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Speed limit signs - how important?

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

McHenry County, Illinois

Speed limit signs - how important?

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
February 25, 2010


Yesterday I drove again on McConnell Road east from Highway 47. A Woodstock officer was checking speeds east of Zimmerman Road, and I hope his radar showed my exact 30MPH speed. I guess it did, because he stayed put after I passed.

Just how important is it for Woodstock to post speed limits correctly on its roads? I've been wondering this for quite a while about McConnell Road. Like, maybe about two years.

Eastbound:

Setting off from Highway 47, the speed limit is 30MPH and it is posted as such. Just east of Courtauld Drive, there is a 35MPH speed limit sign.

The next speed limit sign is a 45MPH sign east of Applewood Drive, but the speed limit eastbound probably becomes 45MPH back near Harrow Gate Drive.

Further along, the speed limit on eastbound McConnell Road probably becomes 55MPH at Greenview Drive, but you'll never know it from signing (that isn't there).

Somewhere on farther east, near Lily Pond Road, you leave the City of Woodstock and enter unincorporated McHenry County, but no sign informs a driver that he is leaving Woodstock.

Westbound:

As you drive west on McConnell Road from Country Club Road, you are in unincorporated McHenry County, where the speed limit is the unposted State 55MPH limit. When you pass Lily Pond Road, you enter the City of Woodstock, but you won't know it because there is no City Limit sign.

When you get to Greenview Drive, you'll come upon a 45MPH speed limit sign. Since this is where the westbound 55MPH zone ends, it is also where the 45MPH zone ends for eastbound traffic. Across the road from the 45MPH sign should be a 55MPH sign for eastbound traffic or, at least, a sign advising the end of the 45MPH zone.

As you continue west in the 45MPH zone, then you'll come to a 35MPH speed limit sign just east of Harrow Gate Drive. Since this is where the 45MPH zone ends for westbound traffic, right across the road there should be a 45MPH sign for eastbound traffic. In fact, I think there used to be a sign there.

Should the City of Woodstock post these speed zones, so that drivers will know what the correct speed limit is? Is there any reason for an answer other than "Yes"?

The City may hope to hold down speeds by not informing drivers of the points at which the legal speed limit increases to 45MPH and 55MPH. If it hopes to hold down speeds, then the City Council should address this issue and lower the legal speed limits.

Yesterday I also drove on Lily Pond Road, which was improved and repaved, thanks to the Merryman gravel mining operation (OK, I won't call it a "pit"). Shouldn't there be speed limit signs in both directions on Lily Pond Road? Yes, there should be, and there are no signs in either direction.

If speed limit signing was part of the deal, hasn't anyone checked and asked why the signs aren't up?



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