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Alpena County Road Commission Approves Speed Limit Changes

Alpena County Road Commission approved a speed limit change on two parts of Long Rapids Road. According to Managing Director, Larry Orcutt, the speed limit will now be 45 miles per hour on Long Rapids Road from Genschaw Road to Bernice Lane.

Orcutt also revealed that Bernice Lane to Dietz Road would change from 50 miles per hour to 55 miles per hour. Orcutt said the speed limit change was a result of traffic studies that were long over due.

“The roads that have speed limit restrictions on them in our area have not been evaluated for many years and some of the traffic controllers are actually issued in the 70s. So what we’ve done is do traffic studies to determine what the appropriate speed limit should be on these routes,” he explained.

The evaluation to determine the speed of what drivers are traveling is done using traffic counters and data collected from the Michigan State Police. The final outcome is based off of what 85% of travelers drive and what is safe for that route.

“The whole basis of appropriately setting speed limits is based on the promise that 85% of the people drive for what’s reasonably safe for that route. It’s called the 85th percentile. On Long Rapids Road those speeds are higher than the existing speed limits already, so that does justify to bump them up,” Orcutt added.

The changes in the speed limit went into effect on Tuesday, march 7th. Orcutt said upgrades to the speed limit signs will be changed sometime soon.