Q: Why is Sunnyside Drive a thoroughfare with posted, 40mph speed limit signs when it is a highly residential, children occupied, lakeside street?
A: Michigan Department of Transporation Office of Communications spokesperson James Lake told Rover Sunnyside Drive is an unsigned state highway, Old M-55. As a result, the speed limit is set following state law, which requires they be posted at the 85th percentile speed. Lake said that means, the speed limit was determined after a speed study and is set at the speed that 85% of the vehicles were traveling at or below during the study.
To put in more simple terms, Lake said if 100 vehicles were traveling on that road during the study, 85 of them were traveling at or below 40mph.
"On state highways setting speed limits is a joint process between MDOT and the Michigan State Police. The two agencies conduct speed studies to reveal the 85th percentile speed," he said. "We can't just arbitrarily lower the speed limit."
Lake also said if the city feels it is too high of a speed limit, they can request MDOT and the state police conduct a speed study, but it would require them to pass a resolution to do so. They also would have to be willing to live with the results of the study, which could result in a higher speed limit being posted, according to Lake.