Local drivers have mixed feelings on Connector speed increase

Local drivers have mixed feelings on Connector speed increase

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) - Your commute on the Connector might be fast now. That is because crews were out late Monday morning changing the speed limit signs from 55 miles per hour to 60 miles per hour.

"We found that one of the things that causes a lot of accidents is variance in speed - you have the really fast and really slow, so you end up with rear end accidents," said Reed Hollinshead, spokesman for the Idaho Transportation Department.

ITD says it made the change to improve the flow of traffic and to make the drive safer.
The transportation department also says, its research showed that 85 percent of motorists are already driving at 60 miles per hour on that stretch of road. But drivers we spoke to, aren't happy about the change.

"I don't think it's a wise decision," said Kathy McNulty, a local driver.  "I think it's poor planning. If you are going to do it, do it in late spring, middle of summer so people can get used it."

Some drivers think the accidents are from bad drivers and will continue to happen, no matter the season or speed limit.

"People are going to drive the way they want to drive. If they drive bad, and don't know how to drive in the winter, doesn't matter, they are still going to drive bad," said Tony Keife, a local driver.

But some drivers think the increase in speed will help the flow of traffic.

"When you go 55 on it people pass you like (you're) standing still. I think 60 will help some," said Malu Mulholland on our KBOI2 Facebook page.

ITD wanted to install the signs a few weeks before the weather changes, so that the 57,000 vehicles that hit the connector each day, can adjust to the new speed. If crashes don't decrease, ITD will make more changes.

"Did it indeed result in the change that we were hoping for and if it doesn't, then its time to go back to the drawing board," Hollinshead said.

The Idaho Transportation Department says it's important to remember when weather conditions do get bad to drive slower than the posted 60 miles per hour.