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Speed Limits - Who Really Cares???

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

McHenry County, Illinois

Speed Limits - Who Really Cares???

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
October 17, 2008

Recently I was driving on McConnell Road and got to wondering about the speed limits there. The speed limit is posted as 40MPH between Applewood Lane and Greenview Drive, and I thought at one time I had seen a 40MPH speed limit sign eastbound on McConnell Road somewhere between Lily Pond Road and the entrance to the Sanctuary.

I contacted the City Manager's office and learned that the actual speed limit east of Applewood Lane (Drive?) is 45MPH, even though it is posted as 40MPH. Hmmmm.....

Then I got to wondering if the City of Woodstock actually extends now east of Greenview, and I called Community Development, where they have a large wall map with the boundaries of Woodstock. Jim Kastner was very helpful and explained that Woodstock City Limits now are almost to Lily Pond Road. A close-enough reference for me is that the City Limit is at about 150 feet west of Lily Pond. And, when the City annexs land, they annex to the far side of the right-of-way (i.e., including the roadway).

Since the first speed limit sign for traffic westbound on McConnell Road from Country Club Road is the 40MPH sign at Greenview, it would be possible for a driver to think he was legal at 55MPH as he blew past Lily Pond Road and Sanctuary Drive. Taking the "usual" 5-10MPH over the limit, he might even be clipping along at 60-65. Much too fast for conditions, but within what he might think to be the legal speed limit for "open road" or rural roadway.

Imagine his surprise if he got pulled over and told he was violating an unposted 30MPH speed limit on a Woodstock street. That would put him at 30 over the unposted limit and in hot, hot, hot water at court time.

So, on behalf of all you hot dogs out there, I'll ask the City to post correct speed limit signs to and from the east City Limit on McConnell Road. Maybe the Streets Department will even put up an "End City Limit" sign on eastbound McConnell Road.

How does it happen that a lower speed limit sign gets posted, instead of the speed limit approved in a City ordinance? Did someone just decide "45 is too fast there" and pull a 40MPH sign off the rack?

The police are very active on McConnell Road, and it's only fair that the correct speed limit be posted - and posted often enough for drivers to be aware of it.

After that? You are fair game.

Be brave. Drive the speed limit. I dare you.

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