Safety improvements for WIS 15 in Outagamie County

​Speed and traffic study concludes 55 mph speed limit warranted

Release Date: January 10, 2020
(Green Bay) The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) Northeast Region announces new measures to improve safety on WIS 15 between Hortonville and Greenville in Outagamie County based on a November 2019 traffic and speed study. The study looked at crash history, examined fatal crash data, inspected physical attributes of the highway (such as shoulder widths and access points) and analyzed current driving speeds.

WIS 15 extra measures:

  • Extraordinary enforcement on WIS 15
    • Under a special enforcement contract, the Wisconsin State Patrol increased their patrol by adding 4-hour shifts, Monday through Friday, focused solely on the WIS 15 corridor between New London and Greenville in May of 2019. This extraordinary enforcement will continue through 2020. To date, the enforcement resulted in 677 traffic stops and noted the following violations: 322 speed violations; 113 seat belt violations; 690 license/equipment/registration violations; 212 other violations.
  • Dynamic Speed Display Signs (DSDS)
    • DSDS display driver speed and reminds drivers to slow down. WisDOT will erect two eastbound and two westbound DSDS. The DSDS will be placed near Manley Road and near Bennett Circle by Wednesday, January 15.
  • WIS 15 and County JJ intersection safety improvement
    • WisDOT will improve the taper lane to safely bypass left-turning traffic at County JJ in spring 2020. This improvement is based on engineer review of intersection geometrics.
  • Refreshing pavement marking again when weather permits.
  • In May, WisDOT adjusted traffic signal timings in Hortonville, reviewed signage and refreshed pavement markings.

Free flow speed data collected as part of the study determined the current 55 mph speed limit meets the state and national 85th percentile standard and is appropriate for this segment of highway. The 85th percentile speed is the speed at or below which 85 percent of the motorists drive under ideal conditions. When motorists drive at a relatively uniform speed (85th percentile), tailgating, lane changing, and overtaking are reduced, and side road traffic is better able to choose a gap to merge or cross the highway.

The WIS 15 speed study data shows the 85th percentile along the corridor is 58.9 mph. The study concludes if the speed was reduced to 45 mph, speed compliance would be less than 10% and variance in vehicle operating speeds would increase. Based on current state and national guidelines, setting a speed limit outside the study’s data results on WIS 15 would likely result in a decrease of overall safety and increase of crashes.
For more speed limit information, please see our “Setting Appropriate Speed Limits on Wisconsin’s State Highways” brochure.

For more information, contact:
Mark Kantola, Regional Communications Manager, (920) 492-4153