How Fast Do You Drive on the Highway?
By Jeff Deminski
Yesterday, Assemblyman Declan O'Scanlon called in to the show to clear up what was being misreported by other sources all day. At first, it was being reported that he'll be introducing legislation to raise the speed limit on the Parkway and Turnpike to 75 mph. What he actually wants is a proposal to allow traffic engineers to study the 85th percentile and set speed limits accordingly. He admits it could be a fine difference, as he would expect a speed limit set by those standards to end up being just that, 75 mph on the Parkway and Turnpike.
For those who don't know, the 85th percentile is the speed at which or below which 85 percent of traffic would flow naturally with an open road lacking rush hour congestion. In other words, the idea that people drive where they feel comfortable and safe at. O'Scanlon points out that when New Jersey upped many speed limits in the mid 1990's from 55 to 65, the 85th percentile rate of speed changed by only about 1 mile per hour.