Higher Speed Limits Coming to 2 D.C. Roads

Two major roadways in the District are going to get higher speed limits -- possibly as early as next week.

Mayor Vincent Gray said drivers will be able to go faster on Benning Road in Northeast and on Interstate 295, which carries more than 100,000 vehicles daily on the eastern side of the city.

The varying speed limits are confusing to locals and out-of-towners both.

“Some places 40, some places 45 and a few places it’s actually,” Gray said.

Gray announced Friday he's signing an executive order to make I-295 consistently 50 mph from the Wilson Bridge north to Eastern Avenue.

“All of which we think is consistent with safety and consistent with where we are at this stage,” Gray said.

And a broad expanse of Benning Road near RFK Stadium will be increased from 30 to 35 mph.

Motorists complain the speed limit is too low and the speeding tickets too numerous on both roadways.

“We're doing an emergency rule so that it is effective immediately because that will have an impact on people not getting tickets,” Gray said.

Gray said the signage will be changed as quickly as possible, even as early as next week.

He also said he's moving ahead with a D.C. Department of Transportation effort to identify more streets where speed limits can be safely raised 5 or 10 mph. But he also emphasized that the city will speed up its use of speed cameras to catch those exceeding the limit, whatever it is. He has requested 80 new speed cameras in the city.

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