Dallas tollways are known for being beautiful, wide-open, relatively straight expanses of highway with a frustratingly slow speed limit (that many people ignore as they fly past you).
The North Texas Tollway Authority is considering changing the speed limit to what many have long deemed more appropriate and congruous with the majority of other Texas highways: 70 mph instead of 55 in many places.
The board will vote on the proposal Aug. 19. It has unanimous support by the committee and will therefore likely pass.
Precipitating the change was a "Speed Study" that reviewed crash data, noise impact, air quality, roadway geometry and entrance ramp merge distances, among other things.The study showed that none of these factors would be impacted enough to prevent increasing the limit, and the new electronic toll booths would offset any air quality concerns.
Most significantly, Texas often sets speed limits within the 85th percentile range of what drivers are already going, and the study found higher limits would fall more in line with the existing average speed of Dallas drivers on tollways.
Holly LaFon has written and worked for various local publications including D Magazine and Examiner.