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NEW LIMITS COMING SOON — The diagram above shows the proposed changes in speed limits for four segments of East Taylor Road. The road is a busy connector between South Woodland Boulevard (U.S. Highway 17-92) and the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Beltway, labeled on the map as “MLK, Jr Boulevard.”

Speed limits on a busy thoroughfare through southeastern DeLand could soon change.

The Volusia County Council may tweak the speed limits on East Taylor Road at its meeting Tuesday, Dec. 10.

Currently, the top speed varies between 30 and 50 mph on the east-west roadway that runs from South Woodland Boulevard to the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Beltway.

The speed limits are 30 mph between Woodland Boulevard and Aquarius Avenue; 35 mph between Aquarius Avenue and Bent Oaks Boulevard; and 50 mph between Bent Oaks Boulevard and South Blue Lake Avenue, and from South Blue Lake to MLK Beltway.

The 2.6-mile-long segment of road is home to several large residential subdivisions, including Bent Oaks, Longleaf Plantation and Victoria Oaks, which is part of the larger Victoria Park development currently under construction.

County staff conducted a traffic study along the roadway, which measured how fast motorists were actually driving on four segments of the road.

Speed limits are generally set at or near the 85th percentile speed of free-flowing traffic — the speed 85 percent are driving at or under.

“Artificially lowering speed zones from that level does not substantially change the actual speeds driven,” county staff wrote in a County Council agenda item. “Rather, it creates the perception of a speed trap, and generates disrespect for speed zones and other traffic control devices in general.”

The 85th-percentile speeds found during the study were 41 mph between Woodland and Aquarius; 45 mph between Aquarius and Bent Oaks; 51 mph between Bent Oaks and Blue Lake; and 55 mph from Blue Lake to the beltway.

As a result, county traffic staff are recommending the County Council set new speed limits for the four segments at:

  • 35 mph between Woodland Boulevard and Aquarius Avenue, up from 30 mph,
  • 45 mph between Aquarius Avenue and Bent Oaks Boulevard, up from 35 mph,
  • 45 mph between Bent Oaks Boulevard and South Blue Lake Avenue, down from 50 mph, and
  • 50 mph from South Blue Lake Avenue to MLK Beltway, the same as the current speed limit.

The change is on the consent agenda — a list of items considered minor that are usually voted on all at once — for the County Council’s Dec. 10 meeting, so it may not be the subject of discussion, unless a member of the council chooses to bring it up.