Speed-limit free lanes onI-5 would be a big mistake
A new state bill introduced last week would add no-speed-limit lanes to Interstate 5 and State Route 99, serving as an alternative to California’s high-speed rail project.
Speed limit-free lanes on I-5 would be a mistake. I have logged over 300,000 miles on I-5 over 40 years. There are many inexperienced drivers (weekenders to Disneyland), and most semitrucks have speed limiters. These do not mix well with fast traffic.
Instead, implement safety improvements. California is the fifth largest economy in the world; tremendous agricultural and global commerce now flows by endless truck caravans on I-5. They cause hazards with existing traffic as they struggle to merge within 350-foot merge zones (a quaint 1960’s design standard). They force existing trucks to do last-second merges into the left lane that carries faster traffic.
We need to create half-mile merge zones at all entrances, thereby increasing merge times from 5 seconds to 30. In comparison, Arizona provides 0.25 miles on I-10. This would require adding 28 miles of merge lanes from the Grapevine to Highway 120. A small price for safety.
Hal YeagerPleasant Hill
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