Sunday Driving

April 22, 2013

speeddemon

On Sunday morning driving up Bathurst Street – yes, such a thing does happen occasionally – I looked down at the speedometer to see that I was travelling at about 70 km/h. That can’t be the legal limit, I thought to myself. Fifty unless otherwise posted, yes?

For anyone who’s ever driven this stretch of road, speeding isn’t normally a concern. Bathurst tends to be a slog of a drive; a terrible way to make your way north or south through the city. But when it isn’t clogged with traffic, clearly the street is built for speed.

speedlimits

Making my way back from my Sunday north-of-Bloor errands, I decided to take Spadina Road south for a bit. Here, sign posts dotted almost every other block it seemed, informing drivers to keep it to 40 km/h. (Fifty unless otherwise posted, yes?) Of course, when I noticed the signs, I was moving nearly 20 km/h over that limit.

Mostly out of curiosity, and with only a pinch of obligation, I experimented adhering to the suggested speed limit. I’m here to tell you that forty kilometres an hour feels really, really slow. I mean, really slow. Slowing to a crawl slow. Like, what’s the use of having a combustion engine if you’re only going to go this slow slow.

And the cars lined up behind me were probably very much in agreement. By the time I wound my way around Casa Loma, it was as if I led a funeral procession. Nobody was driving so much as promenading.

deathrace2000

We have to stop designing streets that enable speeding. Drivers will drive as fast as they feel they are capable of driving. Speed limits, speed traps and photo radar are merely impediments to that impulse. Only streets built to accommodate vehicular traffic moving at a maximum of 40 km/h will keep speeds at 40 km/h. Anything else is just pretend.

racily submitted by Cityslikr