My wife and I just got back from out 10th anniversary trip. We stayed in Kaua’i, which was absurdly beautiful and I highly recommend.
The relevant part to these boards was something entirely unexpected and beautiful in its own way… the relative absence of speeding and aggressive driving. As in, the drivers, without anyone in front of them were most likely to be going the speed limit, sometimes maybe 5 over, but more often maybe 5 under. And this is without a highly visible police presence.
It was easy enough for me to fall into because I was on vacation and the scenery was of the sort I didn’t mind lingering in. And there are probably are more tourists than locals that might be in a similar mindset. But that can’t be the whole explanation.
If I have to have a pet theory, and I always have to have a pet theory, it’s the almost complete absence of multi-lane roads. People react to incentives and form habits from it. Not to say that speeding/aggressive driving really gets you ahead in any meaningful way when there is traffic, but someone geared up for the rat race feels better (very temporarily) when they pass anyone, no matter how meaningless. If there’s no place to pass, you just have to bury that feeling and maybe it eventually gets buried deeply enough to be forgotten about.
If that’s the case, then that’s another reason I want road diets. But if anyone else had a similar experience elsewhere or knows or suspects anything else as major factors and/or especially can think of things we might do in Pittsburgh to try and calm things down, please share.
I just came from my bi-weekly Toastmasters meeting, with the feeling that I need to do a speech on traffic calming, and to deliver it in a calm manner. All too often I want to pound tables and generally get all worked up about an issue. But I think this war will be won with feather dusters, not sledgehammers.
Thank you for the background info, Ben. I think your hypothesis is probably close to the mark. My only concern is that said slow motorists may also be distracted motorists, dangerous in their own way.
Back in the 90’s I drove a car cross country via the Southern route through Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, etc. In just about every state I crossed the drivers were going way above the posted speed limit (including myself). But in New Mexico you were more likely to encounter a driver going significantly below the speed limit. I don’t know why this would be, but it was true for both local and interstate roads.
I rode through South Park (the park not the town) last weekend. It was actually kind of creepy to ride on a 4 lane road with everyone going pretty much exactly 25 mph. (I take it the speed limit there is enforced “strongly”.) It did make me realize just how much faster than 25 most people on other 25 mph roads are going.
Bermuda? Island speed limit is 35km/hr (around 22 mph) and most of the individual personal traffic was motor scooters. I rented a too small beater mtn bike for the morning, and covered a loop seeing about half the island. The only traffic to speak of was near the airport.
The Honolulu advertiser article about “blood alley” is very much outside my (very limited) experience there. Except for the 40mph limits and speed signs, which remain.
Bermuda sounds like a nice place to ride a bike!
Kauai could be, but they don’t have a consistently low enough limits or wide enough shoulder when the limit isn’t low on the (except the napali coast) loop road and there’s very little dedicated bike infrastructure.
Saw some cyclists on the loop road, but a lot more parked bikes than bikes on the road, presumably sticking to back streets in the little towns. It’s a shame to see the “garden island” dominated by cars.
Anyways, the speed limit adherence was remarkably nice.