Q. Please look into the curve at Masonboro Loop Road and Pine Grove Drive in Wilmington. This is the second time a vehicle has landed in my neighbors’ yard, this time crashing into the bedroom. We need to slow the speed limit down and a guard rail if the curve cannot be adjusted. How do I get the speed limit changed?
A. It depends on the roadway, said Donald Bennett, traffic engineer for the city of Wilmington.
For roadways maintained by the N.C. Department of Transportation, a request can be made by calling 910-341-2000.
N.C. DOT will handle the request “according to their process,” Bennett said.
For roadways maintained by the city, contact the city’s Traffic Engineering office at 910-341-7888.
Bennett provided a link to this map, which will assist in determining which agency is responsible for a particular road:
And here is a link to a pamphlet that explains NCDOT speed limits:
Here is a link to the current speed limits in Wilmington
Here’s additional information from NCDOT about state roads:
If no signs are posted, general statute sets speed limits within municipal limits at 35 miles per hour. They can be changed by ordinances enacted by N.C. DOT. Changes, either higher or lower, inside city limits require the agreement of the municipality and N.C. DOT.
If signs are not posted in areas outside municipalities, the speed limit is 55 mph, but motorists are advised to drive “at reasonable and prudent speeds as dictated by driving conditions.”
When the department conducts a speed zone study and recommends a speed limit, it drafts the ordinance and submits it to the State Traffic Engineer’s Office for approval. When it is approved, the Traffic Services Unit installs the appropriate speed limit signs.
When considering a request to lower the speed limit on a particular road, N.C. DOT looks at several criteria, including roadway alignment, sight distance, the weighted average speed, crash history and development.
For any sign to be effective, “it must command the respect of motorists,” according to N.C. DOT.
“That means speed limits must be reasonable and enforced. N.C. DOT is responsible for establishing speed limits, but law enforcement officers have enforcement responsibility,” the agency said.
To get a speed limit changed, contact the local N.C. DOT traffic engineer and request a speed zone study. Changing residential and business development often affects operating speed conditions and may warrant changes in the speed limit.
N.C. DOT does not normally lower speed limits on dead-end roads less than a mile long.
Date posted: March 31, 2014
User-contributed question by: