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Why was the speed limit on I-90 lowered in the Bozeman area?

“I think there’s going to be a learning curve,” said Sergeant Erin Taylor with the Gallatin County Sheriff's Office.
Posted at 1:20 PM, Apr 08, 2024

BOZEMAN — It’s time for I-90 travelers to pump the brakes because, in the Bozeman area, the speed limit has been reduced to 65 miles per hour.

On April 5, 2024, the Montana Department of Transportation announced a speed limit reduction on I-90 through Bozeman.

The change affects both eastbound and westbound lanes from mile marker 303.6, which is approximately two miles West of the 19th Avenue exit to mile marker 313.7, near the Bear Canyon exit.

The speed limit that used to be posted at 75 mph is now posted at 65 mph.



But why is that?

According to the MDT, now that Bozeman’s population has exceeded 50,000, it is a state law in an urbanized area that the speed limit for vehicles traveling on interstate highways is 65 mph at all times.

Sergeant Erin Taylor with the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office has seen plenty of speed-related accidents on the interstate. He says the speed limit reduction will make a safer atmosphere on that stretch of the interstate.

“Yes, I think it’s a good idea,” said Taylor. “As our population increases, and so does traffic.”

But not everyone is aware of the speed limit change.

As I drove down I-90 going 65 mph—in the right-hand lane, of course—I had a few people fly by me to get around. But who knows? They were probably in a hurry.

“I think there’s going to be a learning curve,” said Taylor. “Just like it’s happened on other streets before, people do learn how to change to an actual speed limit.”