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PSA: Unless posted otherwise by a visible sign, the speed limit on all VA paved rural roads is 55 mph.

Post by nathhad
It doesn't matter if the road is a lane and a half wide and so twisty you would never drive over 25mph over it - unless there are signs posted on that segment of road clearly stating otherwise, the speed limit is 55mph. This is set by law, see VAC 46.2-870.

Whoever did the rural speed limits in my county made an absolute hash of it. I'm getting in now to clean up what I can, despite not having been a particularly active editor for about five years. Worse, many of these rural roads are arbitrarily locked at higher edit levels, which makes no sense for a rural road with an ADT under 1000 and no controversial features. It's bad enough if you're guessing - but please don't compound the error by locking it so that an actual local can't easily fix it. If it's not posted, it's 55. If you generally don't know, please don't guess, because an incorrect speed limit is worse than no entry in the map.

I'll fix what I can as I have time - expect a bunch of update requests for the locked ones.
 
 
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Post by russblau
Personally, I'd be careful about assuming what the speed limit is on any unposted road. Yes, the section you cited says that the maximum speed is 55; but then Va. Code 46.2-873.1 sets a maximum of 35 mph on unpaved roads, and you can't always tell from WME imagery whether a road is fully paved or not; section 46.2-873.2 sets a maximum on "rural rustic roads" designated by a county board, and you have to research the decisions of each county to figure out which ones have been designated; and section 46.2-874 sets a maximum of 25 mph in "business or residence districts".  Don't even get me started on that one; these terms are defined in 
Code section 46.2-100, and it depends on how many businesses and residences are along any given 300-foot long section of highway.  If you don't have an authoritative source stating which speed limit applies to a particular section of road, it is much safer to leave the speed limit unset there.
 
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Post by subs5
As you know people put in volunteer time to update the maps. 

Understand your frustration but it isn't too hard to change speed limits so we appreciate the help to update the map to be correct.

There are a lot of items as discussed above.  Also throw in some editors aren't local and then utilize street view photos which are blurry at best for older dates particularly for 2007/2008 shots can be outdated by new signs.

I noticed you changed this segment south to be 55 mph. 

The segment just above has a 45 mph white (regulatory) speed limit sign - going northbound.

The segment at the northern start of the road has a 45 mph white speed limit sign for southbound. 

There is not a 55 mph speed limit sign where you started the changes.  Nor is there a posted end of [45 mph] speed limit sign. Or even changing to a new county with a different default speed limit.

In Virginia the speed limit continues from one posted sign to the end of the road unless there is another sign.  So the question then is what causes the speed limit to change from 45 to 55? 
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Post by subs5
On a second area that you changed you are correct.

It was 55 mph and someone changed ti 45 mph.  It appears they misread the "End 45 mph speed limit sign" from Nov 2007.  If not at the closest view it is very hard to see the End and Speed Limit and it can look like 45 mph at a distance.


So yes there are mistakes but so far no one commented that the 45 mph was off since July 2016. 
 
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Post by nathhad
but then Va. Code 46.2-873.1 sets a maximum of 35 mph on unpaved roads, and you can't always tell from WME imagery whether a road is fully paved or not;
That's part of my point, though, so I believe we're in agreement - if as an editor you're not a local and you're working off of satellite views, and start filling in speed limits, you're just guessing - and doubly so if you're putting in any number other than 55 in this state. If you don't have either direct local knowledge of the speed limit on that road, or recent photographic evidence of a sign posting a limit, you are much better off not entering a speed limit at all. A blank value is infinitely better than a wrong value.
I noticed you changed this segment south to be 55 mph. 
Yes. That is a segment within walking distance of my home that I have direct local knowledge of, and pass daily. The local VDOT office here is generally overworked and tends to forget to replace signs that get lost. In addition, we have a few spots in the area where locals actually steal the signs because they don't like the posted limits. it's an ongoing issue. I think they're getting tired of periodic reminders from me, too, but they do get replaced.

Even the VDOT speed limit map GIS is not reliable enough to use as a final reference. I know those guys (am an engineer in transportation in the area and work a good bit with VDOT) and they are badly underfunded, so even a fair bit of their own documentation on rural roads is unreliable. It's almost as bad as using Fuctional Classification Maps as the final arbiter of road type.

Since there's some question on that segment, I'll go ahead and trigger a formal inquiry with VDOT on it. It can take a while if the answer isn't completely evident. I do know this segment was also 45mph 20 years ago, but several other segments have changed in speed, and it's just as likely someone knocked down the 45mph signs on the other end and they were never replaced.

That should get the question resolved for us.
 
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Post by nathhad
Since there's some question on that segment, I'll go ahead and trigger a formal inquiry with VDOT on it. It can take a while if the answer isn't completely evident. I do know this segment was also 45mph 20 years ago, but several other segments have changed in speed, and it's just as likely someone knocked down the 45mph signs on the other end and they were never replaced
I did get an answer on this one - lost signs that have been gone for years, but it is intended to be 45 from Uzzell Church south to the intersection of Bowling Green only. (The last block south to the intersection of Woodland is still 55, and everything beyond.) They've got a replacement back up on one end, and hopefully will get the other end up shortly. I've made the appropriate corrections accordingly.

That said, I do still stand by my original point - I'll keep working on re-fixing the rest of the county again off and on as I get a chance to in-person verify.
 
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Chuck - Former Level 2 Editor (rarely active)
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Current goal: perpetually re-completing and correcting all roads in Isle of Wight County, VA

Post by subs5
Thanks for the update. 


Things change all the time on the map so plenty of work to do.

Take a look at what VDOT is doing on I-66 outside the beltway for adding Express Lanes, quite the multi-year project.

Also please take a look at the Virginia 2025 project.  You should consider signing up for a block in the Isle of Wight County since it appears you are off to fix that area to the current actual conditions. 
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