Let’s do the math: Reasons to slow down traffic in 2014

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  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 27, 2014 3:08 p.m.

    Getting there faster is better (usually). If you get there slower... that just means your car is running (and generating pollution) that much longer.

    Slowing traffic is not necessarily the answer. As was pointed out in another thread... cars sitting at traffic lights get there slower... that isn't necessarily more efficient, it's just cars running and polluting while they sit at traffic lights.

    Everybody going slower on the freeway is also not necessarily more efficient.

    If a few drivers who insist on going slow on the freeway cause traffic slowdowns and even accidents further back in the backup they cause... it's not good for traffic or the environment. It's just thousands of people sitting in their cars idling on the freeway while they clear the cars that ran into each other because somebody was driving like a grandma in rush hour traffic and people had to break and then people further back in the backing had to emergency break and eventually somebody's not paying close enough attention and something bad happens.

    It's better for everybody to just go the SAME speed (even if it's faster than 55mph).

  • Valjean Los Alamos, NM
    Jan. 27, 2014 10:29 a.m.

    Nowhere in the article do I see any acknowledgement that the time of motorists is valuable, and spending more of it on the road means the motorists have less time for other valuable activities. I think this reflects a tendency of analysts to ignore things they can't easily quantify.

    In other words, this view is stunningly simplistic.

  • Badgerbadger Murray, UT
    Jan. 26, 2014 9:37 p.m.

    It makes me nervous when environmental proponents say, "Let's do the math."

    First of all, cars today (with 6 speed engines) get great mileage at high speeds. No need to slow down for that.

    Second, back about 15 years we had oxygenated fuel pushed on us, with the claim that it reduced emissions by up to 10%. It also lowered gas mileage by at least 10%, so we all burned up more fuel thus offsetting the emissions savings, by producing emissions from burning even more fuel. Who was the big winner in this program? Must have been fuel companies, from selling us more expensive oxygenated fuel all winter. I am sure is helped offset the winter lull in sales nicely. They sell more fuel and at a higher price.

    The only real savings in emissions was from impoverishing families from the high cost of fuel, so they couldn't afford to drive.

    Improving traffic flow, to get commuters home sooner, would eliminate the extra emissions they produce while idling in traffic jams and would mean their cars run for less time. Faster would be better.

  • Alfred Phoenix, AZ
    Jan. 26, 2014 7:51 p.m.

    "Please make sure that all arguments are properly applied in their correct context. Urban Freeway arguments used against Rural Freeways does not a convincing case make."

    Your vehicle will product just as much polluting smoke in rural driving as it will in urban driving.

  • woolsocks Sandy, Utah
    Jan. 26, 2014 12:31 p.m.

    Wait one second. This article is apparently written in protest of more 80 mph speed limits on Utah. But the only highways under consideration for 80 mph speed limits are rural interstates. The arguments against 80 mph speed limits that the author uses are urban freeway arguments: fuel efficiency, emissions, road capacity, and safety to pedestrians and bicyclists. None of these are issues with the rural interstates under consideration for 80 mph speed limits.

    Yes, according to the cited article about the proposed bill, certain urban freeways are under consideration for higher limits, but not the 80 mph limits. Perhaps an increase from 65 mph to 70 mph, etc. But this is not specified in the article. One is led to believe the writer opposes the rural freeway speed increases.

    Please make sure that all arguments are properly applied in their correct context. Urban Freeway arguments used against Rural Freeways does not a convincing case make.

  • wrz Phoenix, AZ
    Jan. 26, 2014 12:17 p.m.

    Also, slowing down will save lives. Statistics show that the major cause of deaths on freeways/highways is speeding. The life you save by staying within speed limits may well be your own.

  • timpClimber Provo, UT
    Jan. 26, 2014 7:23 a.m.

    Also as our population ages the slower speed will result in fewer accidents among the 65+ drivers, cyclists and walkers.