Wisconsin Department of Transportation

Alert: The following services will be unavailable on Saturday, January 5, 2013 from 12 a.m. (midnight) to 6 a.m. CST due to system maintenance.

WIS 164 Rehabilitation (County Q-County E) - Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Why not just lower the speed limit to one consistent speed to improve safety?

Some of the public feedback suggested lowering the speed limit would make WIS 164 safer. While itís
easy to understand why the public suggests this, nationwide studies have shown the opposite.

According to a nationally accepted principle, the majority of drivers are cautious, prudent, and drive at
speeds that are reasonable and proper for that roadway, regardless of the posted speed limit.

Posting the speeds higher or lower than the majority speed has shown an increase in traffic crashes
because of resulting driver behaviors like tailgating, improper passing, reckless driving, and excessive

Studies have been done over the years that relate crashes to speed. Findings have shown that a driverís
risk of being involved in a crash is lowest at 5 to 10 mph above the average speed of traffic, which
coincidently is usually the 85th percentile speed. The lowest risk of being involved in a crash occurs at
approximately the 85th percentile speed. The 85th percentile speed is used as a major factor in selecting
the appropriate speed limit for a street or highway.

FHWA Publication No. FHWA-RD-97-084 shows that lowering speed limits at many locations studied nationwide had essentially no effect on driver speeds.

A study done by the UW TOPS Lab in June of 2010 shows that many drivers do not comply with existing
posted limits nor to the existing speed feedback signs in the 50 mph and 55 mph areas currently on WIS
164. This study along with common engineering practice recommends that lowering the speed limits
would likely lead to an increase in speed differentials and likely an increase in crashes.

At this point, it is anticipated that the current posted speed limits will remain after construction is

Why is a roundabout alternative under consideration at the intersection of WIS 164 and
WIS 167?

Roundabouts provide safe and efficient traffic flow and make use of extensive safety and traffic
research conducted over the past 25 years in other countries. Today's roundabouts are much smaller than
the "traffic circles" of earlier years.

Roundabouts move traffic safely through an intersection because of:

  • Slower travel speeds
  • Fewer conflict points (A four way intersection has 32 conflict pts and roundabouts have 8 conflict
  • Easier decision-making (more time to judge and react to cars and pedestrians)

Studies by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) show that roundabouts provide:

  • 90% reduction in fatal crashes
  • 76% reduction in injury crashes
  • 30-40% reduction in pedestrian crashes
  • 10% reduction in bicycle crashes

Roundabouts keep traffic moving therefore thereís:

  • Less congestion
  • Less pollution
  • Less expense
  • Fewer injuries and fatalities
  • Increased roadway capacity

The roundabout installed at WIS 164 and County Q has greatly reduced rush hour backups at that fourway
stop intersection. A roundabout is scheduled to be installed at the WIS 167 and WIS 175 intersection
in 2015.

More information on WisDOT Roundabouts.

Has an alternative been selected?

A decision has not been made for any of the improvements or alternatives under consideration.
Presentation of the improvements recommended for implementation is planned for a PIM in early 2013.

A final determination of the Preferred Alternative will be made with the approval of the Environmental
Report and the Design Study report in 2013.

Will construction cause traffic delays?

Yes, minor traffic delays and longer travel times are expected during construction. Construction will be
staged to minimize impacts to traffic and detours will be needed to reroute through traffic away from the
construction areas.

Will access to businesses be maintained?

Yes, access will be maintained to businesses during business hours. The contractor will coordinate with
business owners regarding temporary driveway closures when required by construction activities and will
keep at least one driveway open.

How can I get involved and stay informed?

Public meetings will offer opportunities for you to provide early input on the study needs and issues. A
mailing database has been developed for this study. To be included in this mailing see the 'Mailing list'
information below.

Mailing list

If you currently do not receive our mailing or know of others who wish to be included, contact Janet Cannon.

Comment on alternatives

To comment on any or all of the alternatives contact Janet Cannon.

SSI - Contact Questions about the content of this page:
Janet Cannon, Project Manager, janet.cannon@dot.wi.gov
Last modified: May 1, 2014

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