Tuesday, September 11, 2012

LIFE IN THE EXTREMELY FAST TEXAS LANE

The New York Times headline, Reclaiming the Title of Fastest in the Land, written by MANNY FERNANDEZ, begins lamenting that – six years ago, the highest posted speed limit in the country could be found on two stretches of Interstate in West Texas at 80 miles per hour.

Calling – to drive one of those stretched sections, 544 miles of Interstate 10 between El Paso and San Antonio, that cuts across the rural town of Sanora, a uniquely Texan experience. Sports cars and pickup trucks passed at speeds exceeding 90 m.p.h. in a landscape that at times seems as flat as the dashboard. They ignored the “strong crosswinds” roadside warnings and gave new meaning to the antilitter signs declaring “Don’t Mess With Texas.”
There you go. Up the ante. What else are people going to do, if as humans we can’t get our kicks any other way than living to die fighting statistics? Then, by all means, Texas, the hard way. Really, if we could stretch enough motor raceways across the country, linked without the deadweight of the slow and careful and careless other folks, then, maybe yeah, let’s all go too fast when everyone knows fools are tailgating everywhere on America’s freeways.
The Times quotes Ted Houghton saying, “I love it,” in 2006 when as a member of the State Transportation Commission he voted to raise the speed limit (he is now the chairman of the commission). “It’ll be the Texas autobahn.”
Ya get the feeling Ted doesn’t have problems with self-praise?
About the current change – Officials with the Texas Department of Transportation, which is overseen by the transportation commission, said a section of State Highway 130 between the Austin and San Antonio was designed and tested for high-speed travel. “Safety is our top priority,” Veronica Beyer, a department spokeswoman, said in a statement. “And tests have shown the designated speed is a safe one.”
Things work out for the best? Mistakes happen. A country addicted to speed must be satisfied?
The Times then explains how speed is acceptably useful when crossing the great expanse of Texas, and how Governor Perry put a happy face on an ad campaign when lieutenant governor. Popular on YouTube, he approaches a state trooper, uttering a kind of Texas driving motto. “Why don’t you just let us get on down the road?”
Sounds like one of those golden yellow brick road deals where we’re screwed by whose behind the curtain.
Then The Times quotes someone reiterating tailgating is terrible at 70 miles per hour. Da dump bump.
Still Mr. Curtis said, “You can’t piddle around at 55 miles an hour unless you want to leave two days early. We’re not in New York. We’re in the West. There is a world of difference.”
And on Mars we haven’t figured out how to make things crash yet, butindubitably will.
Then The Times story concludes with an allegorical tailgater who stopped with his hat off for a funeral procession.
Because, after all, it is just fact, that fast has repercussions.
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2 comments:

  1. I see no problem with Texas raising their speed limits. In fact, it'll be a whole lot better when your driving through great distances. It's not as scary as in the Middle East where people drive around 100 at the least.

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  2. I don't disagree, extremely fast is convenient and efficient. ...

    ReplyDelete

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