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Dan Ryan 45MPH Speed Limit - Dumb!

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Topics:  Interstate Highway System

Dan Ryan 45MPH Speed Limit - Dumb!

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
December 22, 2007


On Thursday I drove into Chicago on the Kennedy Expressway and continued south on the newly-reconstructed Dan Ryan. There were occasional 45MPH speed limit signs, so I poked along in the right lane, keeping a sharp eye on my rearview mirror.

The 45MPH speed limit signs were sparsely located, and I finally decided that the speed limit must be 55MPH, because there were four wide-open lanes and traffic was flying at about 65MPH. So I sped up to 55. And almost immediately came to a 45MPH speed limit sign. So I slowed down. At great personal risk, I must add.

I called IDOT and spoke with an engineer for that section. He told me a Speed Study would have to be done before they could raise the speed limit to 55. There is some goofy requirement in the Manual of Standards that highway engineers use that requirements them to do a speed study before changing a speed limit.

I asked if they could send a crew out to study the speeds from 1:00-1:05PM and then change the signs at 2:00PM, but he didn't think they could do it that way.

At the south end of the express lanes, where they merge with the local lanes, the speed limit does change to 55MPH. So I sped up there, while I was on the phone with the engineer. I watched an idiot in an old car come up behind me fast and told the engineer I had to speed up to avoid being rear-ended. The idiot passed me closely on the right, and I saw that he had a new-car registration tag. Not a "new" car, but a newly-purchased car.

Illinois drastically needs photo-radar. The cops will never control speeding by writing one ticket at a time.

So, just exactly why should I obey posted speed limits, when no one else does?

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