Speed limits are a way of life. We all have a relationship with those numbers and battle with them everyday. 30, 35, 40, 55, 75 mph — what really is a good speed limit? And how can we judge what is appropriate for a certain road? Well one community is asking themselves that very question… a recent speed limit increase on Meadowbrook Road has several homeowners concerned about their safety.
The change, which happened a couple weeks ago, raised the speed limit from 30 miles per hour to 35 mph on Meadowbrook Road between Ten Mile and Eight Mile roads. Now it doesn’t seem like it would be that big of a deal or drastic of a change, but residents in the area are sounding off!
Sandy Mitchell, a resident of her Meadowbrook home for 40 years, said she did not find out about the change until she saw the signs, and feels the increased speed limit will cause drivers to drive even faster. “I’m scared at times to get my mail, let alone back out onto this road,” she said.
Another longtime resident, Dick Ornekian, said many residents are calling the road “Meadowbrook Highway,” and Ornekian is thinking about circulating a petition to take to the Novi City Council.
About 50 homes face the road between Ten Mile and Nine Mile roads and Ornekian said the change makes it dangerous for many families, especially those with kids.”I just don’t understand the reasoning to make traffic go faster,” he said. “No one is going 35 mph. Everyone is going 40 mph and that is not right.”
But city officials involved in the decision to raise the speed limit said the change is indicative of the speed cars were already going.
According to the Traffic Improvement Association, speed limits are set based on the number of drive openings or the 85th percentile speed. The 85th percentile speed, which was used to determine the speed limit change on Meadowbrook, is “the speed at, or below which, 85 percent of the traffic is moving.”
Check out *my* story from Local 4 News on effectivness of speed limits …
Do they work? Does speed kill or is slower safer?
Brian Coburn, senior civil engineer for the city of Novi, said the city decided to conduct a study of the speed limit after being contacted by drivers who said the speed limit was “artificially low.” The results from the study showed that drivers were currently traveling 35 mph when the speed limit was 30 mph, thus the increase.
A follow-up study will be completed by early September to determine if the change was successful. As far as the concern about the increased speed limit making people drive even faster, Coburn said that is not always the case.” People drive the speed they are comfortable at regardless of the posted limit,” he said.