Monday, September 25, 2006

Without Stoplights, We'd Never Slow Down

Why did the Seattle Times choose to quote this line from a bystander:

A nearby resident, Bob Bruck, said drivers regularly speed along Alki , despite the 30 mph speed limit.

"There are no stop signs or stop lights for maybe four miles, so there's nothing to slow a car down," he said.

This quote refers to a recent "tragedy" in which six teenagers, driving too fast and probably drunk went "soaring" over a seawall near the bend on Harbor Avenue at the north end of Alki Beach. Two were killed 'instantly' while the others are in varying stages of recovery.

But going back to the quote, this has to be one of the dumbest things I've ever heard. I know that journalists are preternaturally desposed to find institutional fault with every accident where some dumb-ass kills himself or others. But the suggestion that drivers on a two lane, beachfront road not unlike those you'll find in San Diego or L.A., will simply accelerate indefinitely until a stop light slows them down is one of the dumbest things I've ever read. There are no stop lights on the freeway, and by the end of our trips, we're not all doing 140+ miles per hour, or whatever speed our vehicles will take us.

The reason people speed on Alki is it's a cruising draw for the young people, and as such, alcohol is often being consumed, and speeding and engine revving takes place to draw attention of the ladies. The kids on motorcycles are notorious for this activity.

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