The Minnesota Department of Transportation has been making its way across the state increasing speed limits from 55 miles per hour to 60 on many major highways —including Highway 65 through Mora.
MnDOT announced in January that it would be increasing speeds on 5,240 miles of state highways based on a traffic and engineering study, which looks at past crash rates, physical attributes of the highway (such as shoulder widths and access points), and an analysis of current driving speeds.
In 2014, the Minnesota Legislature directed MnDOT to evaluate its two-lane, two-way 55 mph highways to determine whether speed limits could be reasonably and safely increased.
MnDOT has conducted before and after studies on many roadways that recently increased to 60 mph. There was no change in the overall 85th percentile speed from before the speed limit change to after. The mean speed, which is the average speed of all drivers, increased by one mile per hour and the standard deviation, which is the measure of how spread out the drivers’ speeds were, reduced slightly.
“This means that after speed limits increased, travel speeds at the locations sampled were slightly more consistent between each vehicle,” said Drews. “In other words, more drivers traveled at a similar speed after speed limits increased. This is a desirable outcome, but this change is very slight and may not affect the frequency or severity of crashes.”
The new speed limit signs were posted June 11-12.