County Freeway Speed Limits A Danger?
Sudden changes in speed limits, outdated infrastructure cited as problems. County Board will investigate problem.
Milwaukee County may soon be advocating for a modernization of interstate infrastructure to improve traffic safety on the network of state highways that run through the county.
County Supervisor Russell Antonio Goodwin, Sr. recently sponsored a resolution intended to draw attention to an interstate network he feels is needlessly dangerous in some areas. His resolution calls for a universal speed limit for interstates in Milwaukee County, citing the patchwork network of speed limits that contribute to sudden changes in speed between vehicles and dangerous bottlenecks on the freeways.
When Goodwin’s resolution went before the intergovernmental relations committee, he stated that he often sees these drops in speed limit go ignored, and this leads to stretches of highway with great variability in speed between cars on the road.
Donna Brown-Martin, director of the Milwaukee County Department of Transportation MCDOT, said this is due to outdated infrastructure throughout the county’s interstate network and laws governing speed limits in an “urban center.” In some places, she said, the design and geometry of the interstate in Milwaukee is 65 years old and long overdue for an update.
The northern end of the county’s interstate system from Menomonee Falls to Capitol Drive is a “key accident area,” she said, because it is one of the sections of highway that wasn’t designed for the speeds contemporary travelers are used to driving.
Goodwin’s resolution, as it currently sits, asks the state to create a universal speed limit that would also apply to interstate that runs through the county. But, after suggestions from Sup. Tony Staskunas that the board investigate infrastructure challenges further and background information provided by Brown-Martin, it may become more than that.
The committee voted Thursday to hold the resolution back so the board can work with the Sheriff’s office and MCDOT on identifying problem areas in the network and also specific infrastructure changes that can be made to improve safety.