By Michael Praats | October 19, 2020 at 4:46 AM EDT – Updated October 19 at 6:29 AM
On Monday, Kure Beach town leaders will vote on a resolution that will be sent to the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) to approve the changing of the speed limit from 35 mph to 25 mph.
The roads in question are state-owned and therefore require approval from the NCDOT to reduce their speeds, however, the state generally sets speed limits based off of statistics, and something known as the 85th percentile speed.
“The 85th percentile speed is the speed at or below which 85 percent of the sampled vehicles travel. The majority of drivers operate their vehicles at a speed that is comfortable without strict enforcement, regardless of the signage. Typically, the 85th percentile speed is used to determine the speed limit. This helps to avoid posting speed limits that are artificially low, which can become difficult to enforce,” according to a letter sent to the Town of Kure Beach from the NCDOT.
A study conducted on Fort Fisher Boulevard shows the 85th percentile speed for that area is actually 34 mph, which is in line with the current speed limit. However, if the town wants to change the speed limit, the state will allow it, provided the town agrees to enforce the lower speed limit.
“Based on the roadway characteristics and speed data being lower than the existing speed limit, if the Town would like to pursue extending the 25 mph speed limit on US 421 (Fort Fisher Boulevard) between the two existing 25 mph sections from Alabama Avenue / Carolina Beach town limit to N Avenue, please send us a resolution including verbiage that this speed limit will be enforced,” the letter from the NCDOT reads.
This requirement is something the Town of Carolina Beach has also had to face since many of the speed limit reductions it has requested over the past several years have been lower than what the state recommended, and what statistics suggested were appropriate speeds.
The Kure Beach Town Council will vote on the resolution at their 6 p.m. meeting on Monday stating that the changes are for the best interest and safety of residents in the town.
If approved, the resolution will be sent to the state who will then make the final adjustments to the speed limits.
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