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Speed limit reduction planned for stretch of Volcano Road

State officials today said the speed limit on a 5.5-mile stretch of Volcano Road on Hawaii island will be reduced to 35 mph in both directions later this month.

The speed limit reduction is planned along Volcano Road (Route 11) between the intersections of North and Pszyk roads through Kurtistown and Mountain View, according to the Hawaii Department of Transportation.

DOT said the new 35 mph speed limit will go into effect once new signs are installed on Jan. 23.

Previously, the speed limit in the area varied from 45 to 55 mph, depending on the direction of travel, officials said.

Route 11 is a popular stretch that leads from the Hilo airport to the popular Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, but also passes through several residential areas.

DOT said the speed limit is being lowered to improve safety, and that “a consistent and manageable speed supports operation” at five unsignalized crosswalks, two traffic signals and pedestrian activity from two community parks along this 5.5-mile section of Volcano Road.

DOT said it has been actively managing speed in areas where it anticipates high rates of vehicles, pedestrians, and bicyclists.

”This improves safety by increasing reaction time for drivers and other users and improves survivability if a crash does occur,” said DOT in a news release. “By normalizing safe speed limits, right sizing corridors, and upgrading infrastructure with features that guide the user to appropriate speeds such as roundabouts and raised crosswalks, we can reduce serious traffic injuries and fatalities while ensuring an efficient system.”

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