Jump to content

Speed limit


BaderJF

Increasing speed limits  

68 members have voted

  1. 1. Increase speed limits?

    • yes
      37
    • no
      15
    • maybe
      3
    • on new highways e.g. IH10
      9
    • add "speed lanes"
      4


Recommended Posts

Speed limit should be lowered for environmental reasons. 

 

How do you figure that?

 

Which burns more fuel and emits more carbon:

1) A 30-minute commute at 50 mph, or;

2) A 60-minute commute at 25 mph.

Edited by John Rich
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I drive I-10 West quite often and have for years.  I love that the limit has been raised to 75 mph.  What is a big deterrent however, is the semi trucks.  They too can go 75-80 and do, while some big trucks will maintain 70 mph or so.  This seems to clog the right lane and causes people to completely ignore the "left lane for passing" signs.  The result is that you get 18 wheelers and slow bobtails in the right and all others in the left, some trying to maintain the posted 75 mph while others are trying to do 80-85.  I don't know how those bottlenecks can be eliminated but they happen very often during my weekday trips.

 

On the subject of losing control in a high speed blowout, what exactly causes people to lose that control?  Serious question.

 

I've had blowouts on I-45 N in a British sports car (low center of gravity) near Huntsville, in an 80s sedan on 610 near the dome, in a 90s SUV on I-45 S and in my current SUV doing 75 on I-10 W near Columbus and never once did I lose control.  I did not have anyone run into the back of my vehicle nor did I cause a traffic pile up in any case.  So, what causes folks to lose control on a highway going 60 mph or more during a blow out?

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Blowouts on the front are harder to control than those on the back.  I've had a couple over the years, and each time had a pretty strong vibration before things let go, which caused me to try to get over quickly but as smoothly as possible, and to gently get on the brakes.  I suspect that having a front tire go suddenly, without warning, at highway speed would make things pretty interesting pretty quick, though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've never had a blowout yet, but I hope it isn't where speeds are fast, I'm not on the immediate right lane, or there's no clearance on the other side (shoulders are good, sharp drop-offs/bridges are bad). Close encounters I've never had but no serious "I'm f'd!" moments like the unfortunate situation in the dashcam video below:

cement-truck-2.gif

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

I've never had a blowout yet, but I hope it isn't where speeds are fast, I'm not on the immediate right lane, or there's no clearance on the other side (shoulders are good, sharp drop-offs/bridges are bad). Close encounters I've never had but no serious "I'm f'd!" moments like the unfortunate situation in the dashcam video below:

cement-truck-2.gif

 

A lot of people don't know this, but if you ever experience a blowout while on the highway, the key is to accelerate briefly to keep control, drive straight, and stay away from the brake pedal and keep from turning the steering wheel until the drag of the blown tire slows the car down to about 30 mph. When you get below 30 mph, then you can gently apply the brakes and steer gently onto the shoulder. See #1 and #2 on this list.

 

http://www.edmunds.com/driving-tips/how-to-survive-the-top-10-driving-emergencies.html

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Yeah, it was mostly in regards to "Things you do not want to happen to you" category. Amazingly, the accident didn't incapacitate either driver (physics says that most of the force was applied to the road, and not into the hapless minivan), but a situation like that (especially as I've been in that particular intersection many times) is something you NEVER, EVER want to see. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 months later...

How do you figure that?

 

Which burns more fuel and emits more carbon:

1) A 30-minute commute at 50 mph, or;

2) A 60-minute commute at 25 mph.

 

this is very painful to read.

 

I will offer an explanation as to why this is so very incorrect, but will not deliver unless you are willing to learn.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

According to any cop that has pulled me over, it is not 'safe' to drive over a speed limit....

 

If they increase the speed limit on a road that has had no safety improvements, does that mean that the police are liars? Are speeding tickets not there to secure the safety of the citizens, but as a means to generate revenue?

 

Say it ain't so!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Speed limits are statutory presumptions of what is reasonable and prudent. Cops spout the "safe" mantra in an effort to sound knowledgeable. I know people who have avoided paying a fine by arguing that going 50 in a 30 was reasonable and prudent given the conditions and vehicle.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In the Dallas and Fort Worth Districts, they are raising the speed limits back to the pre-2001 levels or higher based on the 85th percentile operating speed, and the road design.

http://www.nctcog.org/trans/committees/rtc/documents/Item_9.rtc111314.pdf

Lucky them. Needs to happen here now. Don't know what is taking them so long here. Austin also has several tollways with 70 or 75 speed limits. SA some also. Edited by Trae
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Speed limits are statutory presumptions of what is reasonable and prudent. Cops spout the "safe" mantra in an effort to sound knowledgeable. I know people who have avoided paying a fine by arguing that going 50 in a 30 was reasonable and prudent given the conditions and vehicle.

 

I'd like to hear the argument they used for being 20 mph over the speed limit.

 

"But officer, it's reasonable and prudent for ME to drive over the speed limit.  My car is German-engineered for the Autobahn!"

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd like to hear the argument they used for being 20 mph over the speed limit.

"But officer, it's reasonable and prudent for ME to drive over the speed limit. My car is German-engineered for the Autobahn!"

"And there were no other cars, or even pedestrians on the road, and it was a clear sunny day!"

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lucky them. Needs to happen here now. Don't know what is taking them so long here. Austin also has several tollways with 70 or 75 speed limits. SA some also.

Did Houston ever drop speed limits in 2001? I mean, the arterial highways, for instance: have they not always been 65?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Did Houston ever drop speed limits in 2001? I mean, the arterial highways, for instance: have they not always been 65?

 

Yes. The speed limits were dropped to 55 on all highways in the Houston District. Previously, on most freeways in Houston, it was 60 inside the loop and on the loop itself, 65 between the loop and beltway, and 70 outside the beltway and on the Tollway. Interestingly, I think the HOV lanes were exempt. I remember the HOV lane on the Southwest Freeway retaining its 70 mph limit for years in the section outside the Beltway while the mainlanes in that same section were reduced to 55 and later increased to 65.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Speed limits are statutory presumptions of what is reasonable and prudent. Cops spout the "safe" mantra in an effort to sound knowledgeable. I know people who have avoided paying a fine by arguing that going 50 in a 30 was reasonable and prudent given the conditions and vehicle.

 

In Texas, yes, speed limits are prima facie. However, in most other states, they are absolute; that is, you have strict liability for exceeding the speed limit.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes. The speed limits were dropped to 55 on all highways in the Houston District. Previously, on most freeways in Houston, it was 60 inside the loop and on the loop itself, 65 between the loop and beltway, and 70 outside the beltway and on the Tollway. Interestingly, I think the HOV lanes were exempt. I remember the HOV lane on the Southwest Freeway retaining its 70 mph limit for years in the section outside the Beltway while the mainlanes in that same section were reduced to 55 and later increased to 65.

 

They were dropped as a result of ozone test results by the Feds.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

They were dropped as a result of ozone test results by the Feds.

 

right, and they were raised again by politicians who wanted to be reelected by people who feel that they are entitled to get to their destination 54 seconds faster by going 5mph quicker over a 10 mile freeway drive.

 

they should be lowered again. the quality of air every other person in this town breaths shouldn't be subject to one person feeling like they are better than everyone else.

 

if that's the case then they should let people start smoking in restaurants and office buildings again.

Edited by samagon
Link to comment
Share on other sites

right, and they were raised again by politicians who wanted to be reelected by people who feel that they are entitled to get to their destination 54 seconds faster by going 5mph quicker over a 10 mile freeway drive.

 

they should be lowered again. the quality of air every other person in this town breaths shouldn't be subject to one person feeling like they are better than everyone else.

 

if that's the case then they should let people start smoking in restaurants and office buildings again.

 

I think it had more to do with the 55 mph limit being ignored by practically everyone on the freeway. Furthermore, 55 was an awful number to pick in the first place, owing to its historical implications.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I understand that a lot of people didn't abide by the reduced limit, but to stick with my smoking analogy, it really doesn't make it okay, or right.

 

I'm familiar with the lyrical implications brought upon us by the highly acclaimed songwriter Sammy "Red Rocker" Hagar, but I am not aware of other historical implications?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I understand that a lot of people didn't abide by the reduced limit, but to stick with my smoking analogy, it really doesn't make it okay, or right.

 

I'm familiar with the lyrical implications brought upon us by the highly acclaimed songwriter Sammy "Red Rocker" Hagar, but I am not aware of other historical implications?

 

Pretty much the same. Very few liked the double nickel back in the 70s, and it was often ascribed to federal overreach. Implementing the same speed for environmental reasons were just going to raise the same hackles. This is Texas we're talking about, after all.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

right, and they were raised again by politicians who wanted to be reelected by people who feel that they are entitled to get to their destination 54 seconds faster by going 5mph quicker over a 10 mile freeway drive.

 

they should be lowered again. the quality of air every other person in this town breaths shouldn't be subject to one person feeling like they are better than everyone else.

 

if that's the case then they should let people start smoking in restaurants and office buildings again.

 

Vehicular emissions aren't the only contributor to bad air quality. The bulk of it comes from refineries. When you look at an ozone map on a particularly bad day in Houston, the source of ozone isn't from the highways. It comes from the east side and spreads in whatever direction the wind is blowing that day and circulates in the days following. After new EPA standards went into effect in 2005, peak ozone concentrations began to drop sharply. By 2009, Houston began to meet the Federal Air Quality Standard for the first time in 35 years, and it wasn't because people were driving 65 mph instead of 70 mph. It was because petrochemical companies began to fix problems that led to chemical leaks and took initiative to reduce accidental releases. Other sources of pollution include print shops, gas stations, and dry cleaners, which can all put out more VOCs than refineries. Here's some stories about Houston air quality as it relates to refineries.

http://www.npr.org/2013/05/30/185993899/breathing-easier-how-houston-is-working-to-clean-up-its-air

http://www.npr.org/2013/05/31/187459766/houstons-petrochemical-industry-source-of-jobs-and-smog

 

Cars today have cleaner emissions than the ones sold 10-12 years ago, and they're getting cleaner. You have more hybrids and electric cars on the road, and diesel vehicles with particulate filters running on Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel Fuel, synthetic diesel, or Biodiesel, which all produce lower or even no particulates compared to the Low Sulfur Diesel that was being sold 10-12 years ago.

http://www.epa.gov/otaq/fetrends.htm 

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The reason the 55 mph speed limit came in was because of the Arab Oil Embargo, and it was nationwide.  It was supposed to be temporary, and ended up following the aphorism "nothing is as permanent as the temporary."  The theory was that it would save fuel with the side benefit of enhancing safety; in reality any such reductions could just as easily have been rounding errors.  Having started driving when Texas had a 70 mph limit that was generally considered a polite suggestion and a 650 mile drive to and from college beginning immediately after the 55 was imposed, I can verify that it certainly sucked (although moving radar hadn't been invented yet, DPS kept their parking lights on at night, and pretty much anyone doing much long distance driving had a CB radio... good buddy).  Side note:  Before 1974, neither Nevada nor Montana had a speed limit outside of cities and towns.  In Nevada, the sign at the city limits read "Resume Your Speed."

 

Emissions from first cars and then trucks are now a single digit percentage of what they were before pollution regulations started to come in during the late '60s.  OTOH, locomotives and ships are still uncontrolled for all intents and purposes. Stationary sources have been reduced, too, but man they sure kick and scream about it - even though their reduction is far less than vehicles.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...
  • 1 month later...

Freeways vs. highways vs. city streets

 

1) On rural freeways, we should up most speed limits.  Once people are out of the city, let them drive what's comfortable for them, as long as they adhere to passing rules.  In my opinion, even rural freeways should be 6 lanes for 21st century America... a slow lane to the far right, a middle lane mostly for passing, and a fast lane to the left (with significant median).  

 

2) On highways, we should lower the speed limits.  These are incredibly dangerous roads to try and turn into/ out of because drivers simply aren't paying attention.  ESPECIALLY at night.  

 

3) For city streets, we should have a LOWER speed limit, and stop signs/ stop lights on every corner.  A road like Westheimer, especially the section in Montrose should be reduced to 2 lanes (one each way) so that people can just completely and totally abandon any notion of being able to drive fast on that road.  If you want to get somewhere fast, take the freeway.  The way people drive on city streets is simply appalling in Houston.  No wonder so my cyclists and pedestrians have gotten killed.  And then of course people get all mad when they see someone walking or taking a wheelchair in the street.  But were they expected to walk on the sidewalk?  In Houston??  What sidewalks??  And if there is one, it's probably broken to crap.  

 

But basically my point is this... drivers need to learn which roads are built for them, and which roads are not.  If it ain't a freeway, don't drive on it like it is!!  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Vehicular emissions aren't the only contributor to bad air quality. The bulk of it comes from refineries. When you look at an ozone map on a particularly bad day in Houston, the source of ozone isn't from the highways. It comes from the east side and spreads in whatever direction the wind is blowing that day and circulates in the days following. After new EPA standards went into effect in 2005, peak ozone concentrations began to drop sharply. By 2009, Houston began to meet the Federal Air Quality Standard for the first time in 35 years, and it wasn't because people were driving 65 mph instead of 70 mph. It was because petrochemical companies began to fix problems that led to chemical leaks and took initiative to reduce accidental releases. Other sources of pollution include print shops, gas stations, and dry cleaners, which can all put out more VOCs than refineries. Here's some stories about Houston air quality as it relates to refineries.

http://www.npr.org/2013/05/30/185993899/breathing-easier-how-houston-is-working-to-clean-up-its-air

http://www.npr.org/2013/05/31/187459766/houstons-petrochemical-industry-source-of-jobs-and-smog

Cars today have cleaner emissions than the ones sold 10-12 years ago, and they're getting cleaner. You have more hybrids and electric cars on the road, and diesel vehicles with particulate filters running on Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel Fuel, synthetic diesel, or Biodiesel, which all produce lower or even no particulates compared to the Low Sulfur Diesel that was being sold 10-12 years ago.

http://www.epa.gov/otaq/fetrends.htm

This. No offense to the person advocating lowering the speed limit for public health (I have asthma, so I feel that...), but is that person really suggesting we lower the speed limits when there are companies in the area making BILLIONS while polluting our air? Shouldnt we care more about minimizing that pollution source instead of preventing the average joe from getting to work on time and/or having more time to spend with their family?

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

cloud713.

 

low hanging fruit. it's easier to drop the speed limit by 5 mph on freeways than it is to make that chemical company on the ship channel do better for the environment.

 

as for how much time it adds to a commute, if you drive 15 miles on a freeway going 55 mph it takes 16 minutes 21 seconds instead of 15 minutes at 60 mph. one and a half minutes. 3 minutes a day difference.

 

commuting usually doesn't equal going the speed limit though, you maybe hit the speed limit for 5 miles of that 15 mile journey, if that, but let's say that, so 5 miles at 55mph is 5 minutes 27 seconds, vs 5 minutes, so thirty seconds it adds. one minute a day. usually around 240 working days a year, that's 4 whole hours you lose each year to driving 5 mph slower on the freeway.

 

what if driving slower affords you not a longer life, but a higher quality of life between the ages of 65 and 70? what if you were able to be more active, and spend more time with your children, or grandchildren by giving up 4 hours a year with them when you're working?

 

I'd love to see government get serious about cleaning up industry, but if the options are:

 

a. not do anything but grumble that the other guy should have to change

b. change your own habits, and still grumble, which will maybe make a difference to your quality of life

c. everyone changes, and maybe make a difference to your quality of life

 

c isn't going to happen, and a is pointless, I'll take my chances trading 4 hours a year at the possibility of getting better retirement years.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The issue is that no one goes 55 even if that's what the speed limit is. All Houston-area freeways (with the exception of pre-construction 290 and 45 between Downtown and the Shepherd Curve) are designed so that going 65 mph+ is comfortable to the average driver.

 

If you added a lane to all of the freeways, dropped the lane width from 12 ft to 10 ft, and narrow the shoulders, that might be a viable plan, but then you'd be risking interstate highway funding for 45, 10 and 610.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

cloud713.

low hanging fruit. it's easier to drop the speed limit by 5 mph on freeways than it is to make that chemical company on the ship channel do better for the environment.

as for how much time it adds to a commute, if you drive 15 miles on a freeway going 55 mph it takes 16 minutes 21 seconds instead of 15 minutes at 60 mph. one and a half minutes. 3 minutes a day difference.

commuting usually doesn't equal going the speed limit though, you maybe hit the speed limit for 5 miles of that 15 mile journey, if that, but let's say that, so 5 miles at 55mph is 5 minutes 27 seconds, vs 5 minutes, so thirty seconds it adds. one minute a day. usually around 240 working days a year, that's 4 whole hours you lose each year to driving 5 mph slower on the freeway.

what if driving slower affords you not a longer life, but a higher quality of life between the ages of 65 and 70? what if you were able to be more active, and spend more time with your children, or grandchildren by giving up 4 hours a year with them when you're working?

I'd love to see government get serious about cleaning up industry, but if the options are:

a. not do anything but grumble that the other guy should have to change

b. change your own habits, and still grumble, which will maybe make a difference to your quality of life

c. everyone changes, and maybe make a difference to your quality of life

c isn't going to happen, and a is pointless, I'll take my chances trading 4 hours a year at the possibility of getting better retirement years.

But they didn't drop the speed limit by 5mph. They dropped it by FIFTEEN.

Idk, I just don't follow your logic. Imo that would be like taxing the poor for using food stamps, instead of increasing the taxes of restaurants where the rich go.. (Figuratively speaking)

Edited by cloud713
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My logic is that they are two separate things that result in the same outcome.

 

Lowering the freeway speed limit will result in better air quality.

 

Better management and policing of industrial facilities will result in better air quality.

 

If the goal is better air quality, which of the two listed above is low hanging fruit, IE easier to implement?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My logic is that they are two separate things that result in the same outcome.

 

Lowering the freeway speed limit will result in better air quality.

 

Better management and policing of industrial facilities will result in better air quality.

 

If the goal is better air quality, which of the two listed above is low hanging fruit, IE easier to implement?

 

The latter. There are fewer points of potential failure that need policing. Lowering the speed limit only works if there is massive compliance (which there is not), or enforcement, and given that several Houston freeways have around 300,000 vehicles traveling them on a daily basis, pulling over even 1,000 drivers a day would represent only 0.3% of the drivers that day. Most people will risk those odds, especially if everyone else around them is speeding.

 

Sure, better policing and management of industrial facilities represents a stronger political problem than lowering the speed limit, but it is vastly easier as far as implementation goes.

Edited by ADCS
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Lucky them. Needs to happen here now. Don't know what is taking them so long here. Austin also has several tollways with 70 or 75 speed limits. SA some also.

 

I drove the Grand Parkway between 290 and I-10 for the first time this evening and noticed that the speed limit on that stretch is 70. I guess that's because it was designed and built after the environmental speed limits were rescinded.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 7 months later...

Have been in DFW for the past few days and have been on some of the freeways with speed increases. I 20 in Tarrant County went from 60 to 70, and I have to say that traffic is flowing better on it now. More people naturally stay to the right since people are going 70 there. I assume it is the same on other roadways. I saw a cop when I was driving and going about 72. At first I thought "damn, I better slow down" but then I remembered.

Must be nice knowing you can go the speed most everyone drives, somewhere in the low to mid 70s, and not worry about some BS 15 over ticket. One of my old friends was saying that he sets his cruise to 75 now with no worries.

I'm calling up the TxDot division in Houston tomorrow to see what's up. We gotta change some of these limits in Houston back to the old days. 70 outside of Highway 6/1960, 65 outside the Loop (for most freeways). Keep Houston Moving!

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...