Saturday, December 27, 2008

Stupid Road Signs

The latest examples of stupidity being forced upon the public-at-large are the signs recently erected on the parkways of Long Island. There are actually sensors all along the roads which measure the speed–or lack thereof–of traffic on these state highways, which relay data to these signs telling motorists how long it will take to get to one of the listed junctions.

Now, I have nothing against signs which warn of accidents or traffic problems (and there are signs like that on most major highways) although they usually just tell you there’s a problem without suggesting an alternate route; but, at least they’re useful.
These new signs are totally useless and a waste of my tax dollars.

First of all, the speed limit on most of the roads in question is 55 m.p.h. Of course, most people are doing at least 60 while some are doing 65 or better and a few may be going 50. Grade school arithmetic tells us that a car going 60 m.p.h. is driving a mile a minute. So, it’s pretty easy to figure that it’s going to take you 15 minutes to go 15 miles if you’re driving at 60, and it will take a little less if you’re going faster–or a little longer if you’re going slower. Besides, most people who drive these roads are “regulars” and already know how long it’s going to take them to go from point “A” to point “B.”

So, why do we need signs that tell us this information? Probably because some politician has a brother (or cousin, or friend) who’s in the sign making business.

1 comment:

  1. but does the sign take traffic and accidents into play, using the myriad bib-brothercams positioned along the parkways?? Does the 'average travel time' vary? Change with the changing volume??