24 January 2010

car speed

After posting about Dan Burben's thoughts on bicycling speed (moving no faster the 15 mph to best see, process and interpret our surroundings), I came across this article in GOOD magazine's (current) SLOW ISSUE -- on the reintroduction of a 55 mph national speed limit could improve our lives...

The article reference's Tim Castleman's Drive 55 campaign aimed to reducing our (foreign) oil consumption and broadening the benefits of our quality of life by driving slower... the Department of Energy estimates that driving 55 mph would save 100 million barrels of oil annually (the US consumes 21 million barrels per day/7,665 million a year). While unfathomable to many, during the oil crisis of the 1970's we did have a national speed limit set to 55 which was amended in the 1980's to 65 mph and is now state regulated. Castleman calls the average driver's mentality to be "antisocial" - racing from red light to red light. Agreed. And with the attributes of moving SLOWER thus being able to BETTER process our surroundings - seems like a safe and logical answer to a safer + improved quality of life.

So here I am, dreaming what it would be like if all traffic engineers could just channel Hans Monderman's Shared Space concept and reconnect with our environment - and each other.

Images via Good

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