I drove to Baltimore last week (Thursday and Friday) and spent the weekend with a friend. I quickly realized that one particular thing stressed me out – speed limits. I know Georgia cops love to catch out-of-staters and give them tickets, so I assume cops everywhere feel the same way. So I don’t want to speed (too much).
Miles go by and I realize I haven’t seen a speed limit sign. I get antsy. I go whatever speed seems to be average for the traffic around me. I drop from the 60-70th percentile to the 30-40th (as in instead of passing 6-7 out of every 10 cars, I might pass 4). An exit! Where is the speed limit sign? Where is it? It should be here? HOW DOES ANYONE AROUND HERE KNOW THE SPEED LIMIT?!?!
It wasn’t until I was getting back to Atlanta I realized something. Our perimeter, I-285, has these new digital speed limit signs so they can adjust during periods of heavy traffic. These signs are probably every 1/4 of a mile. Long stretches might be 1/2 a mile. I’ve gotten used to this.
In Atlanta, the speed limit can change so often they have to post it frequently. And these digital signs have added a new layer of insecurity that the stretch of road that was 65 yesterday is 35 today (yes because traffic is going 15, but STILL). Driving in an unknown area of the country, in a place where I expected to be the victim of out-of-state-discrimination, and expecting the speed limit to potentially drop to 35 at any given 1/4 mile…
Atlanta broke my ability to trust speed limit signs.