A few years back, we won the Motorway Lotto and our 8km bit of the A63 was widened from 4 to 6 lanes over the last year or so.
“Excellent”, we all thought “Traffic joining the motorway doesn’t have to fight its way into the stream, there’s a dedicated turn-off lane towards Frankfurt, it’s all good”
Then they started putting up the ominous traffic management boards and reports turned up in the paper from Mobility Rheinland-Pfalz along the lines of “Actually, it’s STILL only going to be 4 lanes, but we’ll open up the new lanes if we need to. And – as a special bonus – you can drive at 130…”
Which is what happened this week.
So instead of merging 4-into-3 at on-ramps, it’s now 3-into-2.
Instead of having traffic zipping past villages at 100km/h, it’s now 130 km/h.
Forgetting, of course, that
- a 1% increase in speed results in a 3% increase in accident risk
- a car travelling at 130km/h generates 85 dB compared with 80dB at 100km/h. (That’s 3 times the noise level. And people complain about aircraft noise….)
- a car travelling at 130km/h emits 30% more total hydrocarbons and more that double the CO2 than at 100km/h
- Increasing the speed limit and reducing the number of lanes restricts the capacity of the carriageway by 50%
The maths are so simple:
- At 130km/h, you can fit 228 cars into the 8 km stretch between Nieder-Olm and Mainz-Süd (2 lanes, 14 per km, 65m safety buffer between cars)
- At 100km/h, it’s 436 (3 lanes, 50m safety buffer between cars)
So if I’ve got this right, they’ll wait until traffic starts bunching up in 2 lanes and then their computer will activate the signs to open up the hard shoulder to disperse the traffic jam that wouldn’t have been there in the first place with 3 lanes…
Ms jb said “I thought stuff like this only happened in New Zealand….”
This is why I never read the news and rarely listen to the radio. It’s impossible for me not to care, and I get all worked up about the inanity.
And there you go, printing logic and facts.