivates people to normalize speeding.
Speeding is normalized regardless of speed limit. Come on.

tmart
Rice Park
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Re: Street, Road and Highway Projects

Postby tmart » March 8th, 2021, 9:50 am

Well we clearly have different ideologies. Drivers thinking they can go at a certain speed and be safe doesn't mean it's actually safe. I prefer the speed limit on all highways in the region be 55 mph, and outside of that (e.g. on I-35 south of Lakeville) then they can jack up the speed limit to whatever they want.
I'm not saying "the safe speed is whatever speed drivers think is safe" but "changing the speed limit alone is not an effective tool for lowering speeds." It's the same reason why putting up "Twenty is Plenty" signs everywhere doesn't actually save any pedestrians unless it's also paired with narrower lanes, speed bumps, curb bumpouts, etc etc.

To paraphrase Don Norman, one of the great researchers in design and user interaction, there's no such thing as 'user error', only bad design. Or, more bluntly: when one person speeds they're probably a negligent idiot, but when 20% of the road users speed, that's an engineering failure.

By all means, 55 is a reasonable target for metro-area highways. (I'd even go lower for certain segments near the Downtowns.) But the highways we have today are not consistent with that target and the geometry would need to change.

uptownbro
Nicollet Mall
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Re: Street, Road and Highway Projects

Postby uptownbro » March 8th, 2021, 10:10 am

Unless you change the road or have far greater speed enforcement changing the "legal speed" doesnt do anything to change someone's driving. The limit is 45 mph around downtown st paul but how many people slow down to even close to that if there isnt traffic.

amiller92
Wells Fargo Center
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Re: Street, Road and Highway Projects

Postby amiller92 » March 8th, 2021, 10:23 am

Unless you change the road or have far greater speed enforcement changing the "legal speed" doesnt do anything to change someone's driving. The limit is 45 mph around downtown st paul but how many people slow down to even close to that if there isnt traffic.
Not that I do it very often, but I don't think I've ever driven through St. Paul on 35E without traffic slowing when the speed limit goes down.

Tcmetro
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Re: Street, Road and Highway Projects

Postby Tcmetro » March 8th, 2021, 10:37 am

Aren't freeways generally designed to be safe at speeds significantly in excess of the posted limit?

The most dangerous conditions are where traffic bottlenecks and goes from high-speed to low-speed in a short distance. 35W south was given variable speed limits back in 2009, but I am not sure how successful that program has been, or if MnDot has reviewed expansion of it.

Mdcastle
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Re: Street, Road and Highway Projects

Postby Mdcastle » March 8th, 2021, 1:30 pm

I wouldn't term it as "significantly in excess" in the era of higher speed limits. The example that pops into mind is most of the Wisconsin approach to St. Croix Crossing has a 65 mph posted speed and a 70 mph design speed.

The variable speed limits were advisory only and MnDOT dropped them when a study showed they were not effective. It didn't help that the limited data collection and processing capabilities meant that you might get a "recommended speed 45" sign when you were at a dead stop in congestion. A few years later the entire ILCS overhead sign system was scrapped when the company that made them went bankrupt and the signs started failing, and MnDOT couldn't get spares for love or money, much less covered warranty replacements.

Tcmetro
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Re: Street, Road and Highway Projects

Postby Tcmetro » March 8th, 2021, 2:05 pm

Shame that they didn't try to make them better. That was one of the key components of the UPA grant.

Mdcastle
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Re: Street, Road and Highway Projects

Postby Mdcastle » March 8th, 2021, 2:26 pm

At the same time there was a new FHWA requirement that the HOV / toll lanes be signed as "Express Lanes" and must indicate who is allowed to use the lanes at the current time. This essentially meant that electronic signs had to replace the fixed signs. MnDOT installed DMS signs about every other exit as a replacement for ILCS and to fulfill this new requirement.

Cat349F
Metrodome
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Re: Street, Road and Highway Projects

Postby Cat349F » March 8th, 2021, 3:36 pm

Cretin in St Paul was recently changed (94 to Ford Parkway) from 30 to 25 mph. When I roll thru at 5:45 am SB, it is now a 3-4 time a week occurrence of getting passed south of where it switches from 4 down to 2 lane. (Residential area)
Until enforcement changes, driving habits will not. It will only get worse.
From what I have seen, the lowered limits in the Twin Cities is a joke.
Unsustainable fossil burning fool.

bubzki2
US Bank Plaza
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Re: Street, Road and Highway Projects

Postby bubzki2 » March 8th, 2021, 4:29 pm

Access-controlled roads and urban grid streets are far too often lumped together as it relates to this discussion. They are totally different beasts.

Even 30 is too fast on city streets and in my opinion (and based on design speed) 55 is too slow for many freeways and it shows. Heck, have you even noticed where the speed traps are set up? The straight, fast, safe stretches by and large (see Pascal on 94).

As for the recent core city speed changes, I think the main benefit there is its implications for future street reconstruction and design speeds. Freeway speed limits with modern cars are kind of a joke and really hard to obey unless you set your cruise control. People rightly get bored when they are going 15+ below a road's design speed.

Trademark
Nicollet Mall
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Re: Street, Road and Highway Projects

Postby Trademark » March 8th, 2021, 5:44 pm

Access-controlled roads and urban grid streets are far too often lumped together as it relates to this discussion. They are totally different beasts.

Even 30 is too fast on city streets and in my opinion (and based on design speed) 55 is too slow for many freeways and it shows. Heck, have you even noticed where the speed traps are set up? The straight, fast, safe stretches by and large (see Pascal on 94).

As for the recent core city speed changes, I think the main benefit there is its implications for future street reconstruction and design speeds. Freeway speed limits with modern cars are kind of a joke and really hard to obey unless you set your cruise control. People rightly get bored when they are going 15+ below a road's design speed.
Exactly! This is why I say we should let the corridor determine what makes sense as a speed limit. When we start dealing in absolutes like saying all roads should be slow, or all freeways shouldn't exist, or everyone should take transit, or everyone should live in the city we lose many people to urbanism. This will increase resistance to doing what is important like lowering speed limits where it's needed and increasing transit and density.

Our goal should be to include people's lives while being safe and inline with climate goals. Stealing people's time by forcing them to go slower and having more people getting pulled over for speeding because they were driving what makes sense in an area doesn't make people's lives better.

There is an inherant risk to driving and on freeways since there are no pedestrians or bicycles everyone there participates in a social contract of inherant risk. Raising the speed limits on urban streets is different because it endangers the safety of people who did not choose to take the risk of driving. Therefore we need to improve safety for pedestrians and bicyclists.


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