Speed limit theory, but not in OR

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    I don’t like driving nearly 70mph to begin with. I’ll be that one vehicle everyone passes.


    If WA raises some freeway speeds to 75, it will be the first west coast state to do so, but hardly the first in the west. Idaho, Utah, Montana, Nevada, Colorado, Wyoming, Arizona, New Mexico all have a 75 limit in rural areas. And the facts show that these speeds have not increased fatalities. I still believe the most dangerous states are those who have low speed limits that promote different speeds among drivers, Oregon being one of them. Look at the stats. They don’t lie.
    Oregon is WAY behind the curve in this law, but refuse to do anything about it.

    However, from a revenue standpoint, OR probably is making more money as their tolerence level is much lower than most western states. Yes, you can go 70-74 in Oregon, but above 75 and you will be nailed!


    I won’t go above 70 anywhere. Time to take the train.


    I would like to see those revenue stats. Paul. Oregon barely funds the OSP, and large swaths of highways go un-patrolled, and they don’t patrol at night.


    Kids today are trending away from caring about driving or car ownership. Self driving cars are around the corner. Being online and connected matters more than owning or diving cars. Transportation matters and choices will change — massively in the next decade or two, to reflect this.

    Nothing personal, but the cries for increased speeds are akin to the Tea Party’s desire for return to the White dominance of the ’50s. You may make a few short term gains, but the war is already lost.


    I see the “war” as having been won because our Interstate highway system is better than what is available in many other countries. Even if the Millennial demographic isn’t interested, as a whole, in driving, I hope that they appreciate the value of highways to trucking and emergency vehicles.


    Skep, really? Equating raising speed limits to racism? That is a bit far-fetched IMO.

    My point, and only point of this thread is to report on a trend that has been happening throughout the west, higher speed limits. With Utah and Idaho now at 80, I thought it was interesting that WA State is now close to also raising their limits. What this has to do with your so-called white dominance I have no idea.


    I hit 120 mph the other day on a spontaneous burst of open and cop free driving. My car wants and can go faster. It’s built for speed and performance. I say open up the speed limits like Germany has. Those that want to drive fast can, and those that want to drive like it’s Sunday can hang out in the slow lane.

    In regards to Skep’s prediction of everybody but truckers giving up driving, that’s a pipe dream.

    A growing economy means more traffic. Anyone that commutes in Portland knows this to be true. I’ve had the same commute for 12 years. Traffic jams plummeted during the Bush recession, the reason being, nobody had anywhere to go to spend money.

    Fast forward to 2015. Portland traffic is as bad as it’s been in my 12 years of commuting. Why? A growing economy means people are travelling here and there to spend money and conduct business. Traffic and an improvement in the economy go hand in hand.

    Restricting the ability of people and commerce to travel where they need to be will destroy the US economy.


    “I hit 120 mph the other day on a spontaneous burst of open and cop free driving. My car wants and can go faster. It’s built for speed and performance. I say open up the speed limits like Germany has.”

    It’s not just about the car’s ability to go that fast. The roadway has to be engineered for those type of speeds. And I’m not just talking about straightness and road surface. The peak engineered roadway speed in America is about 70mph, and that’s where our speed limits should cap out at.


    Brian, on my last trip through Oregon I did indeed see some OR state police, atleast a couple of times. I don’t agree that the state is not enforced. Perhaps not enforced as many, but…

    As for cars that drive themselves…OK I understand the tech on this, but I’m not certain most humans are willing to go with this quite yet. Yes, the tech is there, but it takes a human acceptance, too. This may be the future, but I think we are still decades away.

    In the meantime, Oregon, IMO, should regulate themselves to their neighbors, for continuity. But Oregon has always been a state that likes to go their own way. So be it.


    Paul, not bigots, but primarily now middle-aged and older white guys pining for the open freeway hey days of the ’60s-’80s. When the interstate system was built, poor people, people of color, other minorities, and immigrants, got royally shafted, especially after the auto industry deliberately destroyed mass transit. In addition new jobs appeared in suburban areas where bus service from inner cities didn’t or poorly served these new areas shafting them further. White people benenfited the most.

    Vit, truckers already pay as they go — it’s called weight mile tax. Within your lifetime, pretty much everybody will be paying as they go in one form or another. The demo for a car-first society is dwindling. You’ll be outvoted somewhere along the line.

    Alfredo, don’t get me wrong. The interstate system is vital for commerce, military use and, yes personal vehicles. Unfortunately the masses took advantage of it to work in one location and live miles away somewhere else. They should have enacted a fee system and/or a limited access system. But white voters would never go for this in a widespread way.

    BTW, in OREGON trucks top out at 105,500 lbs, Washington 95,000 (last time I checked) and California, 80,000. Do you really want to see 105,500 lbs of rolling weight moving at 70 MPH? Indeed this may be why the speed limit hasn’t gone up in Oregon — trucks -> 55 MPH.

    Andy Brown

    “The peak engineered roadway speed in America is about 70mph, and that’s where our speed limits should cap out at.”

    Actually, that is not a peak, that is a minimum.

    Minimum design speed: In rural areas, a minimum design speed of 70 mph (115 km/h) should be used, with 50–60 mph (80–95 km/h) acceptable in rolling terrain, and as low as 50 mph (80 km/h) allowed in mountainous and urban areas.[1] Speed limits as low as 40 mph (65 km/h) are, however, occasionally encountered and generally assigned to pre-existing freeways that were grandfathered into the system.[citation needed]
    Sight distance, curvature and superelevation according to the current edition of AASHTO’s A Policy on Geometric Design of Highways and Streets for the design speed.[1]


    As a general consideration, the design speed of urban freeways should not be so high as to exceed the limits of prudent construction, right-of-way, and socioeconomic costs. However, this design speed should not be less than 80 km/h [50 mph]. Wherever this minimum design speed is used, it is important to have a properly posted speed limit, which is enforced during off-peak hours. On many urban freeways, particularly in developing areas, a design speed of 100 km/h [60 mph] or higher can be provided with little additional cost. In addition, the corridor of the main line may be relatively straight with the character of the roadway and location of interchanges permitting an even higher design speed. Under these conditions, a design speed of 110 km/h [70 mph] is desirable because higher design speeds are closely related to the overall quality and safety of a facility. For rural freeways, a design speed of 110 km/h [70 mph] should be used. In mountainous terrain, a design speed of 80 to 100 km/h [50 to 60 mph], which is consistent with driver expectancy, may be used.


    But that’s not all that significant to the current political movement to raise speed limits. One side of the equation is safety and the other is less clear, but perhaps it is that enforcement lacks the ability to keep a large majority of drivers from not exceeding the limits.

    In the bigger picture, the real issue is night time driving. It doesn’t take much velocity to overdrive your headlight system. Headlight systems, even high beams, only give you about 300 feet of visibility and that ignores the glare which reduces your vision accuracy at the maximum distance. Higher speed limits almost guarantee you would not be able to stop if a non moving non illuminated vehicle suddenly appeared ahead on the highway.



    That’s why I like my BMW. 60 – 0 in 3.1 seconds at 115 feet. The newer ones can stop in 100 feet. But even so, at night I never go much faster than 75. It’s just not safe since the distance for an average car would need to stop including reaction time is over 400 feet and that would put my car at about 300 feet, the limit of your high beams. These are all rough numbers, but you get the point.

    I believe there should be lower limits at night but state governments always resist that due to signage costs. I recall a long time ago driving somewhere along the I-95 corridor and they had special signs that showed different speed limits in the day and at night. As you came up on them and your beams moved past them, a quick glance in the shadows and moonlight revealed a higher speed for day driving. I don’t know what ever happened to that idea.


    WA gov Inslee vetoed part of the bill to increase speed limits in E. WA to 75. He wants more study. Which is probably the politically correct thing to do, but everyone knows it will probably pass eventually.

    Inslee represented E. WA for many years and he isn’t stupid.

    So the study will be done, and the limit will go up to 75 at some point.

    Why does Oregon continue to rely on the 65 limit? It is the lowest in the west, and one of the lowest in the country. The divergent speeds in Oregon, (yes, with little enforcement), can create accidents, IMO.


    Well, like I said, trucks are limited to 55 mph in Oregon, are longer and can haul more weight than in Washington.

    105,500 lbs behind you at 75 MPH looks like this:

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