Pothole hurts worse at 70
The state Department of Transportation and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission have launched trial runs for higher speed limits on a 97-mile stretch of the turnpike and on stretches of a few interstate highways, including I-380 in Northeast Pennsylvania.
This is not an exotic idea - 36 other states already have 70 mph speed limits on major highways. So, the increase from 65 mph to 70 mph simply will create more consistent limits.
Pennsylvania is unique, however, in the condition of its roadways. As transportation officials themselves have noted in seeking more money from the Legislature, the state has more miles of highway and more highway bridges in bad shape than most other states.
As a practical matter, since very few drivers observe the actual speed limit, a 70 mph limit actually means cars will be traveling between 75 and 80 mph.
The challenge to maintain safety is that road repair and maintenance rises in concert with the speed limit.