Too much speed in the Central Valley?

 
nonverbal
 
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nonverbal
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20 February 2019 12:04
 

I’m not holding my breath on this one, but I think an American autobahn would be a blast. I can’t imagine the politics that would need to align to make it happen, however. Anyone else look forward to or dread an American autobahn? Are Californians as mature as Europeans?

And as far as safety goes, Moorloch said he has some evidence indicating support for his plan.

“We did some analysis, and the traffic incidents on the Autobahn in Germany” — which has no speed limit in some rural areas — “are lower than the freeways in California. So they’re actually safer,” he said.

In a news release, his office cited a World Health Organization study showing the estimated road traffic deaths per 100,000 people is lower in Germany than in the United States – 4.1 versus 12.4.

https://ktla.com/2019/02/19/o-c-lawmaker-introduces-bill-to-build-new-lanes-on-5-freeway-with-no-speed-limit/

 
Antisocialdarwinist
 
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Antisocialdarwinist
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21 February 2019 08:55
 

I remember visiting some friends in Montana about fifteen years ago. They were all complaining about how Montana had just changed two traffic laws. Highways now had speed limits—“even in the daytime!” And you could now get a ticket for having an open (alcoholic) container in the car. “Next thing you know,” they said, “we’ll have a seat belt law.”

Moorlach’s proposal bucks the trend, and I have a hard time believing it has a snowball’s chance in hell in California’s dystopian nanny state.

I’m all for adding additional lanes, and I myself—being a consummate driver (har har)—would safely take advantage of not having a speed limit. But do I want my fellow drivers to have that freedom? Hell effing no! For this to work, I think we’d need a two-tiered drivers license program: one license for most people, another for people who demonstrate the ability to drive safely at high speed and who have flawless driving records. Only drivers with “top-tier” licenses would be allowed to use the high speed lane.

Two things caught my eye in the article.

Moorlach told KTLA he came up with the idea in part to help ease traffic and reduce greenhouse gases . . . .

I can see how adding an extra lane might help reduce greenhouse gases, but I’m hard pressed to see how increasing the speed limit would.

“We did some analysis, and the traffic incidents on the Autobahn in Germany” — which has no speed limit in some rural areas — “are lower than the freeways in California. So they’re actually safer,” he said.

In a news release, his office cited a World Health Organization study showing the estimated road traffic deaths per 100,000 people is lower in Germany than in the United States – 4.1 versus 12.4.

Possibly a matter of incomplete reporting, but it seems to me that they’re comparing apples and oranges here: traffic incidents in rural German areas vs. incidents on all freeways in California?

 
 
Jefe
 
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Jefe
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21 February 2019 13:50
 
nonverbal - 20 February 2019 12:04 PM

I’m not holding my breath on this one, but I think an American autobahn would be a blast. I can’t imagine the politics that would need to align to make it happen, however. Anyone else look forward to or dread an American autobahn? Are Californians as mature as Europeans?

And as far as safety goes, Moorloch said he has some evidence indicating support for his plan.

“We did some analysis, and the traffic incidents on the Autobahn in Germany” — which has no speed limit in some rural areas — “are lower than the freeways in California. So they’re actually safer,” he said.

In a news release, his office cited a World Health Organization study showing the estimated road traffic deaths per 100,000 people is lower in Germany than in the United States – 4.1 versus 12.4.

https://ktla.com/2019/02/19/o-c-lawmaker-introduces-bill-to-build-new-lanes-on-5-freeway-with-no-speed-limit/

Having driven the autobahn several times, I can say that German drivers are much more attentive and aware of their surroundings than many in north america.  They also recognize and follow the ‘slower traffic keep right’ rule very assiduously.  FTR, I have been up to 215 Kph/ 134 mph on the autobahn - safely.

Usually the drama is when an elephant race occurs when one transport truck tries to pass a slightly slower transport truck and that takes up 2 of the lanes.

Also, when having to stop or slow suddenly, for construction, or congestion, the german drivers will usually flash their hazards to warn the oncoming traffic behind then…

 
 
nonverbal
 
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nonverbal
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23 February 2019 06:02
 

I agree that special training would be needed for users of the extra-quick lane. And I would hope that not every car would qualify to earn a lane sticker. All such vehicles would need to be up to the task, with annual inspections. If you’re driving a 10-year-old minivan—sorry, no sticker for you!

Highways 5 and 99 both seem like good candidates, especially north of Sacramento. Lots of drivers there seem more than ready for an autobahn-style lane. I was heading north on 99 just north of Sacramento a few months ago and a CHP bike passed everyone and continued on, going 95. The traffic cluster I was in held back for half a mile or so, then matched the speed of the CHP bike for several miles. Highway 5 in that area seems to invite even higher speeds.

 
Skipshot
 
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Skipshot
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23 February 2019 08:04
 

I am not completely against the idea, and others here have already proposed other reasonable ideas which may be considered.  I like the idea of adding more lanes, but I am also thinking that additional lanes should be built for truck traffic only.  If there were lanes dedicated only for truck traffic, or high speed auto traffic, I suppose congestion would be relieved.

Here in the Bay Area, trucks create traffic jams because drivers do not like to drive among them and trucks are confined to the two lanes to the far right, so drivers move to the left lanes but do not drive faster than trucks, and create a backup which moves at the speed as a slow-moving truck.

Off topic, most people are in a hurry and/or view driving as a chore, and think nothing exists between L.A. and San Francisco besides gas stations and fast food joints, so they take I-5, which has nothing but flat barren land, gas stations, and fast food joints.  But I-5 often backs up something fierce, and I’ve been stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic next to the cow death camps which reek of manure and nothing to see or do, and no escape.  My secret north-south route is Highway 101.  It is far prettier with far less traffic, rolling hills, rivers, vinyards, and spectacular coastal scenery.  But everyone thinks 101 takes about 10 days to drive from L.A. to San Francisco (and I could easily take that much time, but would prefer to take more time) compared to the usual six hours on I-5.

 
icehorse
 
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icehorse
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24 February 2019 08:53
 

The last time I drove 5 it was as part of a caravan of U-Hauls and pickups with horse trailers. Us, our friends, and 10 horses drove from Santa Cruz to an island NW of Seattle. Ugh. I’d be happy to never drive on 5 again (at least in Ca.).

Whenever we had to go to LA from SC we went 101. A much nicer drive, even if it is a bit longer.

Back to the OP - no way Muricans are evolved enough to use an autobahn safely.

 
 
nonverbal
 
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nonverbal
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25 February 2019 08:10
 

Maybe once self-driving cars are common. . . .