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Old 03-20-2012, 04:33 PM
 
Location: Queen Creek, AZ
6,413 posts, read 9,965,706 times
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I was wondering, what is the particular reason for Hampton Roads having such low speed limits on its freeways? Most freeways in the area are only 55-60 MPH. For comparison, most freeways in the Phoenix area are 65 MPH (excpetions being I-17, SR 51, and the short SR 143).

Phoenix is a larger metropolitan area than Hampton Roads, so why would Hampton Roads have lower speed limits on its freeways than Phoenix?

Of course, one good thing about Virginia's highways is that they allow the Specific Service (Logos of gas stations, restaurants, lodging, etc.) signs on any freeway, vs. Arizona where they are currently only allowed in rural areas. I wish Arizona would get on with the times to allow the Specific Service signs in urban and suburban areas.
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Old 03-20-2012, 04:50 PM
 
Location: Norfolk, VA
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In AZ the highways on long and flat. Here they are curved, change in elevation, and are frequently crowded. It's a safety issue.
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Old 03-20-2012, 09:17 PM
 
3,848 posts, read 8,614,278 times
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It's not a safety issue at all, it's a revenue issue. Most highways around here are speed traps.

Radar detectors STILL are illegal in the state.

When there were speed limit increases a few years ago, local cities had an input on highways. The only road that got an increase to 70 was I64 just a ways past Williamsburg.

Most roads around here are relatively straight, the elevation is flat and there's a cop behind every bush.

Anything about "safety" is a bunch of nonsense.
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Old 03-20-2012, 09:56 PM
 
Location: Queen Creek, AZ
6,413 posts, read 9,965,706 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coconut1 View Post
Radar detectors STILL are illegal in the state.
.
I don't know why people want radar detectors legalized in VA. They should be banned worldwide, since their sole purpose is to speed without being caught. Even just advocating for them should be a felony.

Last edited by Pink Jazz; 03-20-2012 at 10:04 PM..
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Old 03-21-2012, 06:53 AM
 
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The state of VA just increased speed limits in some areas to 70mph recently but it is mostly the more rural parts of the interstates that don't have lots of people getting on and off the highway in closely spaced exits. The criteria they used is outlined on the following page.

Speed Limits

Research shows that people will drive just about as fast as they can (while feeling safe) regardless of the limit. To be honest, I rarely see anyone pulled over for going 70 around here anyways. I have gone past cops on 64 going 70 on numerous occasions and they don't even notice. I think they just go after reckless (20 over or 80+). You just gotta go with the flow and don't weave a lot and you should be fine.

Revenue scam or not (debatable), there are merits to lower speed limits. Fuel economy decreases significantly above 60mph as wind resistance becomes a dominant factor. Energy released in an accident and stopping distance increase exponentially with speed as well. Given the number of high speed tailgaters in the area, I would actually prefer that they don't plow into the back of my vehicle going 80mph in their 5,000 pound monster truck because I will probably die in my small car. At least I stand a chance at 60.

In addition, going faster on a short to moderate commute really makes little difference on transit time. A 20 mile commute at 60mph takes 20 minutes. A 20 mile commute at 70mph takes 17.15 minutes. Considering that the average American watches 3-4hrs of TV a day, what is 3 minutes??? We could all stand to slow down and pay attention a little more.
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Old 03-21-2012, 07:12 AM
 
Location: Richmond
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Part of the reason why Phoenix has a higher limit is the difference in cultural attitudes about speed limits. Generally in the western states speed limits have always been higher and faster due to greater distances between populations. It has carried over into the larger metro areas.
I do not think there is a general conspiracy to generate revenue using tickets in Virginia. The last time I checked the cost of processing tickets and court related costs eliminated most of any financial benefit to the state and many localities. That said I also know that in a few locations with I95/I85 passing through them there is enough money paid by mail or on the internet that justifies (from a cost benefit perspective anyway) "increased vigilance". I know in Nelson county the costs of processing and the time involved for all the county employees exceeds the revenue most of the time, especially if in court cases.
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Old 03-21-2012, 06:54 PM
 
Location: Fredericksburg, Va
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There are too many vehicles for super high speeds. Jeez...half the time, you can't even go 55! Just too much congestion!
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Old 03-21-2012, 10:26 PM
 
3,848 posts, read 8,614,278 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andros 1337 View Post
I don't know why people want radar detectors legalized in VA. They should be banned worldwide, since their sole purpose is to speed without being caught. Even just advocating for them should be a felony.
Well, the majority would disagree with you. Besides VA and DC, radar detectors are legal in all other areas.

Is it fair motorist fall victim to speed traps? There are well known traps in DE and FL. Speed limits plunging 20 MPH in the blink of an eye and cops just waiting to hand out tickets like candy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by UHgrad View Post
The state of VA just increased speed limits in some areas to 70mph recently but it is mostly the more rural parts of the interstates that don't have lots of people getting on and off the highway in closely spaced exits. The criteria they used is outlined on the following page.
Since when is 64 rural with few people getting on and off? 64 is far more dangerous of a road than 164, 264, 464, 664, etc!
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Old 03-22-2012, 06:03 AM
 
Location: Coastal South Carolina
6,201 posts, read 593,436 times
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This is one thing I dislike when I return to Tidewater, where I grew up. Here, it is 60-70 on our interstates and many people go 70 with no problems if they aren't weaving and reckless. I like what Coconut1 said. I always feel like I am entering a police state when I get to Virginia on I-95 "Welcome to Virginia, Radar Detectors Illegal, Speed Enforcement enforced through Air" I always want to lift my finger up to the sky and give them a signal as I roll in about 75 mph from the North Carolina line. I hope they do raise the limit and especially raise it on 64 and 264. Be safe everybody.
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Old 03-22-2012, 06:28 AM
 
1,210 posts, read 2,420,210 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coconut1 View Post
Since when is 64 rural with few people getting on and off? 64 is far more dangerous of a road than 164, 264, 464, 664, etc!
My actual statement:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uhgrad
"...but it is mostly the more rural parts of the interstates that don't have lots of people getting on and off the highway in closely spaced exits."
I'm assuming you didn't actually look at the map I posted before saying the first part. If you graphed population density and number of on/off-ramps per mile you would find that red areas (where speed limits are below 65) are much more densely populated and have more on/off ramps per mile than the blue areas where you are allowed to go 70. It is no accident that the speed limits are lower around each of the major metropolitan areas in the state (Richmond, NOVA, HR, Charlottesville) as merging on and off the highway is one of the most dangerous things we do each day.



Rural is defined many ways, but the majority of them include some reference to population density and proximity to major metropolitan areas. So yes, much of 64 between HR and Richmond is relatively rural with a low population density and few people getting on and off compared with Hampton Roads, Richmond, NOVA, or Charlottesville. 64 between Richmond and Charlottesville is also considered rural. You are welcome to make your own population density map if you like.

ERS/USDA Data - Rural Definitions: Rural Definition Mapping Utility

Still not convinced? Lets consider the density of exits on 64, that is easy enough to do as well. Virginia numbers their exits by mile marker so you just subtract the adjacent exits from each other to find the distance between them.

Virginia Interstate Exits

The blue area (70mph) between HR and Richmond starts just before James City County so lets call that exit 242. The blue area ends right around 295 so lets call that exit 200. Between exit 200 and 242 there are 8 other exits. Subtracting 242 from 200 gives us roughly 42 miles of interstate. 42/10 = 4.2 miles between exits.

Now lets look at a 40 something mile stretch in Hampton Roads, say from Jefferson (exit 255) to 264 in Chesapeake (exit 299). Over this 45 mile stretch there are 30 exits. 45/30 = 1.5 miles between exits.

That means that the density of exits in the "rural" area between Williamsburg and Richmond is about 3x less than in the Hampton Roads region on 64. Given the much higher population combined with the higher density of exits, I think it is safe to assume that MUCH MORE people are getting on and off the highway in HR than in say... New Kent County.

The rest of your statement is subjective because you provide no crash statistics. Maybe it is and maybe it isn't more dangerous, I really didn't comment on that. All I said is that it is more rural than a major metro and there are less people getting on and off the highway in closely spaced exits, I stand by both of those statements. I also posted a link from VDOT that lists one of their speed limit considerations as "Features affecting traffic flow, such as interchange spacing, vehicle mix, and traffic volumes" which is supported by the analysis above.

You are entitled to your opinion on the rest, I'm sure the information is available if you really want to establish the most dangerous areas of 64. If you have a vendetta against speed traps that is fine, but that is not the reason that speeds are lower in HR than they are in Henrico County.

Last edited by UHgrad; 03-22-2012 at 06:39 AM..
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