reported on May 1st, traffic engineers in OR will no longer rely on an outdated and dangerous method for setting speed limits. Thanks to new rules adopted by the OR Transportation Commission last month (,, the process for designating speeds has changed dramatically and now goes way beyond the traditional 85 percentile method, which said limits should be set at or under the speed at which 85% of drivers are currently driving.

The new rule, which applies to all public roads except interstate freeways, adds many new factors into the decision-making process. When setting speeds, engineers will now have statutory guidance to consider dense urban contexts, presence of foot and bicycle traffic, demographics of road users, crash rate, public input, and other new factors. The adopted rule also introduces a fiftieth percentile rule along with new functional street classifications such as "urban mix," "urban core," and "suburban fringe" that allow engineers to further tune their analysis. It has also codified a list of recommended speeds for those new classifications.