Millett, Breen praise decision to decrease speed limit on I-295

Posted: February 22, 2017 | Senator Millett, Transportation

AUGUSTA — Senators in southern Maine lauded a decision by the Maine Department of Transportation, announced Wednesday, to decrease the speed limit by 5 mph on Interstate 295 from Falmouth to Topsham.

Sen. Rebecca Millett, D-Cape Elizabeth, had submitted a bill in December to decrease the speed limit along this stretch of highway, where the rate of accidents had increased since the speed limit had been raised to 70 mph in 2014.

“I’m pleased to see the Department of Transportation taking action on this issue,” Sen. Millett said. “I know my constituents will be happy that one of the busiest throughways in our region will be safer from now on.”

In the two years after the speed limit increase in 2014 from 65 mph to 70 mph, crashes on I-295 increased by 29 percent, according to a Maine DOT release. During that same time period, traffic volumes increased by just 6.4 percent.

Sen. Cathy Breen, D-Falmouth, supported Millett’s bill, and also thanked the Department for adapting to the safety concerns of lawmakers and residents.

“There are more people on I-295 than ever before, and raising the speed limit only made matters worse,” said Sen. Breen. “I’ve heard from many people who told me their commutes have become more dangerous. The reversal of the speed limit increase is a move in the right direction.”