The next time you're driving along Four Seasons Boulevard, in either direction....glance down at your speedometer. We're willing to bet you'll be driving anything BUT the posted 35 miles per hour. Chances are, you'll be driving 40 to 50 miles per hour....and driving it safely. OOPS....if you find yourself driving OVER 35, better back off and slow down...a costly speeding ticket, an increase in your car insurance rate, maybe even a court appearance and an expensive lawyer...could be just a blue light and a siren away!
WHKP has been saying for years...that 35 miles per hour on Four Seasons Boulevard is too slow. NOT because we like "speed"...but because we believe a smooth, steady, energetic flow of traffic is good for drivers, good for commerce, good for consumers...and good for safety!
We've heard all the arguments AGAINST raising the limit above 35 miles per hour for close to 30 years..."Raise the limit to 40, they'll drive 45 or 50". "Raise it to 45, they'll drive 55 or 60...or even faster." That may be true...and we only advocate raising the speed limit to 45 miles per hour to begin with....assessing the safety in THAT on down the line...and deciding WHAT to do with the speed limit AFTER we at least give faster speed limits a CHANCE.
Again, we're not "speedsters", but we do see the wisdom in moving traffic along at a healthy, brisk, and SAFE speed.... and there's nothing to indicate that a speed limit of 45 miles per hour on Four Seasons Boulevard WON'T be safe.
Indeed...we just drove the I-95 corridor...from Orlando, to Daytona, to Jacksonville, to Savannah, to Columbia twice in a single week...and found NO posted speed limit BELOW 55 miles per hour...and that was in a "construction" zone. And there weren't wrecks all over the highway either...in fact, we didn't see a single one. Drivers were sticking to a sensible speed limit, or close to it, and they were doing it safely. What we DID see were state troopers and local police stationed every few miles.....and that's ok. they reminded us what the law was, that they were there to see it was obeyed, and a visible law enforcement presence is a BIG part of what keeps those faster speed limits SAFE.
Years ago, WHKP and the merchants up and down 7th Avenue East made a successful appeal to city leaders to raise the peed limit on 7th Avenue from 20 to 35 miles per hour. After that, there were no big wrecks, 7th Avenue didn't become a race track....TRAFFIC just flowed smoothly, efficiently, and at a more sensible speed. We're hoping city leaders will hear us...again.
20, 25, 30...even 35 mile per hour speed limits were designed for residential neighborhoods and hair-pin curves...NOT for the most critical and heavily traveled, broad and multi-laned routes of commerce through a growing, bustling city or town.
Of course, it's NC DOT who makes the final decision on what he Four Seasons Boulevard speed limit will be...lest we forget "the Boulevard" is STILL "U.S. Highway 64"...a federal highway and not simply a "city" street....all the MORE reason for us to expect our US HIGHWAYS and their speed limits to make sense and to keep up with changing times, traffic flows, and with the reasonable needs of those who PAY for them with their TAXES.
We CAN do better than 35 miles per hour on our Four Seasons Boulevard. It's PAST time for those who SET the limits to give it a chance....to PROVE we can do it efficiently, SAFELY, and that we will drive within reasonable speed limits.The "old" rules are like fond memories...but IF we can do better in 2008, for every tax-paying consumer who spends his or her time and who pays his or her taxes and who then drives ON Four Seasons Boulevard, let's raise that limit...and give a better, a safer, and a bit faster....and a MUCH more sensible and efficient....speed limit a chance!