City of Greenville
8:56 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Council tables speed limit ordinance

The Greenville City Council Tuesday put the brakes on establishing new speed limits for the Interstate 30 frontage roads inside the city limits.

City Manager Massoud Ebrahim told the council he had received a notice from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), indicating the agency had completed a new speed study along the frontage roads, which revealed motorists weren’t driving the limits adopted by the City of Greenville 25 years ago.

Ebrahim said the study called for setting speed limits based on what the“80th percentile” of motorists were driving in a given area.

“If 80 percent of the traffic drives that speed limit, that becomes the speed limit,” Ebrahim said, adding that other factors, such as how the frontage roads are now one-way and have been widened from two to three lanes in some locations, also played a part in the new limits.

But the council said the recommendations by TxDOT were too confusing, as they broke the frontage roads up into multiple zones and multiple speed limits along the route between FM 1570 and Division Street.

“I’d hate to try and figure out how fast to drive out there,” said Mayor Steve Reid.

“I think Smokey and the Bandit would call that a speed trap,” agreed Council member James Evans.

The new ordinance up for consideration would have replace an ordinance adopted in June 1988.

TxDOT proposed that on the Interstate 30 north service road, starting at the west city limits, the speed limit should be 60 miles per hour for the first mile, 45 miles per hour for the next 3.6 miles, and 50 miles per hour for the next 3.38 miles past the Sabine River and to the east city limits. On the Interstate 30 south service road, starting at the west city limits, TxDOT is proposing 60 miles per hour for the first 1.123 miles, 55 miles per hour for the next 2.91 miles, 45 miles per hour for the next .769 of a mile, 55 miles per hour for the next 1.021 miles to the Sabine River and 50 miles per hour for the next 1.65 miles to the east city limits.

“It basically is segment to segment,” Ebrahim said.

“There’s too much going on,” said Council member Sandra Linson Bell.

The council voted 6-0 to table the ordinance and asked Ebrahim to meet with the TxDOT area engineer.