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Monday, August 30, 2010

Speed limit reductions have certain benefits


At first glance, the hard news that the speed limit between Ketchum and Hailey will be reduced to 45 may feel like a drag, but at the same time it can be healthy for us to remember that there are several benefits to this sweeping change.



When our traffic flows at 45, it will lessen animal / vehicle encounters. Not only will this horrible carnage of large mammals and peoples pets be reduced; but also the moderate speeds will give motorists smoother opportunities to merge into traffic, as well as offering us shorter braking distances for various quick emergencies, and improving fuel efficiency for most vehicles.



Furthermore, slowing down could inspire some motorists to better appreciate our valley’s scenic corridor. Cognizant drivers and passengers will have more time to soak up its sunny splendor, as the 45 mph will gift us with an ideal traveling rate for cloud-watching; constructively daydreaming about the physics of angels, or perhaps for better organizing in our heads, letters to the editor about other ways to improve the valley. Soon, the locals who have decided to live here and the tourists who enjoy visiting, who only blurred by our mid-valley majesty before, will begin noticing slow-motion trees in pocket-parks for later hugs.



Slower limits will give bus commuters more time to enjoy gazing out the window, or perhaps for absorbing a few more pages of the good book or newspaper they’re reading. Speed kills, and as Kris Stoffer points out in a recently related letter, many beloved community members have lost their lives or health on the human highway, and the time for this grand paradigm shift to an unhurried speed has now arrived.

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