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Why is Wrightsville Ave.’s speed limit between Military Cutoff and French Road 45 mph?

Ken Little
45 mph sign

N.C. DOT records show the speed limit in this stretch of Wrightsville Avenue has been 45 mph for about 30 years. (StarNews file photo)

A database search of N.C. Department of Transportation records shows that the speed limit in that area has been 45 mph since the mid-1980s, said Katherine Hite, N.C. DOT division engineer.

The N.C. DOT conducted two speed studies, in 2001 and 2003, “and found that the speed data gathered did not meet the criteria for lowering the speed limit,” Hite said.

Criteria for determining speeds includes road surface characteristics, commercial and residential development, what the safe speed is for curves and hazardous locations along the section of road being studied, frequency and severity of crashes, prevailing travel speeds and the “85th percentile speed” — the speed at or below which 85 percent of the traffic is moving.

“Speed limits are controlled by local and state ordinances. Within cities and towns, the statutory speed limit is 35 mph unless otherwise posted,” according to the N.C. DOT.

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