AUSTIN (KXAN) — The speed limits could change on two of Austin’s most heavily traveled roads and one of the city’s most dangerous intersections. On Thursday, Austin City Council decided to postpone their decision on whether to lower the speed limit along sections of Lamar Boulevard and Parmer Lane.
“The Texas Department of Transportation regularly studies the speed limits on all of their roadways to make sure they are safe,” says Kelli Reyna, Spokeswoman TxDOT.
After looking at the speed most drivers are traveling, engineers are recommending city council change some heavily traveled sections:
- North Lamar Boulevard between Morrow Street to Braker Lane decrease from 45 to 40 MPH
- North Lamar Boulevard between Braker to Parmer Lane decrease to 50MPH
- Parmer Lane decrease from 65 to 55 MPH between Interstate 35 to Harrisglenn Drive
- Parmer Lane decrease from 65 to 60 MPH between Harrisglenn and Dessau Road.
TxDOT says engineers determined these speeds by going out during off peak travel times, like the middle of the afternoon, various days of the week to count the cars, test their speed with a radar gun, and then look at other factors impacting the road.
The intersection at Lamar Boulevard and Parmer Lane is number three on the list of dangerous intersections ranked by most crashes, rate and severity.
“There’s a myriad of different data that we look at, the sight distance, the crash data, the entry and exit points along the roadway, it is a bunch of factors that all goes into the determination to make the best engineering proposal of what that speed limit should be,” says Reyna.
If council approves the speed limit change it won’t go into effect until TxDOT changes the signs — no word yet on when that would happen.
TxDOT officials pointed out the traffic study on Parmer Lane was requested by a resident in that area and anyone can request a traffic study of their roadway in an effort to determine if the speed limit is safe.
The Lamar study was requested by the city of Austin as they continue to find ways to improve the safety on the road.