The ‘Open Road’ — To Hell?

Jeremy Smith drives the point home —
‘Fancy driving at 110 km on the Kapiti expressway?
This is a report about speed limits, and about being an unimportant person, climate change
and a variation on an old fortune cookie saying.
The Kapiti expressway, well parts of it, could be opened up to a 100km -possibly.
And Waka Kotahi is calling for submissions from the public about the proposal.
The higher limit if it comes in would start just north of the Poplar Avenue interchange and
finish just south of the Otaki interchange.
So in view of the price of petrol at the servo who would want to go faster.
Let’s talk climate change- AUT Professor Len Gillman, as reported by RNZ.
“The OECD has done work which shows a reduction from 110 to 90 kilometres per hour
reduces emissions by 23 percent.
It makes a huge difference how fast you go.”
In other words increase the speed limit and you add a lot to engine emissions on petrol cars.
Obviously people whose vehicles are powered partly or fully by electrons might be less
concerned about the cost. But the higher speed still draws
down your battery more quickly.
Then there’s the question of why you want to get where you are going.
Some people are more important than others. This writer happily admits he’s not one of them.
But this argument about the needs of important people came up a year or two back over a
proposal to lower the speed limit on two roads,
one in the North Island and one in the South.
In the south it’s Highway 6 between Blenheim and Nelson- hilly at the Nelson end but flat
through to Blenheim once you are out of the hills.
Waka Kotahi said they wanted to drop the open road limit on the flat bits- that part of the road
wasn’t as safe at 100 km as people might think.
The blow-back on that included a Nelson woman – public sector job- who said her regular
work trips between the two towns would take longer.
In Hawkes Bay a businessman said a similar proposal on highway 5- a lower limit on the flat
bits towards Taupo would have a negative impact.
Their concerns were echoed by the Transport Minister, Simeon Brown- worried about the
costs of doing business.
Then there’s a “fortune cookie” angle. This is the one that says: not height of fall dangerous,
just sudden stop.

Translate that from the vertical to the horizontal and you get: not speed of vehicle dangerous
just sudden stop.
And if you end up dead or injured it doesn’t matter what your job is.’

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