By Clint Parker
Leicester – Drivers in the Leicester area may have noticed a change in the speed limit. Seems the speed limit on Leicester Highway from Don Felmet Road to the Madison County line dropped from 55 mph to 35 mph. The speed limit on North Turkey Creek also dropped from 55 mph to 35 mph.
Wow, that’s quite a change and some folks are wondering why the 20 mph drop. When we contacted the NC Department of Transportation, we were told that Anna Henderson, Division 13 Traffic Engineer, had answers for the changes.
“The newly installed speed limit on North Turkey Creek Road is part of a statewide program initiated by the legislature to improve safety along rural roads in North Carolina,” Henderson told the newspaper.
“The program’s objective is to place engineered speed limits on roadways that have previously been statutory 55 mph speed limits with the goal of reducing speeds as well as fatal and serious-injury crashes,” she said. “Engineers recently reviewed North Turkey Creek Road and determined that 35 mph is the maximum speed limit that motorists should travel due to the roadway’s width, curvature, horizontal and vertical alignment — which impact sight distances — and development. Speed limit signs were then placed in accordance with our standard speed limit placement guidelines.”
Henderson was asked if the same thing happened with Leicester Highway from Don Felmet Road to the Madison County line as she had not addressed the reduction in speed in her statement. She said, yes, the same program was applied to that part of Leicester Hwy. It remains to be seen how residents who drive these roads every day will view these changes.