Boise, ID

How Many Speed Limits Are There in Boise?

Stuart Gustafson

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Quick…how many different speed limits do you think there are in Boise? Before you come up with your answer, keep in mind that there are at most 5 different speed limits in most European countries? Those five are 30, 50, 70, 90, and 110 kilometers per hours (KMH). Now keep in mind that a kilometer is about 0.62 (or close to 5/8) mile. So that 110 KMH is about 68 miles per hour (MPH).

I have looked on various websites for the City of Boise, Ada County Highway Department, State of Idaho, etc., and I was not able to find any information on the different speed limits in town. So what I’m offering is from my own views and knowledge from having lived in Boise for 28 years. I expect to hear from readers who will point out errors in my story; that’s okay. Thank you for taking the time to read it and to add some more information. That is always appreciated.

20: The default (meaning if another limit is not posted) speed limit on Boise city streets is 20 MPH. Not every city residential street has a sign, but you will be safe by adhering to the “this sure seems slow” speed of twenty. This is also the speed limit around most schools (I say “most,” because I have not check out all schools) when lights are flashing, typically when students are going to, or leaving, school.

25: This seems to be a common speed limit on some arterial roads. One example, near where I live, is Northview Street. Since the expansion of Curtis Road between Fairview and Chinden years ago, Northview has become a de facto alternate east-west route for those not wanting to drive on Fairview. The posted limit on Northview is 25, versus the 35 on Fairview, so its choice as a “faster” route is a bit suspect.

30: This speed is not that common in the areas around my house (West Bench), but one place where I see it is on Milwaukee Street. It is a rather busy road, and I think that the limit is 30, vice 35, is because it is only one lane in each direction north of Fairview.

35: This seems to be a popular limit in Boise. The main arteries in my area (Fairview, Cole, Ustick, Curtis, etc.) are all at 35, although there are parts of Fairview and Ustick that do step it up notch.

40: This is the “step up” I was referring to above. Heading west on Fairview, the limit does move up from 35 to 40 as you get closer to Cloverdale. Similarly on Ustick, the limit does move up the farther west you go.

45: Not as common in the residential areas of Boise, this limit is on State Street, for one location. I have seen a few 45 signs in the outer parts of the city, such as on Amity or Victory or Overland, but you won’t find it in too many residential neighborhoods.

50: This is the upper limit (that I know of) in the city of Boise. I know of two places where I’ve seen the 50 sign; yes, there might be more! One place is on Chinden as you head west from Glenwood toward the Hewlett-Packard facility; and the other is on State as you head west toward Highway 55 (no, that’s not the speed limit).

Did you guess that there are seven different speed limits in Boise?

Or do you know of more? Such as the strange speed limits I’ve seen on some private roads. Or is there a 10 or a 15 MPH sign somewhere? I’d love to know where. Post a Comment and let me know – thanks!

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Articles on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday about travel, relevant local/regional items, some finance. Always with a slant to ask you to think.

Boise, ID
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