Q. Can roads have different speed limits depending on the direction of travel? For instance, a road that is divided into a “city side” and a “county side?”
A. A municipal boundary must cross the entire road in order for a municipal speed limit to be enacted, said Katherine Hite, N.C. Department of Transportation Division 3 traffic engineer.
“I’m not aware of any locations within a municipality that has different speed limits in each direction of travel,” Hite said. “Sometimes, speed limits on interstates can be different depending on direction of travel such as on I-40 entering and leaving Wilmington.
Hite said in those cases, the type of roadway is changing “and the appropriate speed limit may be different depending on the roadway characteristics.”
“Interstate 40 is the only highway that I am aware of having different speed limits in our Division. The department’s standard practice is to assign speed limits to be the same in both directions of travel. Different speed limits in each direction could lead to confusion and would not be recommended for undivided roadways,” Hite said.
If there is a particular road in question, Hite said NCDOT can check “to see if the proper signs are installed.”
“Neighborhood roads and secondary roads will typically have the same speed limit in both directions,” Hite said.
“The entire road must be within the municipal limits in order for a municipal speed limit to be enacted,” she said.
Date posted: February 7, 2013
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