Imagine my surprise when I opened the newspaper and found our County Commissioner suggesting a speed limit INCREASE on Highway One. How very cool.
The thing is that every time a stretch gets repaved we lose a few more chances to legally pass dawdlers as they tend to replace dotted yellow lines with solid double yellow lines. And now here we have a powerful voice suggesting the speed limit be raised. Extraordinary!
The stretch in question is just north of Big Pine Key where the limit is 45mph by day and 35mph by night. The idea behind the restriction is to stop cars from killing Key Deer. Which sounds reasonable enough except for one thing. Or rather eight million things.
The state decided that with a death toll of about 30 dead deer a year it was time to do something. They built an elaborate overpass and fenced it all in at a cost of eight million dollars.
Access to the overpass is protected by cattle grids and the sides are covered by deer proof fences which have all been very effective at keeping out the deer. All of which has also created a secure passage for vehicles.
Motorcyclists Up North worry all the time about deer in the roadway at night but on this overpass such deer have been banished.
The deer, whose reserve has been split by the Overseas Highway, have two underpasses connecting both sides.
The overpass itself is a magnificent roadway with clear sight lines.
And yet already one voice raised itself in anguished anonymous protest in the paper when the idea of increased speed limits was aired. The protest made it sound as though increasing the limit to 55mph would lead to wholesale deer slaughter.
Then of course the protest concluded with the time worn question: what's the hurry? As though everyone driving the Overseas Highway is retired or on vacation. I wish people who dawdle spent their time dawdling and paying attention while behind the wheel. Well, as they say we can't get everything. You either drive the limit and pay attention, or you dawdle and fiddle with your phone and admire the view. God forbid you should pull over and let those with a deadline go by!
I suppose this speed limit idea will die a death, as most common sense ideas do.
I also read in the paper that feral cats have been photographed ravaging marsh rabbits and traps are scheduled to be set to catch the wild moggies. That idea has raised a shit storm because the untrusting folk who feed the cats suspect they won't go to a retirement home when caught.
It turns out trust is in short supply where wild animals are concerned, one way and another.
However when you look at Big Pine Key full of deer and fence-free, where speed limits aren't going to be raised, and then you look at the elaborate barricades built just north of this section you have to wonder how it is the two sections merit the same speed limits. But that sort of common sense question is better never asked.
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