Speed limit to increase for state highways, but not Chicago - New York News

Speed limit to increase for state highways, but not Chicago

Posted: Updated:
CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Starting January 1st, speed limits on 87 percent of Illinois' expressways will go from 65 to 70 miles an hour, under a bill signed by Governor Quinn last summer.

But a map released by the Illinois Department of Transportation shows the new, higher speed limit essentially skirts the Chicago region. Only a small portion of I-55 and I-57 in far southern Cook County, and I-94 in far northern Lake County, will see 70.

IDOT is refusing to raise the speed limit on Chicago's expressways, citing safety concerns.

But State Senator Jim Oberweis is among a number of lawmakers pushing IDOT to reconsider. Oberweis says studies show most traffic on Chicago expressways goes 10 miles over the limit anyway and artificially slowing a handful of drivers down is more dangerous than letting everyone drive a bit faster.

"That means that somebody who is being a good citizen and following the law is more likely to cause an accident and be involved in an accident than someone who is breaking the law and going 70 miles an hour," Oberweis said. "That's why I think it is fundamentally wrong for IDOT and the tollway to set those limits at unreasonable limits that nobody is paying attention to anyway."

Oberweis says if IDOT doesn't raise the limits on Chicago-area expressways voluntarily, he may sponsor a bill forcing them to do it.

Drivers had mixed reactions.

"I think it would be fine if it jumped to 70," one man told FOX 32. "I think we're all pretty good, safe drivers. Just keep it moving."

"I'm an over-the-road driver and I think 70 is good outside the city. Inside the city, it's too congested," another added. "It's just too congested in this area."

The law also includes a provision that allows police to charge drivers with excessive speeding for going more than 26 mph over the posted limit. The previous threshold had been slightly higher, at 31 mph.

Once the new law goes into effect, drivers will be able to cruise at 70 mph on roughly 87 percent of the state's interstate highway system. Just 28 percent of the Illinois Tollway's 286 miles of roadway will see the speed limit increase.

Roughly 900 new road signs -- costing $200,000 to make and install -- will arrive in early January. Until then, drivers should obey all posted speed limits, state traffic officials said.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

Follow Us!

Share Your Photos & Video

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Community celebrates renovated Queens Library branch damaged by Sandy

    Community celebrates renovated Queens Library branch damaged by Sandy

    Friday, April 18 2014 4:57 PM EDT2014-04-18 20:57:15 GMT
    It's been nearly a year and a half since Superstorm Sandy tore through the Queens Library Arverne branch in the Rockaways. Now it is back in business.Sandy left behind 4 feet of water. A massive renovation -- gutting, cleaning, repainting, rewiring -- was needed to get everything back up to speed. The library, which reopened March 18, is a vital part of the community.
    It's been nearly a year and a half since Superstorm Sandy tore through the Queens Library Arverne branch in the Rockaways. Now it is back in business.Sandy left behind 4 feet of water. A massive renovation -- gutting, cleaning, repainting, rewiring -- was needed to get everything back up to speed. The library, which reopened March 18, is a vital part of the community.
  • NYPD identifies woman wanted for baby snatch attempt

    NYPD: Woman tried to snatch baby in stroller

    Friday, April 18 2014 4:36 PM EDT2014-04-18 20:36:31 GMT
    Police want to question a woman who tried to push a stroller with a baby inside away from a nanny in Chelsea. The incident occurred on 8th Ave. and 17th St. at about 4 p.m. on Thursday. The 8-month-old baby was not harmed. People who were in the area jumped in to stop the woman before she took off southbound on 8th Ave., according to police. A sketch was released on Friday of the suspect.

    Police are looking for a woman who tried to push a stroller with a baby inside away from a nanny in Chelsea. Police have identified the suspect as Tara Anne McDonald, 46. The attempted kidnapping occurred on 8th Ave. and 17th St. at about 3:45 p.m. on Thursday, police said. People who were in the area jumped in to stop McDonald before she took off southbound on 8th Ave., according to police.


  • Basil farm ready to switch to marijuana

    Basil farm ready to switch to marijuana

    Friday, April 18 2014 4:11 PM EDT2014-04-18 20:11:50 GMT
    Basil plants grow on a New Jersey farm, but the facility could be turned into a five-acre medical marijuana greenhouse with only 48 hours' notice. The hoses from the state-of-the-art Dutch hydroponic system are watering flowers now, but with a few minor adjustments could just as easily grow marijuana plants for medicinal cannabis. The only reason it's not happening now is because the company is publicly traded and subject to federal law.
    Basil plants grow on a New Jersey farm, but the facility could be turned into a five-acre medical marijuana greenhouse with only 48 hours' notice. The hoses from the state-of-the-art Dutch hydroponic system are watering flowers now, but with a few minor adjustments could just as easily grow marijuana plants for medicinal cannabis. The only reason it's not happening now is because the company is publicly traded and subject to federal law.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices