Jason C. Consolacion
Ed De La Garza
Christian Schmidt Keenan
Obey the speed limit?
Have you received a ticket for speeding lately? Have you received a
ticket for speeding on the same freeway you usually speed on, but don't
usually get a ticket for
doing so? Have you noticed the new speed limit signs on the freeways?
Just what we need, right?
As a part of its plan to decrease the amount of smog in Houston, the
city has reduced speed limits to 55 miles per hour, taking us back to the
days when cars
actually bolded and orange-inked the "55 mph" spot on speedometers.
To put it frankly, it stinks — especially for as much driving that is
required for the working, commuting UH student. And since this city is
so spread out (one may live
in The Woodlands, go to school at UH's central campus and have a job
out in Rice Village), driving will always be a necessity. Driving fast
is a necessity, especially
with traffic, lecture-happy professors and anal bosses.
So what are we supposed to do, obey these new signs? By law, we're forced
to. But that we can bend the rules a little.
The news has yet to catch up with everybody, anyway. There are still
cars going 65 and 70 on those long stretches of Highway 59 and Interstate
45. If we decide to
go with the flow of traffic, there isn't much harm in that.
But beware of the furtive "over-the-hill" cop ... you know, those cops
who park just after a "hill" in the freeway. They catch you going 80 before
you even see them.
Once you drive over that overpass, those red and blue lights force
your feet to lay off the gas and your hands cautiously take their "10 and
How many of us have been driving long enough to remember when the speed
limits were 55? It used to take an hour to get to Kingwood, The Woodlands
Missouri City from downtown. With the 65 and 70 speed limits, a trip
from UH to The Woodlands would take about 45 minutes (sans rush hour).
But thanks to
Houston's lack of accessible public transportation, all of our cars
have created enough smog to force the city to reduce those limits.
There really isn't much we can do except hope the speed reductions do
no less for the city other than increase traffic. Then, and only then,
will the city's suits realize
that it's not all these cars causing the smog.
So go ahead and continue to set your cruise control on 70 — just remember
to turn it off when you go over those "hills."