Getting to and fro will likely be faster early next year on portions of Old Noonday Road.
On Thursday, the city of Tyler’s traffic safety board made a recommendation to increase the speed on two portions of Old Noonday Road from 30 to 40 mph.
The recommendation will go before the Tyler City Council in early January for final consideration. If the council is favorable, the speed would be changed in the same week, said Jordan Yutzy, associate traffic engineer.
The speed could change on two segments - from Frankston Highway to Lake Placid Road and from Frankston Highway north to Front Street. The speed change is for a total of 1.4 miles.
Those sections all have curb and gutter and relatively few driveways. The speed would remain at 30 mph on areas with larger density of homes and on segments without proper curb and gutter, Yutzy said.
Yutzy said the change came at the request of a resident, who wanted the city to look into increasing the limit.
Traffic engineers then conducted a traffic study.
By law, speed limits are based on the 85 percentile of the speed drivers would naturally travel on the road.
“The 85th percentile is different than 85 percent,” Traffic Engineer Peter Eng said. “It’s a tally of the fastest car to the slowest. If I counted 100 (cars), the 85th highest speed is the 85th percentile. … The assumption is 85 percent of people are law-abiding and would drive at a speed comfortable to them, and 15 percent of the people normally drive faster than what we think is good speed.”
In November, the city put traffic count readers in three places on the road - one midway between Lake Placid and Texas Highway 155, another north of Earl Campbell Parkway and a third south of First Street.
The discs, which are about the size of a cellphone, counted traffic for 72 hours, and the devices used an algorithm to calculate the 85th percentile.
The devices counted roughly 500 vehicles, Yutzy said.
“We use (the devices) if there are reports of heavy speeders in an area,” Yutzy said. “We can get the information to Tyler PD of when they are speeding on those roads. People are predictable and will speed at the same time every day.”
From the study, it was determined the majority of drivers were naturally driving between 43 and 47 mph across the three segments of roadway, which led the traffic safety board to settle on 40 mph on the two segments where the speed is changing.
Adjusting the speed would be a matter of changing out signs. Yutzy estimated it would cost the city about $100.