Archive for Wednesday, August 13, 2008

State energy council to see public comment on speed limit reduction

The Kansas Energy Council wants you to slow down on state highways. The idea is to reduce the speed limit from 70 to 65 miles per hour on the state's top highways.

August 13, 2008

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— Slower commutes and steeper fines could be down the road under a proposal advanced Wednesday by the Kansas Energy Council.

But supporters say it will reduce climate-changing carbon dioxide gas emissions.

"The effort here is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through more efficient driving," said Bruce Snead, chairman of the KEC's Greenhouse Gas Policy Committee.

The full KEC voted to seek public comment on reducing the maximum speed limit from 70 mph to 65 mph on Kansas highways. These would include portions of interstates, the turnpike and some divided highways, such as Kansas Highway 10.

The council put forward a proposal to double fines for speeding, and reduce the "10-mile exemption" to 5 miles. Currently, speeding violations of 10 mph or less on roads with limits between 55 mph and 70 mph are not counted as moving violations on a driver's record.

But the package appears headed for a roadblock.

"No way, shape or form," said state Sen. Janis Lee, D-Kensington, a KEC member.

She said western Kansans who travel long distances vehemently would oppose the proposal.

Any change in speed limits or fines would have to be approved by the Legislature.

Kansas Department of Transportation Secretary Deb Miller said the plan would affect 8 percent of Kansas roads, which carry 26 percent of the state's traffic. Miller said drivers average 78 mph on 70 mph roads and 75 mph on 65 mph roads.

Comments

gccs14r 6 years, 10 months ago

Equal is one thing, but this idea that it's OK for all four people who live out there to keep us in the 19th century is ridiculous.

Flap Doodle 6 years, 10 months ago

Didn't someone on this board suggest that roads be allowed to deteriorate to the point that people would be forced to drive slower?

notajayhawk 6 years, 10 months ago

I'm pretty sure the 'Kansas Energy Council' knows full well they wouldn't have had a chance in he__ getting this passed solely on the basis of greenhouse gases. They figured if they push it now, people will go along because of the price of gas.Luckily, will the price of gas falling faster than they could attempt to rush through the legislative process, I seriously doubt it has much more of a chance now.

gccs14r 6 years, 10 months ago

"She said western Kansans who must travel long distances would be vehemently opposed to lowering the speed limit."BFD. The sooner we quit being held hostage by the folks west of Salina, the better. Kansas has been backwards long enough.

nobody1793 6 years, 10 months ago

For an hours drive, the difference is only about five minutes either way. As if anyone drives the speed limit anyway.

gccs14r 6 years, 10 months ago

"Consider this Interstate scenario: ahead of me, someone is traveling at 50 mph and s/he is being passed by someone who is comfortable traveling at 60 mph. As I approach them with my cruise control set at 70, it is my responsibility to attentively assess the situation, to reduce my speed, to maintain a safe following distance, until the road ahead clears and I, then, am able to resume speed and to pass safely."Now consider the frustrating reality of the person in the right lane with the cruise set at 69.8 and the person in the left lane with the cruise set at 69.9. Sure, the one will pass the other eventually, but eventually is an hour. That's a long time to back up traffic and is dangerous for everyone.

Gina Bailey-Carbaugh 6 years, 10 months ago

tang, as we discussed in other posts, there is no law in kansas against driving slower or at the posted speed limit in the -passing- lane. This causes other drivers to have to pass on the right, which is also not illegal, but can be dangerous.

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 6 years, 10 months ago

(Gina... not directed at you... actually prompted by an earlier response by 1029, as I recall....)This exemplifies a growing mindset that, somehow, drivers who operate their vehicles in an appropriate manner are creating "dangerous" situations. They are not. This is a complaint registered by those who do not drive according to established guidelines and who are the real culprits in the creation of unsafe driving conditions.Consider this Interstate scenario... ahead of me, someone is traveling at 50 mph and s/he is being passed by someone who is comfortable traveling at 60 mph. As I approach them with my cruise control set at 70, it is my responsibility to attentively assess the situation, to reduce my speed, to maintain a safe following distance, until the road ahead clears and I, then, am able to resume speed and to pass safely. Period.It always amazes me when jerks on the road think they can dictate how and where others must drive. They don't own the road; they don't get to make the rules; to the extent that they do not follow the rules, they don't even qualify.So, all you belligerent "little" miscreants, if you chose to disobey the rules while on the open road ( where only a single-vehicle accident can result ) in order to steal a few more minutes, then... whatever. But when in traffic-when you're commuting in proximity to my parents or my children-then please conduct yourselves in an appropriate manner, and maintain control of your vehicle and your temper.And, 1029, if you left a little earlier for that 10:30 appointment, then we could all better enjoy our daily commutes.

JerryStubbs 6 years, 10 months ago

The speed limit used to be 80mph on the turnpike, and it didn't cause any problems, as long as people had the sense to drive slower if they had worn tires, slow down in the rain, etc. Cruising at a higher speed does use more gas, but if you have a set amount of time to get someplace it makes more sense to drive faster on the highway and then slow down in town. Otherwise you will use more gas trying to save time in stop and go traffic than you would have saved by driving slower on the highway, and of course it is more dangerous speeding in town. I have seen those electronic highway signs that tell you how long it will take to get to a particular destination. Maybe they could add alternative times for lower speeds, to give people an idea of how much time they save by speeding. Picking the right route and avoiding traffic jams and construction projects is the best way to save time driving.

Jake Esau 6 years, 10 months ago

Gas mileage is already better on the highway for most cars. Why not concentrate on decreasing stop and go traffic in cities by synchronizing traffic signals and the like? That would probably make a bigger difference.

JerryStubbs 6 years, 10 months ago

I don't think it makes sense to have one speed limit for the entire state. Except for urban interstates, Kansas highways could probably be safe at even higher speeds, as long as drivers are careful to watch conditions and make speed adjustments as neccessary. Having a 65mph speed limit will probably just make a lot of us lawbreakers, just like the old 55mph speed limit. The higher prices of fuel should help educate drivers on the benefits of slowing down when it time isn't critical.I think I read that going 65mph vs 70 mph is like getting gas for $2.99. Knowing that should help people relax their right foot at little and realize they will get to their destination quick enough even though it might take a few minutes extra.

c_dubya 6 years, 10 months ago

gccsr14: I think you seriously need to actually visit western Kansas and see those 'four' people. I'm sure you'd have a lot of fun explaining why they are irrelevant to the 'smart' part of the state.You think that even as spread out as those people are that your 1/50 of the state should have the right to tell the other 49/50 how to live? Typical loonyville liberal.

Gina Bailey-Carbaugh 6 years, 10 months ago

Jerry, I think you are giving too much credit for people to wise up and slow down on their own. I would like them to add a part about slow drivers in the left lane causing dangerous situations.

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 6 years, 10 months ago

Gina: "I would like them to add a part about slow drivers in the left lane causing dangerous situations."If drivers in either lane are operating their vehicles according to established guidelines, how can they be the cause of dangerous situations? Wouldn't the cause of the dangerous situation be those drivers who are not operating their vehicles within such guidelines-exceeding posted limits, tailgating, etc.?

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 6 years, 10 months ago

gccs14r: "Now consider the frustrating reality of the person in the right lane with the cruise set at 69.8 and the person in the left lane with the cruise set at 69.9. Sure, the one will pass the other eventually, but eventually is an hour. That's a long time to back up traffic and is dangerous for everyone."The only situation in which I would consider traveling within a tenth of a mph of someone I was passing would be the one in which some impatient jerk is riding my tail at an unsafe following distance-in which case I would have no problem "passing" at a speed one-tenth of a mph LESS than the vehicle I am abreast of.,;-)

gccs14r 6 years, 10 months ago

"Truck drivers, particularly independent ones, indeed look for the shortest route - timewise, not mileage-wise, because getting there sooner means the difference between being able to go out for an extra load this week or not."Not any more. Burning excess fuel to pick up an extra load just means going broke that much faster. The increase in fuel cost has eaten whatever profit they used to make. They're barely making it now, which is why lots of them have slowed down to 65 mph to save fuel. Others have parked their trucks, giving up the road to go do something else that will put food on the table instead of fattening the wallets of BigOil execs.

gccs14r 6 years, 10 months ago

"You think that even as spread out as those people are that your 1/50 of the state should have the right to tell the other 49/50 how to live?"They keep sending Republicans to Topeka, so apparently they've not been paying attention. Someone has to tell them what's up.

gccs14r 6 years, 10 months ago

It's not as if Kansas is a tourist destination. The argument for raising the limit was to attract truck traffic. With higher fuel prices, truckers are now looking for the shortest route, not the quickest one. Kansas will either be a part of that route or not, and the speed limit won't have anything to do with that. In the end, though, freight will shift back to rail, because that's the most efficient way to move material long distances. Speed limits won't have any effect on that, either.

notajayhawk 6 years, 10 months ago

gccs14r (Anonymous) says: "They keep sending Republicans to Topeka, so apparently they've not been paying attention. Someone has to tell them what's up."I guess c_dubya was a little off when he said typical looneyville liberal - he should have said typical looneyville elitist liberal.Yeah, gcc, all those 49/50ths are wrong and only the 1/50th is enlightened like you. Maybe it's the other 49/50ths that have been trying to tell something to that other 1/50th, who appears to be too dense to listen."With higher fuel prices, truckers are now looking for the shortest route, not the quickest one. Kansas will either be a part of that route or not, and the speed limit won't have anything to do with that."You obviously know absolutely nothing about trucking. Truck drivers, particularly independent ones, indeed look for the shortest route - timewise, not mileage-wise, because getting there sooner means the difference between being able to go out for an extra load this week or not."In the end, though, freight will shift back to rail, because that's the most efficient way to move material long distances."If that were the case it never would have moved away from rail in the first place. Regardless of the economies of scale, rail freight can only go where the rails go. There are also costs involved with intermodal transfer and loading/unloading/handling. For a load the size of a freight car that's going point-to-point between places on a train line, it's more efficient to ship that way; for everything else, well, there's a reason there are so many trucks on the road.****Lefty_Stratocaster (Anonymous) says: "Nationwide, the State of Kansas is already viewed as being backwards and 25 years behind the times."Save your breath. They won't draw the connection. They'll scream all day long about the evolution debate or abortion rights and how that's a case of the few trying to impose their view on others, but when it's them doing it, they'll revert to that sad old refrain to the liberal litany, "That's different."

Lefty_Stratocaster 6 years, 10 months ago

This is a classic example of the few wanting to control the many.Nationwide, the State of Kansas is already viewed as being backwards and 25 years behind the times. If by some slim chance these hacks get their way and have the speed limit lowered, that will only serve to drive the point home as we will be the only state in the West outside of Oregon to be that slow; and we don't have nearly the scenic beauty they do for motorists to enjoy while tolerating such an unreasonably low speed limit!Seems they forget that Interstate 35 is the original NAFTA Highway and Interstate 70 is a major transcontinental corridor. They also need to be aware that both of them play a major role in interstate commerce and tourism. Lower the speed limit on these very important superhighways and you can be assured that the commerce and tourism aspect will be lowered just as well.Remember a few years ago the state legislators were considering raising the speed limit to 75 mph because our current 70 mph limit was deemed too low and that a lot out of state traffic was diverting to Nebraska (hence less tourists dollars spent in our state) because of that state's 75 mph limit on Interstate 80? You think that we're losing tourism revenue now, just let this terrible idea become a reality!Fellow citizens, it's time all of us to move beyond this "we have to do something to make it look good" mentality every time the Hysteria of the Month Club conjures up another doom and gloom prediction that always turns out to be a completely false and unsubstantiated sham.

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