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New Austin Highway Limits Set at 85 Miles-Per-Hour

Texas officials have long been concerned with easing traffic throughout the state. This is especially true in Austin. Anyone driving throughout the city knows how difficult and time-consuming it can be to get from point A to point B. More traffic means potentially more car or truck accidents, and city and state planners have focused on reducing the amount of congestion within the city.

As part of the methods aimed at improving traffic flow within the city, new roads are being opened. One particular highway has made news because of the high speed limit approved by the Texas Transportation Commission.

The highway, which will be a toll-road, had its speed limit set at 85 mph. The road will open later this year, and toll rates will be established shortly before it opens. It will run from Austin to San Antonio.

Critics feel that this could lead to other states setting high speed limits on their roadways as well. In the past, the federal government would pressure states into lower speed limits by threatening to cut off funding for roads. But, that money isn't there anymore. More states are building toll roads and establishing their own speed limits.

Once the road is open, officials will closely be looking at the driving behavior of motorists. Many drivers travel at rates above the speed limit, and it will be interesting to see how fast they will go on the new road.

If the higher speeds lead to more car accidents, expect the Texas to face calls to reduce the speed limits. However, Texas and Utah already have the highest speed limits for toll roads in the United States, so this may just be the first of many speed limit increases.

Source: USA Today "Texas raises speed limit to 85 mph: Other states could, too" Larry Copeland, September 9, 2012.

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