Spanish speed limits

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James
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Spanish speed limits

Post by James » Fri Jul 16, 2021 20:47

Spain has recently applied a reduction to its 'vias urbanas' (urban roads), these are generally urban roads/streets that do not have a specific road number

While the general rules are roads without a separate pavement are 20km/h, ordinary roads with 1 lane in each direction are 30km/h and roads with 2+ lanes in each direction are the existing 50km/h

In a lot of ways it was consolidating the existing arrangements, however the number of exceptions/rules is quite large (typically Spanish) and leads to some urban roads having asymetric speed limits, where you have 2 lines in one direction and 1 in another.

I drove down this road in Estepona earlier, the 1 lane direction is now signed 30 while the 2 lane direction is still 50 https://goo.gl/maps/21GAFLC6Sjh4A1Un8

I'm unsure how its safe to do 50 in one direction and 30 in another is safe, if I was to hit a person crossing the road

The full guide and the crazyness is here, in Spanish but plenty of pictures
https://www.dgt.es/Galerias/prensa/2021 ... urbano.pdf

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Re: Spanish speed limits

Post by fras » Fri Jul 16, 2021 20:50

So it's not just our officials who are stupid, then ?

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RichardA35
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Re: Spanish speed limits

Post by RichardA35 » Fri Jul 16, 2021 20:56

Please provide positive input into the debate, abuse to sections of society is unfitting

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FosseWay
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Re: Spanish speed limits

Post by FosseWay » Sat Jul 17, 2021 08:16

In that particular instance (urban area), I agree having asymmetrical speed limits seems odd, and I'd agree with the implication that there is some "painting by numbers" going on here, rather than looking at the actual issues/risks on a given stretch of road.

But the concept in itself of having asymmetric limits is not unreasonable; indeed, I would argue that authorities in the UK who argue that you can't do XYZ apparently sensible thing because you can't have asymmetrical speed limits are unreasonable.

In some urban contexts, I'm thinking places with wide pavements and plenty of room for pedestrians but no off-road cycle provision, you may decide to have asymmetrical limits on asymmetrical (2+1) roads on the basis that it is safer and easier for cars to pass cyclists on the wider "half".

In rural 2+1 contexts, you could have asymmetrical limits to allow faster vehicles to temporarily exceed what the limit otherwise would have been in order to overtake slower vehicles safely (i.e. facilitating the whole point of 2+1s). IIRC the French when they reduced the single-carriageway limit to 80 made an exception to both sides of S2+1, but they could have kept 80 on the single side and raised to 90 on the double side.

Finally, in the UK it's common for 30 limits for villages to begin a fair bit before the start of the built-up area, as a way of getting people to slow down earlier and thus be doing 30-ish by the point where it most matters. The thinking behind that is great, but there is no earthly point to having a 30 limit in the other direction when drivers can see the open road stretching away, usually including some NSL signs in the distance, with no clear difference in the road characteristics from one side of the NSL signs to the other. This would be a good place IMV to use asymmetric limits: the reason for the limit in each direction is clear, and therefore more likely to gain the respect of users.
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Mark Hewitt
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Re: Spanish speed limits

Post by Mark Hewitt » Sat Jul 17, 2021 08:21

Spain has always been weirdly prescriptive about speed limits. Eg on a dual carriageway approaching a roundabout you'll have eg a 70, 50 and 30 on approach. Whereas in the UK we wouldn't bother to post speed limits on a roundabout. 20 limits are also quite common, 12mph where we would have left it at 30.

I wish asymmetric speed limits would be applied in the UK more. It's very sensible to have a buffer zone before coming into town. It's not sensible to have that exact same buffer coming out of town.
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Re: Spanish speed limits

Post by exiled » Sat Jul 17, 2021 11:35

FosseWay wrote:
Sat Jul 17, 2021 08:16
In rural 2+1 contexts, you could have asymmetrical limits to allow faster vehicles to temporarily exceed what the limit otherwise would have been in order to overtake slower vehicles safely (i.e. facilitating the whole point of 2+1s). IIRC the French when they reduced the single-carriageway limit to 80 made an exception to both sides of S2+1, but they could have kept 80 on the single side and raised to 90 on the double side.
That is how Luxembourg does it as well, S2+1 sections the 1 often has a 90 limit, the 2 has a 110 limit.

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James
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Re: Spanish speed limits

Post by James » Sun Jul 18, 2021 06:56

Yes, agreed asymetric limits are a good idea in certain contexts, however in urban areas like this feels like no thought has gone into it

Spain has a habbit of having a lot of speed limit signage clutter, as mentioned on approaches to roundabounts, but also on slip roads, which are are universally ignored. While it does have the concept of a speed limit for a specific hazard (when signed with the hazard) it can be difficult to keep track of limits.

The new limits are the default ones, so in theory should not be signed, and signs removed, with the driver now required to evaluate the number of lanes, the types of lanes e.g. if it is a bus lane before being able to work out what the limit is. While drivers should be able to drive safely it increases the cognitive load in driving in an already hazardous (urban) environment.

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Re: Spanish speed limits

Post by Vierwielen » Sun Jul 18, 2021 21:49

Am I right in assuming that these limits are not explicitly posted, but are implied by the sign showing the town's name such as here?

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Re: Spanish speed limits

Post by JRN » Fri Jul 23, 2021 09:27

Vierwielen wrote:
Sun Jul 18, 2021 21:49
Am I right in assuming that these limits are not explicitly posted, but are implied by the sign showing the town's name such as here?
The use of "towns name encircled in red band means default urban rules apply" is fairly common in Europe I think, IDK about Spain.
Usually 50 km/h, often a ban on overtaken motorised vehicles.

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Re: Spanish speed limits

Post by Vierwielen » Sat Jul 24, 2021 22:17

JRN wrote:
Fri Jul 23, 2021 09:27
Vierwielen wrote:
Sun Jul 18, 2021 21:49
Am I right in assuming that these limits are not explicitly posted, but are implied by the sign showing the town's name such as here?
The use of "towns name encircled in red band means default urban rules apply" is fairly common in Europe I think, IDK about Spain.
Usually 50 km/h, often a ban on overtaken motorised vehicles.
The use of a town's name encircled by a red strip road sign type E1 and is covered in the Vienna Convention on Road SIgns. The UK is not a party to the Convention, though in most cases (apart from the rules on priority), the UK follows the Convention.

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James
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Re: Spanish speed limits

Post by James » Mon Jul 26, 2021 22:53

Vierwielen wrote:
Sun Jul 18, 2021 21:49
Am I right in assuming that these limits are not explicitly posted, but are implied by the sign showing the town's name such as here?
Yes basically any via-urbano (unclassified) road in these areas

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Re: Spanish speed limits

Post by Herned » Sat Jul 31, 2021 17:42

James wrote:
Sun Jul 18, 2021 06:56
Spain has a habbit of having a lot of speed limit signage clutter, as mentioned on approaches to roundabounts, but also on slip roads, which are are universally ignored. While it does have the concept of a speed limit for a specific hazard (when signed with the hazard) it can be difficult to keep track of limits.
Some of the limit changes are far too fussy and pointless in my experience. I can remember a couple of locations on motorways where the speed limit is reduced by 10 km/h over a minor bridge, so the limit changes for at most 200m. I can't imagine that is ever enforced and was universally ignored in my experience

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