Grand County commissioners seek to raise speed limits in three areas
July 5, 2011
Upon citizens’ requests, Grand County commissioners have petitioned the Colorado Department of Transportation to study speed limits at three areas of U.S. Highway 40 in Grand County.
Fraser Valley citizen Chuck Doughdrill visited commissioners at a June 14 county meeting and asked to have CDOT reconsider the speed leading from Berthoud Pass into Winter Park, saying it is slower at 40 miles per hour than it is on the eastern side of the Pass, which is 45 miles per hour. Since many people drive at least 50 miles per hour on that stretch of road, Doughdrill said, perhaps the speed could be raised?
It’s just one of three perceived “speed traps” commissioners have been hearing about from citizens, said Grand County Commissioner James Newberry last week.
Another is located on Highway 40 at the western end of Byers Canyon to the town of Parshall, and another is located near the Windy Gap Reservoir to the town of Granby.
In a letter to CDOT regional directors dated June 28, commissioners asked for speed studies at these particular areas of Region I and Region III. Commissioners’ annual meeting with CDOT directors is scheduled for September, and commissioners said they hoped to discuss the matter more with them at that time.
Speed studies are conducted on Colorado’s highways only if CDOT preliminarily determines such studies are necessary, according to CDOT spokesperson Bob Wilson.
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Once the department determines a study is warranted, CDOT personnel analyze driving speeds on designated sections of roads. If 85 percent of drivers travel on-average at a particular speed differing from the posted speed at such locations, then CDOT may consider raising or lowering the speed.
Improvements to a roadway may be one factor that may warrant a speed-limit adjustment, Wilson said, and driver safety is the paramount consideration.
But the number of speeding tickets issued at a certain section of road is probably not a factor CDOT uses to assess speed limit, he said.
– Tonya Bina can be reached at 970-887-3334 ext. 19603.