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New Brunswick, NJ - Highway With No Speed Limit Now Has 4

Published on: January 1, 2010 11:45 AM
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New Brunswick, NJ - Imagine driving a major highway first at 45 mph, then a few hundred yards later 55 mph, then shortly after that 50 mph, and finally, half a block later 40 mph. Got it?

Well drive out on the newly rebuilt Route 18 and that’s exactly what you get—a highway with speed limits that go from 45 mph to 55 mph to 50 mph to 40 mph within just half a mile.

“I would say I’m happy I never got pulled over,” said Rutgers University student Amanda Cobas, who admitted she thought the speed limit was 65 mph.

That might be understandable, because up until a week or so ago, there was no posted speed limit. This was the highway that when it was finished, became infamous for having blank speed limit signs. Then, after nbcnewyork.com reported on it, state DOT officials found some black plastic garbage bags lying around that they used to cover up the blank signs.

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Their justification for going from blank signs to garbage bag-covered signs to 4 different speed limit signs? “Reconstruction ... completely changed the character of the highway,” wrote spokesman Tim Greeley in an email. Therefore NJDOT had to “conduct comprehensive speed limit studies… once Route 18 had been fully opened.”

In other words, they wanted to see how fast motorists would go, presumably safely, before setting a speed limit, or in this case, multiple speed limits.

The studies, and the final decision on the speed limits, came too late for one New Brunswick resident, 15 year old George Coleman, Jr., who was struck and killed back in October as he tried to cross an intersection on the new highway. He was hit by a motorist traveling at 68 miles an hour, according to a New Brunswick police investigation.

Now, that particular stretch of roadway has been marked for 45 mph, though the New Brunswick City Council Wednesday is expected to approve a resolution calling on the NJDOT to lower it to 40 mph.

“Forty-five poses a little bit too much of a hazard as far as the speed being too much,” said Councilman Rob Recine, who says he will vote for the resolution.

As to the multiple speed limits, Recine added “It’s a little bit dangerous in the fact you go from one speed to another speed to another speed and I think that just invites some problems.”

NJDOT spokesman Greeley defended the multiple speed zones, noting at least two other state highways with similar changes. “NJDOT has determined the posted speed limits are appropriate for this stretch of highway,” he wrote in his email.

Greeley added that traffic engineers often wait to post speed limits until after the highway has been finished and opened. As to the possibility of posting “Pedestrian Beware” signs during those times of no speed limits, Greeley wrote “it will be looked into.”


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1

 Jan 01, 2010 at 11:49 AM chacham levy Says:

Same thing coming down the palisades to the gwb!

2

 Jan 01, 2010 at 12:09 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
chacham levy Says:

Same thing coming down the palisades to the gwb!

I'm not sure what you mean - the speed limit drops once and only once

3

 Jan 01, 2010 at 12:30 PM focus Says:

Reply to #1  
chacham levy Says:

Same thing coming down the palisades to the gwb!

i travel many times on the palisades and never realized any speed change. i go all the way from route 6 to the gw on 65 MPH. i rarely saw any car getting pulled over on the palisades. i guess there aren't many police there, especially at night when i travel, since it's so dark there that even police is scared.

4

 Jan 01, 2010 at 01:00 PM Anonymous Says:

They'll take the 55 and 50 signs down in a hurry when people start successfully challenging tickets in court.

5

 Jan 01, 2010 at 01:49 PM Anonymous Says:

4 speed limits in such a short stretch is rediculous and dangerous

45 on the prospect needs to go to at least 50.. Cars are much better built these days with much better handling and breaking.. And no one crosses the prospect exprswy.. If you have your car in drive on the prospect coming from the bqe theres that little hill that without even breaking youre doing 50..
I think low speed limits are a semi scam to get more tickets....

To whoever wrote that there are no cops on the palisades obviosly doesnt drive the palisades much.. I dont think ive ever been on it without seeing someone pulled over on one of the sides.

6

 Jan 01, 2010 at 02:05 PM Gregaaron Says:

Reply to #3  
focus Says:

i travel many times on the palisades and never realized any speed change. i go all the way from route 6 to the gw on 65 MPH. i rarely saw any car getting pulled over on the palisades. i guess there aren't many police there, especially at night when i travel, since it's so dark there that even police is scared.

Don't get too comfortable. Once you get into New Jersey (past the hill between exits 5 and 4), the trees are crawling with cops who have no other job than to patrol that ten mile stretch. 65 (the limit is 60 there) can definitely get you pulled over. Those cops are scared of nobody.

7

 Jan 02, 2010 at 09:11 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #6  
Gregaaron Says:

Don't get too comfortable. Once you get into New Jersey (past the hill between exits 5 and 4), the trees are crawling with cops who have no other job than to patrol that ten mile stretch. 65 (the limit is 60 there) can definitely get you pulled over. Those cops are scared of nobody.

The limit is 50, laded with police, and if u get a ticket there, u have to sit in court for a good few hours. So better watch out!

8

 Jan 02, 2010 at 09:33 PM Anonymous Says:

Years ago, I drove between NJ and W. Virginia on business via Rt 81 going through Maryland and Pennsylvania . There's a stretch of Rt 81N where the local towns set the speed limit. The posted speed limit fluctuated up and down from 77 mph to 35 mph within a 10-mile spread (I recall reading that the upper limit has since been reduced).

It was quite a challenge to pass through ticket-free.

9

 Jan 02, 2010 at 11:49 PM rte 18 is a disaster Says:

that whole road is a dangerous deathtrap...they need to knock down those projects because ppl cross the highway(!) like its a side street. add confusing signs and lights, its a typical jersey mess

10

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