The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) will be raising the speed limit on Interstate 25 through Trinidad by early October.
Following a traffic engineering analysis as required by state law, CDOT determined that raising the speed limit from 55 mph to 65 mph between Van Buren (Exit 13A) and Goodard Avenue (Exit 15) would be appropriate and safe for current highway conditions.
“Following the reconstruction of I-25 through Trinidad more than three years ago, it was clear the 55 mile per hour speed limit no longer reflected the speed a majority of drivers were traveling at,” said CDOT Traffic Engineer Sasan Delshad. “By raising the speed limit, it could improve the safety of the highway since the existing speed limit was established on the old roadway that had different characteristics than the reconstructed highway people are driving on today.”
CDOT’s engineering studies utilize nationally-accepted methods which take into account roadside features, roadway geometric characteristics, accident history and vehicle speeds. The national standard recommends using the 85th percentile speed (the speed at or below which 85 percent of the vehicles are moving) as the primary factor in establishing the speed limit. The reason for this is because the vast majority of drivers will drive at speeds they consider safe and reasonable under ideal conditions. In the segment studied, it found the 85th percentile of drivers traveling between 60 mph and 70 mph. CDOT’s goal is to set an appropriate speed limit so that it allows the maximum number of vehicles to travel at about the same speed, thus reducing conflicts caused by extreme speed differentials.