Channel 19

Todd Dills

New speed governor: Public art on the roadways

| June 24, 2011

No, it’s not a joke the Kansas DOT is playing on truckers and motorists — nor any kind of sophisticated speed trap. Click through the thumbnail of the picture at right here for a story from the Olathe News on the Kansas City Star’s website about Gastinger Walker Harden architect Joel Marquardt’s Art-n-R-Park public art project/series, of which this curious sign is part.

It sits on Roe Boulevard between West 48th Street and  I-35 in Roeland Park, Kan., no doubt grabbing the attention of speed-limit-abiding drivers and scofflaws alike, I imagine. But while it might be novel on a public roadway, shopping malls and parking lots have been doing this sort of thing for years, crafting speed signs with top speed limits as low as 3 miles per hour to get drivers’ attention. I’m immediately reminded of a sign on the drive into the Opry Mills/Opryland Hotel complex off Briley Parkway in Nashville, whose 24-mph limit always left me looking down at my speedometer and, of course, wondering at the significance of the limit.

Could be a suggestion for your Congressman. Rather than require speed-limiting technology in your trucks, what if the nation just swapped out the speed limit signs every year or so with slight adjustments? Would a 69 mph sign get your attention? 71?

  • John S. Roberts

    I am a truck driver and back in 1991 I went into a chemical plant in Deer Park, Tx. and they had a speed limit sign reading 4 1/4 mph. I asked the dispatcher there why the 4 1/4 mph and his reply was, ” OH, SO YOU KNOW WHAT THE SPEED LIMIT IN THE YARD IS “! We shouldn’t see you speeding in our yard. strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.