This means that the only vehicles in the two left lanes are cars and some small trucks. Even then most vehicles stayed well away from the far left lane. Mostly because the cars were not capable of courteously driving in the left lane.
What this all means is that I saw no acts of aggression on the roads that are very common on US freeways. Acts of aggression can include driving at the speed limit or less in the left lane because "I can and it's not against the law".
Speeding cars approaching other cars quickly, tailgating, and flashing headlights when they are maybe already exceeding the speed limit and have not had a chance to move over yet.
In summary, it was much more comfortable driving in Germany at 100MPH than driving on US roads at much lower speeds.
What's especially shitty about this is that in many states, it actually is against the law, but since it's so poorly enforced, people either don't know or don't care.
What makes highways dangerous are large speed gradients and this is an issue caused by drivers both on the high end and the low end of speed. Hence why most highways have a minimum advertised speed. The issue is that no one respects the speed limits anymore which often expands the gradient and makes the highway less safe. Left lane or not, you shouldn’t exceed the speed limit.
It is not your job to deliberately stay in someone's way to prevent them from speeding. Leave the speed enforcement to the police.
> The bill is being pitched as a way to cut idling in traffic and therefore reduce greenhouse gases
This looks like next level reality distortion field to me. Increasing speed limits cannot possibly decrease greenhouse gases, nor can adding lanes (which increases capacity and therefore use.) The most optimal speed for reducing greenhouse gasses appears to be 40-60mph, so any discussion of speeds outside that range is therefore not about lowest GHG emissions.
Having high-speed lanes seems OK to me, but drawing that effort out of funds tagged for GHG-reduction seems like a court challenge waiting to happen, and is morally unacceptable anyhow.
So you can't make an absolute statement in either way actually. You can only adjust to the vehicle base in use currently if you want to optimize efficiency, speed, fuel consumption and emissions.
Congestion isn’t about what happens on straight stretches of road, it’s about what happens at exits and junctions. I mean sure, you get “standing waves” is traffic caused by people changing lanes or braking suddenly, but when an exit lane is full because the traffic ahead is held up by a red light or a busy stop/yield intersection, no speed limit is going to help.
What will help is fewer (yes, fewer) lanes on the main road, more lanes (or “holding space”) at intersections, and mechanisms for allowing exiting traffic to enter side roads without using intersections.
If there isn't a lot of traffic on a section of road, people can move through that section faster at higher speeds, so there can be less congestion.
On the other hand, if there is enough traffic, high speeds reduce the throughput of a given section of road because braking distances as a function of speed increase faster than speed.
Edit: Added the usual caveats. And yes, they are.
This bill is never going anywhere. The GOP is now 10/40 seats in the CA State Senate (2 seats vacant), and 19/80 in the CA State Assembly.
I'm not going to say this should have any bearing on the merits bill at hand, but your characterization is absolutely correct.
I saw a documentary about this once called 'Fast and Furious'. You just need to find the fastest guys and beat them.
another benefit is that this would help with unclogging the courts with tickets and reduce the strain on the criminal justice system.
I've driven these probably 30 times each. The standard minimum speed there in the daytime is already 80-90 mph in the fast lane.
Getting stuck behind some asshole who actually goes the speed limit in the fast lane isn't just annoying (it can add an hour to an SF => LA trip), it's also dangerous. It encourages people to pass by dodging and weaving through the line of much slower semi trucks in the slow lane. Also, CHP likes to hide under overpasses to hand out tickets, so people tend to slow down before them and then speed up again after them.
All these lane changes and speed changes are much, much likelier to cause accidents than high speed is. The road would be a lot safer if people in the fast lane were encouraged to all drive at the same high speed. This bill is a fantastic idea.
According to the bill, money for construction of two new
lanes on each side of I-5 and CA-99 would be
drawn from California's Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund.
Moorlach doesn't give an estimated cost for the project,
but says the state already owns the right of way necessary
for the lanes. The bill is being pitched as a way to cut
idling in traffic and therefore reduce greenhouse gases,
on most EVs, there are no gears, so efficiency increases asymptotically as speed approaches zero.
what I'm getting at is that fuel efficiency for an individual car should not be the only optimization target for traffic laws. we are willing to make at least some tradeoffs in efficiency to get where we are going faster. most speed limits in the US have not been increased since the 60s, and since then cars have become much more efficient, capable, and survivable in the case of a crash. I'd say at least a modest increase in speed limits is warranted.
plus, a bunch of ICEs crawling in stop-and-go traffic is pretty much the worst case scenario for fuel efficiency. if this new policy can actually reduce gridlock, it is likely to have net gains in emission reduction.
In order to avoid stop-and-go traffic, you should try to balance the distance to the car in front of you with the distance to the car behind you. Allowing enough distance lets you slow down to avoid an accident without coming to a complete stop (as long as the person in front of you is doing the same).
A lot of driver behavior is at fault for gridlock and traffic issues. It really comes down to poor enforcement and counterintuitive game theory that makes it more advantageous to disregard the rules.
> Germany's more rigorous driver-education system makes acquiring a license more difficult and costly than is typical in the United States.
The requirements in the US for getting a license are incredibly low in some jurisdictions.
Don't even need to compare the US system to anything to know how much of a joke it is.
I don't know how much things have since I got my license in 2001, but in Oregon, driver's ed classes weren't even required. At 15 1/2 years old, you take a 30-question, multiple-choice written test to get a learner's permit that allows you to drive on public roads with a licensed driver in the passenger seat. Then at 16, you can take a 15-minute behind-the-wheel test to get your license. That's all.
Your parents would teach you to drive, who would often end up leaving large gaps in your knowledge or even teach things that are flat-out incorrect. A friend of mine was taught specifically to camp the left lane if he's going to be on the highway for more than 5 miles.
Driver's ed should be a requirement. The courses should include practical lessons including emergency maneuvers on wet pavement and how to recover from a slide. Being told "steer into/out of the skid" isn't helpful. Everyone should have practiced recovery after loss of traction. Everyone should have had to do emergency stops on both wet and dry pavement so they can actually appreciate the difference in stopping distance.
Instead, you get morons that drive 60+ mph on a snowy highway in dense fog because nobody told them you should slow down for that, and somehow it isn't common sense. Videos like this  need to be required viewing to get a license. This pileup was 100% preventable.
If you read my post again you'll see I was noting that the aim of the bill is to reduce green house gasses and it seems to be common knowledge that cars are less efficient at higher speeds.
Why would they crash? 100 is not difficult to do.
See Germany for examples.
Unfortunately here in America a lot of slow shitheads have an entitlement complex and think that anyone who wants to go faster than them is evil.
I've never seen anything even remotely like that on a US highway, and I've driven around the US a lot.
Driving practice with the instructor was extensive, covering pretty much every common driving scenario short of hitting a deer. To even take the test, you had to have X hours logged driving with an adult who had a license.
Yes, the license is substantially cheaper, but it was also a very rural area- driving a car is just a fact of life out there, and 2k for the license would probably have cost more than quite a few of the cars.
The idea behind the law is that the majority of people are lawful, and that we are in fact "voting" for the right speed to be set by traveling at that rate.
Rather than creating lanes with no speed limit, we just need to force Caltrans and local municipalities to enforce this standard.
So from a safety perspective, there is nothing wrong here.
The logic of pulling from a greenhouse emission reduction fund is bonkers.
I don't know about CA-99, but I-5 is definitely 70 MPH for stretches.
EDIT: looks like both are 70 MPH at various points: http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/roadinfo/70mph.htm
I blast between LA and SF on a regular basis with my motorcycle. The bike and tires are good for cruising at 160 mph, but with all the trucks in an elephant race, I'm lucky to average 80 mph.
I'd pay a small ransom in tolls to drive on a road with no trucks and no speed limit.