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Dear Mahatma: What happened to the idea of bumping up the interstate speed limit to 75 mph? We think ArDot is sitting on this in order to extend the time between our bathroom breaks and annoy our balky bladders. -- Grouchy Old Boys Committee

Dear Grouchies: The idea is fixin' to turn into a reality. Sooner or later. You fellas know how long it takes to make these highway things transpire. Consider 30 Crossing, the project to rebuild the Interstate 30 bridge. Between the design, the redesign and the litigation, how many committee members will still be around to see its completion?

That was morbid-ish.

On to the speed limit. We are examining Act 784 of the most recent legislative session. This pearl of poetry is titled: "An Act to Amend the Law Concerning Maximum Speed Limits; and for Other Purposes, Including Reducing the Time Between Relief Stops."

(To readers who think literally: That last part is a joke.)

The act says the maximum speed limit on a controlled access highway is 75 mph if the highway is outside an urban area and has at least four lanes divided by a median. And the maximum speed for a commercial motor vehicle is 70 mph.

The Arkansas Department of Transportation is advised to study the matter, reduce that maximum speed where it deems wise, and put up the requisite signs.

The effective date for implementation is "on or after July 1, 2020."

We asked Danny Straessle of the department a couple of questions.

What means "an urban area?" An urban area, he said, is defined as any with a population of 5,000 or more. The number of entrance and exit ramps is also a consideration, he said.

What must be done to make this happen "on or after July 1, 2020?"

The department, he said, must finish studies of those areas where raising the speed limit might not be a good idea. A date of completion for these studies is unavailable. But once done, signs will be adjusted accordingly.

It occurs to us that having a 75 mph speed on rural interstates would make Arkansas somewhat like our humongous neighbor to the west. Yeah, Texas. It's been said its landscapes are so vast that without higher speeds a traveler would never arrive.

. . .

Vanity plate on a red Corvette: WEALTHY.

Hey, Yo: Are there plans to resurface Arkansas 365 from Morgan to Levy in North Little Rock. Water stands in the indentations left by years of travel in the same spot. -- Andrew

Dear Andrew: There are plans. Sort of.

David Nilles of the Arkansas Department of Transportation tells us that resurfacing of Arkansas 365 was submitted last year for the 2023 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program, and also submitted to the proposed 10-year Pavement Improvement Program. But while the highway needs an overlay, there is as yet no specific date for that work.

. . .

Vanity plate on a VW: IMBLESSED.

Metro on 08/17/2019


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Archived Comments

  • kellyinlrarusa
    August 17, 2019 at 8:27 a.m.

    O M G. Did we not learn anything from the last time. That when big trucks and cars have different speed limits. it make for passing impossible. I drive a big truck and and car both. this is so STUPID. LEAVE THE SPEED LIMIT WHERE IT IS.This as stupid as not letting big truck travel in the left lane in some places. 90% of big trucks are just passing thru our city, and not stopping so why make them travel in the lanes where people are trying to get off and on.

  • GeneralMac
    August 17, 2019 at 9:28 a.m.

    I agree, KELLY !

    I don't care WHAT kind of a vehicle is in the left lane as long as they are either passing or keeping up with the traffic.

  • Jfish
    August 17, 2019 at 10:26 a.m.

    People are more distracted than ever and now the speed limit is being raised. Aren't my insurance rates high enough? I-40 is essentially a race track now and everyone knows in Arkansas there is very little enforcement by the State Police, so 75 basically means 85.

  • Architect
    August 17, 2019 at 10:28 a.m.

    Only in Arkansas would one describe an “urban area” as 5,000 people. LOL.

    August 17, 2019 at 11:17 a.m.

    Back when cars were at least 20 times less safe the speed limit was 60 miles an hour. It is time to restore that limit on two-lane rural highways.

  • UoABarefootPhdFICYMCA
    August 17, 2019 at 1:40 p.m.

    if you see me on the bypass im the one doing 120 in a Ducati

  • RTT
    August 17, 2019 at 10:36 p.m.

    "Hey, Yo: Are there plans to resurface AR 365 from Morgan to Levy in NLR. Water stands in the indentations left by yrs of travel in the same spot."
    * * * * * *
    Yep; and highway rutting can & does cause hydroplaning. Engineers in some places are experimenting with slight lane widening & moving stripes periodically so that road wear is spread evenly across the entire lane in order to resist rutting, thus reducing chances of hydroplaning. Naturally, the high point roadway center would remain the same for right & left water runoff. Most rutting solutions now involve complete resurfacing, at great cost of course.

    August 18, 2019 at 9:22 a.m.


    Good drivers stay out of the ruts and save gas in the rain. Duh. Not that hard.

  • RTT
    August 18, 2019 at 3:57 p.m.

    RRRRRR: Where are these "good drivers" of whom you speak?

    August 18, 2019 at 8:06 p.m.


    I see one every now and then.