READING - Not So Fast!
Just because we can go fast doesn't mean that we should. When it comes to the speeds set on our highways, many drivers look at it solely from an engineering point of view. Letting physics and what you can (or can't) see as your guide to personal speed setting does not take in the larger picture.
Here's an interesting document from Todd Litman of the Victoria Transport Policy Institued titled Not So Fast: Better Speed Valuation for Transportation Planning. The summary explains:
Planning decisions often involve trade-offs between travel speed and other goals. It is important to consider all impacts when making speed-related decisions. This report examines why and how to do that. It describes various benefits and costs of faster travel; examines how speed valuation affects planning decisions; how those decisions affect economic, social and environmental outcomes; and provides guidance for comprehensive analysis of these impacts.This analysis indicates that conventional planning tends to exaggerate the benefits and understate the costs of higher travel speeds.This favors faster modes, such as automobiles, over slower but more affordable, healthy, equitable and resource-efficient modes such as walking, bicycling and public transit; favors higher roadway design speeds; and favors sprawl over compact development. Surveys indicate that many people want to drive less, rely more on slower modes, and live in more compact, walkable communities. Serving these demands requires more comprehensive analysis of speed-related trade-offs.