ATLANTA -- Drivers south of I-20 are about to see the speed limit go up.
But, all sides admit, this new speed limit will now closely match the actual speeds now.
And how fast are people on I-285 driving now?
Says Karen Lundy of College Park, "I'd say about 65-70 miles an hour."
Adds driver James Taylor, "At least 80 or 90. I'm doing 70 just to keep up."
The Georgia Department of Transportation seems to realize that. This Friday at noon, they will officially increase the speed limit on I-285, south of I-20, from 55 to 65 mph. In a letter to stakeholders, GDOT's chief engineer admitted this new limit "will be more consistent with current driver expectations and behavior."
"Everybody's doing an average of 65-70 anyway," said driver Frank Johnson, "so it's not really gonna make a difference in how people drive."
Another change is coming next October, when GDOT will install variable speed limits (VSL) on I-285, north of I-20. The speed limit will range from 45 to 65 mph depending on traffic.
It will be the first of its kind in Metro Atlanta.
GDOT officials are excited about the VSL system. They say it will shorten trip times and even save motorists gas. They plan to roll out an awareness campaign before launching the system next fall.