Early next week, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) will begin changing out the speed limit signs on Highway 50 north of Delta.
According to CDOT, the new speeds were determined by a speed study completed by CDOT's traffic and safety unit. Several factors were taken into account, including prevailing speeds, roadside development, accident experience, pace speed and parking/pedestrian activity.
CDOT determined the 65 mph speed posting should be extended an additional (approximate) 1.7 miles to the east. (Heading into Delta the speed currently begins to reduce at MP 67.3 but will not reduce until MP 69 with the changes). From MP 69 the speed steps down incrementally heading into town (or steps up coming out of town). This is an increase of anywhere between 5 and 20 mph, depending on the exact location.
The changes will be limited to the short stretch between MP 67 and 69.5.
CDOT believes the more realistic speed limits will result in the maximum number of vehicles traveling at about the same speed, thus reducing conflicts caused by speed differentials.
Studies show that raising the speed limit does not automatically cause an increase in the speed of traffic. Most people will drive the roadway as they perceive the conditions and will ignore a speed limit that is unrealistically too low or too high.