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Driving You Crazy: What is the speed limit on Rooney Road between W Alameda Parkway and Morrison Road?

There are no signs and someone’s always tailgating me, no matter how fast I go.
Rooney Road Speed limit
Posted at 5:36 AM, Apr 02, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-02 10:52:24-04

Raven from Jefferson County writes, “What’s Driving You Crazy? What is the speed limit on Rooney Rd. between Alameda and Morrison Rd? That’s the part the parallels the highway near Bandimere. There are no signs and someone’s always tailgating me, no matter how fast I go.”

The speed limit on that section of Rooney Road between W Alameda Parkway next to C-470 to and from Morrison Road is either 45 mph or 40 mph depending on the exact section of road you are on. I experienced the problem firsthand. I drove Rooney Road both directions several times looking for speed limit signs. During one trip, going northbound about a mile from Alameda, a driver in a pickup passed me across the double yellow lines at the same time a bicyclist was going southbound in the bike lane.

I found two speed limit signs in each direction. On the southbound side, the first one you will see is about 200 feet south of Alameda. The next one is where the speed limit changes from 45 to 40 mph just south of the entrance to Bandimere Speedway. There is also a 15 mph speed sign under the S curve road sign that is just south of the CDL truck driving school and before the C-470 underpass.

On the northbound side, the first speed limit sign is next to the parking lot across from the gas station. That one states the speed limit is 40 mph. The next one is just before the CDL truck driving school where the speed limit increases to 45 mph for northbound traffic. There is also a 15 mph speed sign under the S curve road sign that is just north of the entrance to Bandimere Speedway and just before the C-470 underpass.

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Incidentally, the speed limit for the northern section of Rooney Road north of the Dinosaur Ridge between Alameda and W Colfax Avenue is 45 mph for the entire section. I saw at least two speed limit signs along that section in both directions.

I spoke with Levi LaGuardia, transportation safety engineer with Jefferson County. He told me at least one sign was missing on that section of Rooney Road and assured me it would be replaced. He also said he would reach out to the Town of Morrison to make sure their signs are updated as well.

Even though I found posted speed limit signs, if you are not seeing them on any road you are on, one way to find out the speed limit is to use a GPS app on your smart phone. I used the Google Maps app while driving on Rooney Road and it clearly showed the speed limit — whether it was 40 mph or 45 mph.

The matter of speeding and tailgating is a separate problem. The issue with enforcement along Rooney Road is that law enforcement jurisdiction is shared between four agencies. Between Colfax and Morrison Road, jurisdiction changes between Golden police, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Lakewood police and Morrison police. I shared your complaint with the sheriff's office, Lakewood PD and Morrison PD.

Bill Vinelli, chief of police of the Morrison Police Department, told me they only have a small piece of Rooney Road in his jurisdiction.

“The MPD has a Traffic Safety issue (Speeding) all thru the Town including Rooney Road," Vinelli said. "People in general are in too much of a hurry in their daily lives and use some of the secondary roads to avoid the traffic congestion on the major highways. MPD will proactively patrol our stretch of Rooney Road.”

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office told me deputies routinely patrol their small section of Rooney Road that runs from about a fourth of a mile south of Colfax to the C-470 underpass area as well as the intersection with Alameda. They told me they don’t receive complaints about speeding or tailgating very often, likely because there are no schools, driveways or data that would indicate that this is a high crash area. After my conversation with them, the sheriff’s office said deputies will add Rooney Road to their list of complaint areas and watch that area more carefully.

John Romero with Lakewood police told me if you have someone on your tail, they want to know.

“We went out and drove Roney Rd between Alameda and Morrison," Romero said. "The portion east of 470 is a combination of Lakewood and JeffCo Sheriff. This segment is posted 45 mph at the north and south ends of the segment. As for the tailgating, we would recommend the complainant call 911 or the non-emergency number to report aggressive driving when it’s happening and we can respond on a case by case basis.”

Tailgating is a problem no matter the roadway or speed limit. The advice I give my 15-year-old daughter who is learning to drive is to ignore it. Yes, it can feel very uncomfortable and is unsafe to have someone following that closely behind you. If it is safe to do so, you could move over to let them pass but if not, go the speed limit and try not to let it bother you.

If you would like more information about the placement and standardization of speed limit signs across the country, you can browse Section 2A of the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices that discusses things like location, mounting height, lateral offset, orientation, posts and mountings.

What is the speed limit on Rooney Rd. between Alameda Pkwy. and Morrison Rd.?

Denver7 Traffic Expert Jayson Luber says he has been covering Denver-metro traffic since Ben-Hur was driving a chariot. (We believe the actual number is over 25 years.) He's obsessed with letting viewers know what's happening on their drive and the best way to avoid the problems that spring up. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram or listen to his Driving You Crazy podcast on any podcast app including iTunes, iHeartRadio, Spotify and Podbean.