170401-nrr-accident-106

Traffic comes to a halt after a crash closed northbound Interstate 5 for about an hour in March.

The Oregon Transportation Commission is considering lowering the maximum speed limit on the section of Interstate 5 that runs through Roseburg.

The proposed speed limit would lower the current limit from 65 mph to 60 mph for passenger vehicles, according to a press release from the Oregon Department of Transportation. The speed limit for semitrucks, which is currently 55 mph, would stay the same.

In a June recommendation from the state’s Speed Zone Review Panel, the decrease was recommended because of “increased levels of crashes, especially fatal and serious injury crashes,” in the Roseburg’s interstate corridor.

According to crash data, from 2012 to 2014, the rate of fatal and injury crashes that occurred between mileposts 122 and 127 was nearly double the statewide average. During that time period, 59 people were injured and three were killed.

The change is scheduled to be discussed at a commission meeting on Friday, Sept. 22, in Salem.

If the recommendation is approved, the speed limit will be lowered on both northbound and southbound lanes from milepost 123 to 127. The change would include three interchanges, exits 124, 125 and 127. An optional proposal recommends lowering the highway’s speed limit from milepost 118 to 127.

Officials say the 4-mile stretch is “closely spaced” and that local drivers often use the interstate to get around the city.

“The higher traffic volumes, more built environment, an auxiliary lane with weaving and an urban feel add to complexity of the section,” the recommendation says.

Two studies helped the Speed Zone Review Panel inform the recommendations, which are based on “setting the speed limit at a reasonable and safe speed under the conditions found to exist and as indicated by engineering investigation and comments received from the public.”

At its meeting, the commission will also discuss raising the truck speed limit from 55 mph to 60 mph in the state’s rural corridors along Interstate 5 and Interstate 84.

The meeting is scheduled to take place at 3 p.m. Sept. 22 in the Gail Achterman Room of the Transportation Building, 355 Capitol St. NE, Salem. The meeting will also be live-streamed at www.youtube.com/user/OregonDOT/live.

Feedback is currently being accepted by email at interstatespeedcomments@odot.state.or.us.

Ian Campbell can be reached at ian@nrtoday.com.

or 541-957-4209. Or follow him on Twitter @MrCampbell17.

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Managing Editor

Ian Campbell is the managing editor for The News-Review, a former senior editor at the Emerald Media Group and a camping fanatic. Follow him on Twitter @MrCampbell17

(4) comments

Mogie

Try an experiment. Set your cruise control at the current speed limit and see how many autos pass you. Even set the cruise at 70 mph and we were passed by every car (even a cop car). Do they really think that by lowering the speed by 5 miles anyone is really going to slow down? And how many lives is a 5 miles difference going to save? Am I wrong when I remember talk of raising the speed limit on I-5 several months ago?

Nanna97470

on I5. Cars fly by at 80. There's not enough money for officers and people care about themselves and there own schedules.

sprtcuz

When merging don't slam into a semi truck thinking they have to move over. Problem solved!

Mogie

LOL Excellent suggestion.

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