Speed Limit Changes Coming To (And Needed In) Georgia

Speed_Limit_65_sign.svg

This September, the Georgia DOT will be adding the first variable speed limit (VSL) signs to all of I-285 north of I-20 (a.k.a. “Top End”). Here is a video GDOT produced to explain the new VSLs…

According to the GDOT VSL “fact sheet”, the non-peak maximum speed limit will be 65 MPH (105 km/h). To regulate traffic flow, speeds can be adjusted in 10 MPH increments, varying the speed limit to as low as 35 MPH (55 km/h) during peak rush hour traffic.

As a frequent user of the “Top End” for my daily commute,  I’m glad to see that the speed limit on the “Top End” will be as high as 65 MPH. However, as for how the VSL will help traffic flow during rush hour, I’m taking a “wait-and-see” attitude on this. Nonetheless, I’m looking forward to seeing the new VSL on I-285.

Speaking of speed limits, in Canada’s British Columbia province, their transportation ministry recently announced speed limit increases on several of the province’s major highways, according to this video from Global News…

While watching the above video, I couldn’t help but think about certain stretches of rural Georgia Interstate highways that possibly could support a maximum speed limit of 75 MPH (120 km/h). Here are my suggested stretches…

  • Interstate 16 from Twiggs County (just east of Macon) to I-95 in Chatham County.
  • Interstate 20 from just east of Covington to the Augusta-Richmond County line.
  • Interstate 185 from I-85 in Troup County to the Muscogee County line.

If anyone from GDOT is reading this post, then I would urge that studies be done on each of the above sections. If the road conditions could indeed support 75 MPH speed limits, then urge the Georgia General Assembly to amend Georgia Code 40-6-181 (b)(2) to read as follows…

Seventy-five miles per hour on a highway on the federal interstate system and on physically divided highways with full control of access which are outside of an urbanized area of 50,000 population or more, provided that such speed limit is designated by appropriate signs;”

What are your thoughts on Georgia’s speed limits and where do you think they are either too low or too high? Please feel free to share your thoughts either by replying to this blog on our our Facebook or Twitter pages.

That’s it for now. Have a happy and safe 4th of July weekend, thanks for reading, and please come back often.

SOURCES:

“Captain Herb” Loved Our ROADS!!!


Above photo from Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

As I am writing this blog, the memorial service for Herbert Lee Emory (a.k.a. “Captain Herb” Emory) is being held at Johnson Ferry Baptist Church in East Cobb County, and I am watching it via streaming video on WSB-TV’s website.

One week ago today, “Captain Herb” was rescuing 2 people from a car that had just wrecked in front of his house in Douglas County. During the process, he suffered a heart attack and died. He was only 61 years of age. Please click here for his obit in the Douglas County Sentinel.

During the ceremony, Georgia’s Adjutant General Jim Butterworth awarded “Captain Herb’s” wife, Karen, with the Oglethorpe Award, recognizing both their service to the State of Georgia. General Butterworth, in so many words, called “Captain Herb” the “Larry Munson” of traffic to describe how “Captain Herb” did a “play-by-play” call of Atlanta’s traffic. Very fitting, indeed!!!

The one thing that I admire most about our beloved “Captain” was how what he did was a labor of love. He approached his work as more than just a “job”… it was a calling to him. In addition to his job, he cared about his community and gave a lot back through such causes as Toys for Tots and the Douglas County Humane Society. He also loved NASCAR and our beloved “Waffle House”.

“Captain Herb”, you inspire me to be the best “roadgeek” that I can be. I even find myself occasionally giving my own traffic reports via my VHF ham radio to fellow Atlanta-area hams who are also on the road. Everything I do at GRG will always be inspired by you and our shared love of ROADS!!! Mrs. Emory, if you are reading this blog, then please know that you, your family, friends, and his co-workers are all in my prayers. My main regret is I never met “Captain Herb” in person. I’d’ve loved to have had lunch or dinner with him at a Waffle House. Perhaps one day, we’ll meet in Heaven and we can hang out, check out the “ROADS!!!”, and eat at that great Waffle House in the sky.

Thank you, “Captain Herb”, for your contributions to Atlanta’s traffic scene and especially for your service to others. God rest your soul and enjoy your ride on the golden streets of Heaven!

Another New GA Welcome Sign Idea

Thanks to my good friend and fellow Georgia roadgeek Russell Wells, here’s another variation of my proposed new Georgia welcome sign…

ExploreGeorgia.org is the state’s official tourism website, operated by the Georgia Department of Economic Development (formerly known as the Georgia Department of Industry, Trade, and Tourism).

That’s it for now. Thanks again to Russell for his input, and to y’all for reading.

A New Georgia Welcome Sign

For the longest time, I’ve thought that Georgia is long overdue for a “welcome”sign change.

Here’s my idea…

The above sign incorporates Georgia’s official logo, eliminates the previous wordiness of the current welcome sign, and gives a nod to Georgia’s history and desire for businesses to locate to our state.

… or for simplicity’s sake, here’s another version…

One thing I would definitely eliminate would be a sign saying who our governor is. IMHO, very few people really give a care about who a state’s governor is. Everytime we change governors, it costs us, Georgia’s taxpayers, money to go and change all those signs. If you’re curious about who the state’s current governor is, then visit the state’s official government or tourism website.

What do you think? Please feel free to post your thoughts.

That’s it for now. Thanks for reading and please come back soon.

RIP Motorist Aid Callboxes

Hey, y’all! Hope you’re having a wonderful holiday season!

Last night, Mary and I got back from our annual Christmas Florida roadtrip to see her family in Central Florida.

Last Friday, as we crossed into Florida on I-75, I noticed that something was missing… their ubiquitous motorist aid callboxes.

While their callboxes may be gone, Florida Governor Rick Scott assures the traveling public that after “500 years of history”, their great state is indeed “open for business”


Above photo taken at the Florida Welcome Center on I-75 by Mary Williams.

While at the welcome center, I also had a very close encounter with Florida’s wildlife…

Fortunately, I didn’t need a callbox to summon help.

Last night, I posted a question to the AARoads Facebook page to see if anyone knew when they disappeared. Thanks to AARoads’ own Alex Nitzman of Florida, I learned that the Florida DOT (FDOT) has been removing all Interstate callboxes and that the removals should be completed by the end of January, 2014.

Here is the article from Gainesville, Florida’s, WCJB-TV (ABC 30) that Alex shared.

For FDOT’s statewide callbox removal plan, please click here.

With the widespread use of cellphones over the last 15 years, it’s not surprising that the 40-year-old callboxes are being removed.

In Georgia, only I-185 from I-85 to the northern outskirts of Columbus has motorist aid callboxes such as this one I took a photo of back in 2006…

It’s been over 5 years since I’ve traveled down I-185, but last I checked, the boxes were still there. However, it’s probably just a matter of time before GDOT removes them, assuming that they are still there.

I’ve never had to use a callbox, but as a motorist, it’s been reassuring to see them along rural stretches of Interstate highway. With their impending demise, it’s definitely wise to have a cellphone (and a car charger) with you during your travels. Here in Georgia, you can dial 511 from your cellphone anywhere in Georgia to receive motorist aid or check traffic conditions.

Finally, we here at GRG HQ in Atlanta wish you and yours a happy and safe holiday season as well as safe travels. Please “like” us on Facebook, follow our “tweets” on Twitter, as well as subscribing to our blogsite, and we thank you for your continued support.

RIP motorist aid callboxes and thank you for being there for the traveling public.

P.S. Please share the love with AARoads and “like” them as well. I highly recommend them.