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Old 09-30-2014, 07:36 PM
 
Location: Whereever we have our RV parked
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What is it with New Mexico and their speed limits. I just came back from a trip to Ruidoso. On the trip I traveled on some 4 lane and some 2 lane roads, but most in very rural areas. Yet in spite of there being almost no traffic or people around anywhere, The speed limits never hit 70 MPH. The best I had was 65. But I even was limited on some stretches to just 60 or even 55, even in the middle of nowhere. Long stretches of the hwy between Ruidoso and Roswell, even though being 4 lanes, and very little traffic were down to 45 mph. We have city streets in Lubbock that are posted at 50. What gives with these crazy low speed limits?

It really is anoying traveling in NM, as the distances are long and boring, yet they have these crazy low limits. Are they trying to discourage tourists?
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Old 10-01-2014, 04:44 AM
TKO
 
Location: On the Border
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To keep flatlanders from driving too fast through hilly country with which they are unfamiliar?

I don't notice that issue in the rest of the state. Our interstates are 75 most state highways are at 70. While there are no 50mph city streets in Las Cruces there are plenty of 45s. Not sure what's up with eastern NM. I know they want tourism though so that's not it - they particularly like Texans.
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Old 10-01-2014, 06:46 AM
 
Location: Whereever we have our RV parked
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TKO: I have no problem with lower limits in mountainous areas. But these low speed limits were not in the mountains. This was on flat or relatively flat land, wide open pretty much straight stretches.
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Old 10-01-2014, 10:05 AM
 
Location: Albuquerque, NM
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Speed limits are determined by lane with, grade, shoulder width, whether the highway is divided, the level of congestion, the number and spacing of access points, the diameter of curves and other factors.

According to google the drive from Roswell to Ruidoso is 75 miles and takes 75 minutes, which averages 60mph. According to Wikipedia a 23 mile stretch of US 70 between Ruidoso and Roswell was recently increased from 65 to 70mph.
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Old 10-01-2014, 12:25 PM
 
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What's so weird about 5 mph lower than where you live? I could see it if we had lots of 55 mph freeways with no traffic, but 65 vs 70 just isn't that big a deal. If you take off the front license plate you look like a local and probably get another 5 mph leeway from DPS anyhow

Speed limits have a lot to do with number of lanes, width of shoulder, grade, condition of the surface, etc. And also the manpower in DOT to evaluate these things and make changes.

I don't recall seeing 75 mph limits on any non-divided highway - but US 70 through White Sands is divided and 75 mph, as is US 285 from Roswell to Santa Rosa if I remember correctly (it's been a long time since I was down there). Lots of the newer US routes with wide shoulders are 65 mph around here, only the really narrow ones are still 55. Really doesn't seem all that weird to me.
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Old 10-01-2014, 03:26 PM
 
Location: Albuquerque NM
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I occasionally travel to Amarillo and to Abilene, TX and am always surprised by the high speed limits. Small two lane farm to market roads around Amarillo will have 70 mph speed limits and lots of side roads or ranch driveways and farm equipment going down the road. I think the speed limit on US Hwy 84 south of Lubbock is 70 - again lots of side roads - but then you get to I20 near Sweetwater and the speed limit is still 70.
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Old 10-01-2014, 05:31 PM
 
Location: Sacramento Mtns of NM
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A lot of good information can be found on this web site and the below cited excerpt jibes with what I know about the major highways in the state:

http://www.steve-riner.com/nmhighways/roadinfo.htm

Quote:
Interstate Highways-rural 75mph
There are a few non-urban segments marked slower. Both I-25 and I-40 have 70 mph zones approaching Albuquerque from the east and north, and I-10 is marked 70 mph from Las Cruces to the Texas border to match the speed limit in Texas.

Interstate Highways -urban
65 mph
The interstate highways through Albuquerque are both posted 65 mph. It's hard to picture Gallup as urban, but I-40 is posted 65 mph around that city as well due to the presence of several relatively closely spaced exits. Both I-10 and I-25 are marked 65 mph around Las Cruces, as is I-10 around Deming. However, I-25 around Santa Fe, due to the paucity of interchanges, is posted 75 mph. There are a couple of very short 55 mph stretches along I-25 due to localized conditions.

Divided Highways -rural
65-70mph
Divided highways are generally posted 65 mph, but on the wide open spaces of the eastern plains, there are 70 mph segments such as U.S. 285 south of Vaughn and U.S. 70 east of Roswell. More recently upgraded highways such as U.S. 550 and U.S. 64-87 also have 70 mph sections. U.S. 70 across the WhiteSandsMissileRange is posted 75 mph, probably because the restricted nature of the surrounding area greatly limits side road traffic.

Two-lane roads
55-65mph
It's difficult to determine the rationale for how the state posts two lane roads. Highways that have wide paved shoulders and limited side road traffic are generally posted 65 mph. Roads with narrower shoulders with limited intersecting roads are often posted 60 mph, and roads that do not have paved shoulders are usually 55 mph. There seems to be exceptions in both directions that are not easily explained by site-specific road conditions, however. In general, New Mexico is much more conservative than neighboring states (Arizona and Colorado) in applying 65 mph speed limits to two lane roads.

Business and Residential Roads
30mph
Cities appear to have the ability to set lower limits on residential or business streets, since 20-25 mph zones are not uncommon (but are posted).

Last edited by Poncho_NM; 10-01-2014 at 05:41 PM.. Reason: Repaired URL
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Old 10-01-2014, 11:23 PM
 
Location: Albuquerque, NM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joqua View Post
A lot of good information can be found on this web site and the below cited excerpt jibes with what I know about the major highways in the state:

http://www.steve-riner.com/nmhighways/roadinfo.htm
I'm pretty sure they raised the limit on I-10 to 75 from Las Cruces to El Paso when the added extra lanes.
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Old 10-02-2014, 06:44 AM
 
Location: Sacramento Mtns of NM
4,157 posts, read 6,476,093 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by funkymonkey View Post
I'm pretty sure they raised the limit on I-10 to 75 from Las Cruces to El Paso when the added extra lanes.
Could be...but if they did it's likely only on the short stretch between the I-25/I-10 junction and the state line at Anthony. Between Anthony and El Paso is quite a bit more congested and it's unlikely the Texas highway dept would go along.
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Old 10-18-2014, 06:18 AM
 
457 posts, read 474,416 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by augiedogie View Post
What is it with New Mexico and their speed limits. I just came back from a trip to Ruidoso. On the trip I traveled on some 4 lane and some 2 lane roads, but most in very rural areas. Yet in spite of there being almost no traffic or people around anywhere, The speed limits never hit 70 MPH. The best I had was 65. But I even was limited on some stretches to just 60 or even 55, even in the middle of nowhere. Long stretches of the hwy between Ruidoso and Roswell, even though being 4 lanes, and very little traffic were down to 45 mph. We have city streets in Lubbock that are posted at 50. What gives with these crazy low speed limits?

It really is anoying traveling in NM, as the distances are long and boring, yet they have these crazy low limits. Are they trying to discourage tourists?
LOW?! Are you kidding me!? They're too HIGH for a state where most people have older cars (circa the 1990's) which whine and complain when you try to hit 65 for any length of time!!! If you WANT to go way too fast on those narrow winding mountain roads especially in the winter time, I hope you hit something and "decrease the surplus population" as Scrooge says on "A Christmas Carol."
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