Lawmakers ask to up speed on highways

KIMT News 3 – AAA projected that more than 30 million people would hit the roads this Memorial Day Weekend. The ones traveling through Minnesota could soon be doing so a bit faster.

State lawmakers are urging transportation officials to increase two-lane state highways to 60 miles per hour where it can be done safely. Last year, 750 miles were added to the list of areas where that happened.

As part of the expansive budget bill passed last week, they are asking officials to examine every mile of road with a 55 mph limit – nearly seven thousand miles worth – by the year 2019.

“Doesn’t really matter to me. The difference between going 55 and 60 is five minutes an hour, with a little planning it really doesn’t change my distance in travel that much,” said Kevin Christenson of Ostrander.

But, he said that if the speed limit is changed to 60, people likely will not be going 60.

“If you say they can go 60, well then people are going to push 65, you say 65, people push it to 70. If you watch the interstate highway, most people are running about five miles over the posted speed limit figuring that they’re getting a little grace from the cops that way,” Christenson said.

They will be looking into crash history, design, lane width and more. They say hillier and curvier highways likely will not see a change.

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