As all of you know, Northgate Drive is in the process of getting a serious face-lift. No more bumps, no more gullies – just smooth, level concrete. To make this project complete, however, the City of Irving needs to do only one more thing: raise the speed limit to 40 mph.
Such an increase only seems reasonable. Before the construction, the damage one could sustain to a car’s suspension going 40 on Northgate would make the Dukes of Hazzard jealous. Now that all this work has been put into the road, it will be safer and more efficient to raise the speed limit to 40. The area around Northgate is not residential, and it would be safe even if people were driving over the 40 mph speed limit. Most people speed, whether they admit it or not. Supposing they cruise at 5-10 mph over the law, raising the speed limit to 40 would raise the effective speed to 45 or 50 mph. That may sound fast, but the new Northgate is built more like a highway than a road – and on highways the minimum is 45 mph.
Without a doubt, there is the issue of those people at University of Dallas who are quite unsafe, whether due to intoxication or just never learning to look both ways while crossing the street. Yet this objection should not pose an obstacle to raising the speed limit. As anyone who has driven on Northgate knows, the road has no tricky curves or obstacles around UD that prevent a driver from seeing far ahead. If someone is crossing the road, the driver will have plenty of time to hit the breaks whether he is going 35 or 45.
Not posing any new threats to students and cutting down travel time, such an increase is the final touch the City of Irving ought to put on the new and improved Northgate. Whether the change is made or not, many unfortunately will continue to speed. That cannot be helped. But for those who are responsible drivers, wouldn’t it make sense that the law not punish us for driving at a speed which is appropriate for the new and improved Northgate?