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  1. #1
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    How to request a lower speed limit for a road?

    Is there a formal procedure to follow to petition the city to lower the speed limit for a particular road? Do they even listen or are speed limits entirely determined by the local DOT ?

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    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
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    It probably depends on the specific locality, and specific road.

    For example, even where I live, the locality matters, but even within the locality, the municipality controls some roads, and the state controls others.

    I would start out by checking with your local police department, or attending a local city council meeting and asking.

    However, be prepared for resistance. Many people are more interested in getting the officials to raise the speed limit than lowering it.

  3. #3
    Senior Member wheel's Avatar
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    Motorists will comment on how the speed is safe. (for them)
    Speed cameras are being attacked and they target drivers going 11 mph over the speed limit.

  4. #4
    Genius FlatMaster's Avatar
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    I don't think a posted speed limit has much effect on a motorist's behavior on non-interstate roads.
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  5. #5
    Fred on Foot dwilbur3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlatMaster View Post
    I don't think a posted speed limit has much effect on a motorist's behavior on non-interstate roads.
    I'd like to know how to get them to enforce the limits that are posted! One little stretch of road I have to ride on has a 40 mph limit but people drive 50 or 60 all the time (even the cops).

  6. #6
    Punk Rock Lives Roughstuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlatMaster View Post
    I don't think a posted speed limit has much effect on a motorist's behavior on non-interstate roads.

    Look folks...if ya wanna slow traffic down start with numero UNO. The people behind you can't go any faster than you unless they pass you, and if they do, so much the better.

    I NEVER hear anyone suggest or comment on this idea...and I think I know the reason. You don't obey the speed limit yourselves, and you wanna say 'lets you and him slow down!.'

    roughstuff
    Last edited by Roughstuff; 03-26-09 at 09:51 AM.
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  7. #7
    Punk Rock Lives Roughstuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwilbur3 View Post
    .....people drive 50 or 60 all the time (even the cops).

    .....and even the cyclists when they are behind the wheel?

    roughstuff
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roughstuff View Post
    Look folks...if ya wanna slow traffic down start with numero UNO. The people behind you can't go any faster than you unless they pass you, and if they do, so much the better.

    I NEVER hear anyone suggest or comment on this idea...and I think I know the reason. You don't obey the speed limit yourselves, and you wanna say 'lets you and him slow down!.'

    roughstuff
    Agree, there is one road I used to drive on all the time, and if you actually drove at the posted speed, within a mile you'd have a couple hundred cars lined up bumper to bumper behind you. But everyone who drove that road or lived on it, complained about the 'speeders'.

    I'm actually a 'slow' driver, my explorer gets best mileage at 65 on the highway (25mpg instead of 20-21 at 70+. Not great either way, but I'm normally hauling up to 100lbs of tools etc, or towing a material trailer) So, I cruise at 65 and enjoy the drive. Most drivers here cruise at 80+ on the highway, so you could say I'm an obstruction to traffic. (much better than my old Willys that had a top speed of 50, downhill with a tail wind!)
    In town I cruise at the limit, or just under, most lights are set up so it's the best speed to travel. I often play 'pass back' with faster drivers going cross town, I pass them at the lights, they pass me halfway to the next one then sit and wait for it while I roll up as it's changing to green.

    Ken.

  9. #9
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Roughstuff, kendall, genec, me, etc. I think there are a number of 'us' that drive the PSL or less.

    It made motoring more enjoyable for me.

  10. #10
    Punk Rock Lives Roughstuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kendall View Post
    Agree, there is one road I used to drive on all the time, and if you actually drove at the posted speed, within a mile you'd have a couple hundred cars lined up bumper to bumper behind you. ......Ken.


    With me it wouldn't be a couple of hundred cars...but it would be folks commuting in from the hilltowns to work in the nearby burbs and city. I am in the left lane of the two lane road, which really can get them upset, since I generally go the limit, and they think the left lane is for "passing and pissin' " if ya know what i mean. Sometimes they go over in the right lane to pass angrily, hit the potholes, and know why I am in the left lane.

    Its largely residential...you know, the old state roads (rt 20 in this case)...with older big houses of the day, and alot of side residential streets with smaller ranches and stuff. I see kids on the sidewalks and side street all the time, so my attitude is the need for a speed limit is compelling.

    roughstuff
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  11. #11
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    I would start with your local politician, letting her/him know or sending emails to whoever 'owns' the road would get the ball rolling. Here in Ontario(CA)that is the best way to get the message to traffic staff. Staff should then at least investigate the speeding issue. It's alway good to get more than one person to complain (might be tough to do).

  12. #12
    Fred on Foot dwilbur3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roughstuff View Post
    .....and even the cyclists when they are behind the wheel?

    roughstuff
    Speak for yourself. I don't drive that fast, especially in residential areas.

  13. #13
    Randomhead
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    I have started driving more slowly. The main consequence of my commuting is that I am careful to avoid "shortcuts" that only make sense if you speed on them. And I've been thinking more about how the city could keep other motorists off of these roads. They have done this with one older neighborhood in town, they should probably extend the effort to other neighborhoods.

  14. #14
    Surf Bum
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roughstuff View Post
    I am in the left lane of the two lane road, which really can get them upset, since I generally go the limit, and they think the left lane is for "passing and pissin' " if ya know what i mean. Sometimes they go over in the right lane to pass angrily, hit the potholes, and know why I am in the left lane.
    I don't know about your state, but in my state, the left lane is indeed for passing only. Slower traffic must move right and one is only allowed in the left lane while passing the cars to their right. People like you create traffic jams and road rage and all sorts of nasty stuff. My rule is this: if you don't want to go as fast as the car behind you, then move over to the right and let them pass you. And when pulling into the left lane to pass a slower car in front of you in your lane, you must accelerate not just to a speed fast enough to pass the car infront of you, but to a speed that will match or exceed that of the other cars behind you in the left lane.

    In short: the best thing for everyone is to drive in such a manner that another driver never needs to use their brakes to avoid us.

    Sometimes this is impossible on a bicycle of course. But in car on a multilane highway/road, I believe it to be the best practice.

  15. #15
    uke
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    I agree about sticking to the right lane (especially on the interstate) if you aren't passing or speeding. When I drive on the highway, I keep between 55 and 60. Cars fly past me in the left lane (trucks too). If I were in the left lane, I'd be even more in the way.

    JesseDuncan:I just love how "cars will be forced to cross the double yellow lines on dangerous limited visibility roads".

    I don't want to have a head on but oh god, I HAVE to fling myself into oncoming traffic to pass, theres no alternative!!!

  16. #16
    drive-by poster fetad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pacificaslim View Post
    I don't know about your state, but in my state, the left lane is indeed for passing only. Slower traffic must move right and one is only allowed in the left lane while passing the cars to their right. People like you create traffic jams and road rage and all sorts of nasty stuff. My rule is this: if you don't want to go as fast as the car behind you, then move over to the right and let them pass you. And when pulling into the left lane to pass a slower car in front of you in your lane, you must accelerate not just to a speed fast enough to pass the car infront of you, but to a speed that will match or exceed that of the other cars behind you in the left lane.

    In short: the best thing for everyone is to drive in such a manner that another driver never needs to use their brakes to avoid us.

    Sometimes this is impossible on a bicycle of course. But in car on a multilane highway/road, I believe it to be the best practice.
    You are referring to interstate driving etiquette and roughstuff is talking about driving in a "largely residential" area. If you are discussing surface city streets then you're probably way off track regarding any "left lane for passing only" law on the books. People in California have to make left-hand turns don't they?
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  17. #17
    Surf Bum
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    Nah, we're already on the left so no turns needed! And FWIW, our residential areas rarely have four lane roads!

  18. #18
    Punk Rock Lives Roughstuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pacificaslim View Post
    I don't know about your state, but in my state, the left lane is indeed for passing only. Slower traffic must move right and one is only allowed in the left lane while passing the cars to their right. People like you create traffic jams and road rage and all sorts of nasty stuff. My rule is this: if you don't want to go as fast as the car behind you, ......
    .
    I usually do if I can. In this case the left lane is not REALLY a passing lane; it is just a two lane road on each side, and folks get in one lane or the other based upon (in many cases) their final turn when the road hits a 'T' when ya finally hit town.

    But if I am already going the speed limit and thats not good enough, go F**K yourself and if ya wanna burn your gut out with road rage, be my guest. People do honk at me...sometimes i wave back with a nice smile; sometimes I ignore them, sometimes I stick a finger in my nostril; it depends on my mood as well as yours.

    I used to have a bumpersticker that said "I am not driving slowly...you are speeding." But i felt it qwas roo confrontational and as I said, I will move over for cars if I see it is safe and perhaps necessary to do so.

    This applies to city streets, not interstates. Can't remember the last time I passed anyone on an interstate...

    roughstuff
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  19. #19
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    In AZ:
    "B. On all roadways, a person driving a vehicle proceeding at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing shall drive the vehicle in the right-hand lane then available for traffic or as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway, except when overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction or when preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway."

  20. #20
    Surf Bum
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    That's what roughstuff doesn't understand: the law doesn't mention "less than the speed limit," is says less than the normal speed of traffic. That means that if people behind him want to go faster, even if he doesn't feel the need to get out of their way out of basic human courtesy like the rest of us would, he is nonetheless legally required to get out of their way. (at least in our states, but i suspect his as well).

  21. #21
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    I think Roughstuff understands safe and courteous driving. If the left lane is safer, more practical, etc. there is no reason not to use it if one is traveling at a reasonable speed. The alternative if traveling at about the PSL is to be endlessly merging between the inside and outside lane to accommodate left/right turns, slower vehicles, busses, etc.

  22. #22
    Punk Rock Lives Roughstuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pacificaslim View Post
    That's what roughstuff doesn't understand: the law doesn't mention "less than the speed limit," is says less than the normal speed of traffic. That means that if people behind him want to go faster, even if he doesn't feel the need to get out of their way out of basic human courtesy like the rest of us would, he is nonetheless legally required to get out of their way. (at least in our states, but i suspect his as well).

    Hmmm..interesting point. I do know no one would ever criticize someone for briefly going over the limit so that they can pass a slower car in the right lane. I think this falls FAR SHORT of going over the speed limit consistently, persistently, insistently, promiscuously, perniciously, and all that just so someone can get their jollies. And when the radar *** comes, if I am in front of you, guess who gets nabbed?

    As I said...on a highway i stay in the right lane. On a residential local main arterial, if I am in the left lane for some business of my own and that steams your sack, thats too bad.

    roughstuff
    Last edited by Roughstuff; 03-27-09 at 11:28 AM.
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  23. #23
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    Maintaining a generous following distance and driving near, instead of significantly above, the speed limit definitely makes for a more relaxing trip. You no longer have to watch for cops or spend money on a radar detector.

    The problem in California is the 85th percentile speed law, which essentially keys the enforceable speed limit to the fastest driver out of every 6. In San Diego County we have a number of non-freeway streets posted at 55mph, 60mph, even 65mph. We cannot make neighborhood electric vehicles practical or local streets bicyclist and pedestrian friendly until we can get this anti speed trap law overturned.
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