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New Wurzbach Parkway speed limit could increase

By Mike HernandezNews 4 San Antonio

SAN ANTONIO -- If you've driven the new section of the Wurzbach Parkway and felt the speed limit was too slow, you're not alone.

TxDOT has received an overwhelming request from the public to bump up the speed limit.

This new section of the Wurzbach Parkway, which right now has a speed limit of 45 miles per hour, may actually get a little bit faster. That is, if the Texas Transportation Commission approves it. It's coming up for consideration on October 29th.

Josh Donat, the Public Information Officer for Texas Department of Transportation explained why the speed was set at 45 miles per hour in the first place.

"Our designers are held to a standard and this is a federal and state standard out of the specification books," Donat told us. "Anytime you have a sidewalk or curb present on the roadway, the standard is the design speed cannot exceed 45 mph."

So a speed study was conducted with two things in mind, what speed seems to fit the road and something called the 85th percent rule.

"We look at a roadway and we look at the way the traffic is flowing through there and we set the speed limit at the 85th percentile of that flow of traffic," says Donat. "So if we've got 15 vehicles driving through an area and 12 of those 15 are traveling at say 50 mph and the other 3 are doing whatever, whether it be faster of slow, it really doesn't matter, we look at that 85 percent."

And what were the results of the study?

"Our recommendation is going to be to increase the speed from 45 to 60 mph between Wetmore and Blanco Road," explains Donat.

But Donat is quick to remind everyone, "Regardless of what the speed study says, as long as we have 45 miles an hour posted up there, That is what the speed limit is."

If the commission does approve the speed increase on the 29th, it will still take several weeks for new signs to be posted on the roads.

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