4.2.5 SPEED PERCENTILES AND HOW TO USE THEM:
Speed percentiles are tools used to determine effective and adequate speed limits. The two speed percentiles most important to understand are the 50th and the 85th percentiles. The 50th percentile is the median speed of the observed data set. This percentile represents the speed at which half of the observed vehicles are below and half of the observed vehicles are above. The 50th percentile of speed represents the average speed of the traffic stream.
The 85th percentile is the speed at which 85% of the observed vehicles are traveling at or below. This percentile is used in evaluating/recommending posted speed limits based on the assumption that 85% of the drivers are traveling at a speed they perceive

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