Campus Speed Limit Increased
The speed limit on campus recently increased from 15 to 20 miles per hour, as indicated on new signs installed a few weeks ago. The change was prompted by a revision to the state’s uniform traffic code. A provision in the code once gave Michigan’s universities and colleges, along with parks and cemeteries, the discretion to set speed limits lower than 25.
“A couple of years ago, they pulled universities and colleges out of that provision, leaving only parks and cemeteries,” said Mike Bath (Public Safety). “We worked with other institutions to try to put that back in legislatively, but with the economy and other pressing issues, it never made it to the front burner.”
There are two options for determining speed limits: using a formula in the Michigan Motor Vehicle Code that is based on the number of access points within a half-mile span of roadway; or conducting a traffic study that measures the speed of 100 vehicles on a stretch of road and using the 85th percentile, or the speed at which 85 percent of the vehicles move in that area.
“Since we didn’t have the number of access points to set an appropriate speed limit, we opted to conduct the speed study on campus," Bath said. "We worked with the Michigan State Police Traffic Services Division to ensure the study was conducted in accordance with the Motor Vehicle Code. We waited until school started this fall so it reflected typical vehicle patterns during the academic year. Based on the study, the result was closer to 20 than 15, so that became the new speed limit on campus."
Bath said Public Safety still needs to complete a traffic study on a few side streets, for example near the Woodland Park Apartments.