Watch CBS News

Caltrans May Change Speed Limits On Highway 99 To Limit Congestion

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — From 65 to 45 miles per hour? You'll soon have to double-check the speed limit signs on Highway 99 as speed limits will soon change depending on how much traffic is on the highway.

"It's a mess, it's a lot of traffic and not enough lanes to drive through," explained driver, Barbra Loof.

Traffic tension is nothing new when it comes to Highway 99. The highway has previously been named the most dangerous roadway in the US.

"I've lived here for over 30 years and it's just gotten so congestion, it's not one of my favorite highways to drive," Loof explained.

"The more roads that are compact, it's going to lead to accidents, exhaust and just time being wasted on the road," said driver, Nick Talbert.

Caltrans is looking to ease traffic and limit accidents by implementing digital speed limit signs that change based on traffic flow, using metering systems to limit the number of cars on the highway.

"The reason behind it has to do because Highway 99 is already at max capacity," explained Caltrans District 3 spokesperson, Dennis Keaton. "If we can manage the actual speed through an area that is typically backed up with congestion during peak commute times. Maybe we can lessen, number one, the amount of rear-end accidents, and also improve the overall emission levels."

The six-month pilot project will span northbound from Elk Grove Blvd to the Highway 50 interchange with advisory speeds posted at 10 separate locations.

The idea comes from a similar project in San Diego. CBS13 wanted to know will it work and how is it any different-from traffic determining speed limits naturally. Keaton said San Diego saw an impact on their traffic when they tested the same theory.

"The overall traffic speeds were increased by 8 percent. I don't want to say that is increasing past the speed limit or doing anything like that, it's meaning that there is less congestion. So, you had less people basically bunched up together and it was an easier flow to manage," he explained.

It's a theory drivers say they are excited about.

"It would be easier on the commute," said Loof. "I think it would be a wonderful thing."

It would alleviate a highway holdup drivers hope will accelerate progress.

The project starts on November 1. Advisory speed limits are recommendations and are not enforced by the California Highway Patrol.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.