from the speeeeeed! dept.
AP reports that Montana lawmakers are drafting bills that would raise the daytime speed limit on Montana interstate highways from 75 to 80 and possibly as high as 85 mph. “I just think our roads are engineered well, and technology is such we can drive those roads safely,” says Art Wittich noting that Utah, Wyoming and Idaho have raised their speed limits above 75, and they haven't had any problems and drivers on German autobahns average about 84 mph. State Senator Scott Sales says he spent seven months working in the Bakken oil patch, driving back and forth to Bozeman regularly. “If I could drive 85 mph on the interstate, it would save an hour,” says Sales. “Eighty-five would be fine with me."
A few years ago Texas opened a 40 mile stretch on part of a toll road called the Pickle Parkway between Austin and San Antonio. The tolled bypass was supposed to help relieve the bottleneck around Austin but the highway was built so far to the east that practically nobody used it. In desperation, the state raised the toll road speed limit to 85 mph, the fastest in the nation. "The idea was that drivers could drop the top, drop the hammer, crank the music and fly right past Austin," says Wade Goodyn. "It's a beautiful, wide-open highway — but it's empty, and the builders are nearly bankrupt."