MDOT To Increase Speed Limit on US 127

By: Jamie Edmonds Email
By: Jamie Edmonds Email

The speed limit on the stretch of US 127 is about to be bumped up from 55 to 65 miles per hour.

"Starting April 5, that week we will start putting up new signs on US 127 north of St. Johns," Kari Arend of MDOT said.

After collaboration with the state police, MDOT has decided to raise the speed limit on US 127 between St Johns and Ithaca, they say for safety reasons.

"It's always safer for drivers to drive a consistent speed," Arend said.

Its confusing she said for drivers exiting the freeway at 70 miles per hour, to hit the brakes so quickly, and many of them aren't doing so.

"We found that 85 percent of drivers are going 63-64 miles per hour there," Arend said.

But just because everyone's doing it, doesn't make it right says Clinton County Sheriff Wayne Kangas. He worries increased speeds will only accelerate the number of accidents.

"There are two golf courses there, there are 57 driveways cuts on that stretch in Clinton County, there are a number of concerns there," Kangas said.

The people News Ten talked to who live and work on the same stretch of highway said, just because the speed limit may be 65 miles per hour, that's not how fast drivers will be going.

"They'll go 70 mph," Jeanette Argersinger, who lives nearby, said. "It's not like a limited access road, you can get on where ever you want. I think it's ridiculous to increase the speed for this area."

But there are plenty of drivers out there welcome the increase. Kangas said he and his deputies will keep an eye for those who try to push it.

"[MDOT] says drivers won't go to 70 mph," Kangas said. "I hope they're right."

This stretch will be the first non-freeway in the state to have designated speeds above 55 miles per hour. The new signs will begin to go up on Monday.

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  • by Robert Location: Kalamazoo on Apr 12, 2010 at 10:40 AM
    Jef is correct; State trunklines had speed limits well above 55 mph before the 70s and it wasn't accidents that lowered the speed limit, it was the gas shortage! This is a smart move -- getting to Mount Pleasant and Clare from downstate is so tedious, now it will be a faster, safer drive than trying to drive at 55 mph and having to dodge idiots who don't obey the speed limit anyways
  • by Jason Location: Lansing on Apr 6, 2010 at 05:33 PM
    MDOT doesn't have the funds to turn US-127 between St. Johns & Ithaca into a full freeway, and likely won't for another 20 to 30 years. They're slowly buying up property that lies on it in preparation for that speed limit boost, and they've made a variety of safety improvements, but most of us will be old by the time we see it become a freeway. The only thing that causes people to conserve fuel is to make it too expensive to waste. $4 a gallon did a lot to kill the SUV craze.
  • by Jef Location: Detroit on Apr 3, 2010 at 08:37 PM
    Michigan had 65mph speed limits on 2 lane roads before the 55mph nonsense started in 1974. What happened to the bloodbath that was supposed to occur when freeway speed limits were raised above 55mph?
  • by David Location: Charlotte on Apr 1, 2010 at 06:25 AM
    IMO, this was done to make the trip to Soaring Eagle more competitive with the new Firekeepers in Battle Creek. You can go an extra 2.5 miles compared to the old 55 MPH for the 16 mile stretch. Should save almost 2 whole minutes.
  • by Paul Location: Holt on Mar 31, 2010 at 07:50 PM
    Matt, you are out of touch with current driving conditions. You are probably one of those I come up behind who drive 10 to 15 MPH below the posted limit! Today's vehicles are safer than ever before, they can travel very safely at 75 to 80 MPH (on an interstate) with no issue. Braking systems are better, vehicles have so many safety features to avoid accidents, lowering speed limits is ridiculous. I think interstates should be posted at 75 or 80, and all the rest of the 55 highways be 65.
  • by matt Location: parma on Mar 31, 2010 at 02:32 PM
    STUPID!!!! We need to consider lowering speed limits in the interest of saving on fuel. What we should be looking at is lowering the interstates down to 65 if not 60. Sounds like another stretch of highway there just making more dangerous.
  • by nfh Location: Jackson on Mar 31, 2010 at 12:29 PM
    MDOT will keep the speeds down by not maintaining the pavement. You won't be able to go faster without damaging your car.
  • by Jen Location: Williamston on Mar 31, 2010 at 11:21 AM
    Oh, how nice this would've been when my sister was still going to Alma College! It is about time, and from my experience, most people drive highway speed through there anyway unless they see a lot of police on that part of the roadway. I, personally, think it will make it safer because of the more consistent speed.
  • by Robert Location: Mt Pleasant on Mar 31, 2010 at 11:18 AM
    I cant welcome this more, considering how many people travel 127 on a daily basis, I would have to say "boo hoo" to the residents and business owners in the area. People already go 70 through that stretch, consider all the people that use that stretch of road versus the "50" driveways (which are almost all driveways opening to vacant land) of the residents in the area... this is more efficient, and will cause less issues... except for Winter of course when this area blows and drifts with people going 65... but other than that I WELCOME this with open arms. Can't wait to get to Lansing in < 1 hr!
  • by Carrie Location: Mason on Mar 31, 2010 at 08:21 AM
    Maybe this will make the St. Johns people put a highway there! That stretch is the part I loath the most when I'm driving up north.
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