Anybody who has traveled on Highway 22X in the last few months know’s what I am talking about.
Last summer, a great deal of construction began over a 10 kilometer stretch of the highway in what I assume is part of the Southwest Ring Road construction project. While little work was done on the highway itself, there was a lot of activity near it so the speed limit was reduced to 70 KPH for the entire stretch.
As a man who worked many years as surveyor, I had many opportunities to work on roadsides while jackasses speed by at what feels like mere inches from my setup. I understand the need for construction zone speed limits and I fully support the strong enforcement of those limits.
The problem with the zone on Highway 22X is that there has not been any active construction in months but the limit is still 70 KPH!
As soon as the snow flew, all construction stopped. The equipment left and everything went to normal aside from the reduced speed limit signs.
Construction will not start again for months so why the hell are we still being forced to slow down?
As can be seen above, we are talking about a wide stretch of divided highway with large shoulders and not a single corner. In most places, the limit would be as high as 110 or at the very least 90. 70 KPH is utterly pointless and painful to maintain for that long stretch.
As soon as you leave city limits on the highway, the limit goes to 100 KPH.
What difference is there between those two pictures aside from the speed limit signs? What factor made the above picture unsafe to drive at 100 KPH while the one before that was 70 KPH?
The answer is none. The limiting of speed provides utterly no safety benefit whatsoever or the entire highway would languish at that absurd speed limit.
So why keep the limit low? Who benefits?
The picture below tells you.
Highway 22X has become a favorite fishing hole for lazy City of Calgary police officers who want to fill their quota of tickets with the least amount of work.
Cops know that commuters are frustrated with the unreasonably low limit and that they will eventually simply speed eventually as it almost hurts to crawl along so slowly on such a fine piece of road. Due to this, they set up on that stretch constantly and nail commuters who while they were indeed speeding, they were not putting anybody in any danger at all.
If the cops truly were pursuing traffic safety, they would be enforcing in areas with a high degree of risk or a high number of accidents. Actual active construction zones (there is no shortage of them) or playground zones come to mind.
Alas, many officers prefer to set up to try and get a big fish as they nail people going 30 kph over the limit as that is a safe speed to drive on the road despite the limit.
With the cash rolling in from these fines, there is little incentive for the powers that be to change the limit to something realistic until the construction starts again.
I imagine that Ms. Oel is getting tired of constituent complaints on this issue.
Lost hours are lost living. Thousands of vehicles are delayed daily from this idiotic limit which cumulatively leads to countless hundreds of thousands of people’s hours wasted in driving. While folks who don’t need to do this commute may brush this off, this is a large irritation for those of us forced to do this drive daily. Especially if we have been nailed with one of the ridiculous tickets that the cops are handing out like candy on Halloween in the area.
Remember, the next “construction zone” could be in your area next.
As usual, it takes citizens to initiate what should be common sense as the bureaucrats are incapable of it.
Please email info@SWCRRproject.com or call 403.212.0565 to tell them to pull their heads out of their asses on this one.
It may help them apply a little common sense on the next project.