Advocates For 70 MPH Speed Limits Hope To Convince Tollway To Increase Posted Speeds At December Board Meeting
Motorists interested in weighing in on speed limits on Illinois Tollways will have one last chance to address the Tollway’s Board of Directors at a meeting Thursday morning.
Advocates of raising the speed limit on the tollway system are viewing the meeting as one last chance to convince the board to allow speed limits to go up to 70 mph on most of the system.
A bill sponsored by Illinois State Senator Jim Oberweis to increase the speed limit on all state expressways passed overwhelmingly in both houses of the Illinois General Assembly and was signed by Governor Pat Quinn in August.
However, the Illinois Tollway is allowed an exception under the law to set speed limits lower than 70 mph.
Oberweis along with Steve Dorner and James Walker, advocates for a faster speed limit and both affiliated with the National Motorists Association, believe the higher posted limit is safer than the current 55 mph posted speed limit. They feel the discrepancy of speed between those drivers following the law and the many others traveling at faster speeds increases the chances of crashes.
The three have been pressing the board to raise the speed limit based on the the traffic studies commissioned by the Tollway Authority are showing that most vehicles in free flowing traffic are traveling at or just over the 70 mph. Based on the 85th percentile traffic engineering standard used for establishing speed limits, which says the safest speed limit is set at the average speed of 85% of vehicles traveling a roadway when there’s no congestion, they say the tollway speed limit should be 70 mph.
This month’s meeting will be held Thursday, December 19th at 9 AM at the Illinois Tollway’s Central Administration Building located at 2700 Ogden Avenue in Downers Grove.
Attendees wishing to speak are given two minutes to address the board.