This week I started getting a Daily Update email from the Grand Rapids Press. I guess somewhere along the way I'd sent email to one of the editorial people, so my address was on their list. My first reaction was -- I already get the newspaper, what do I need this for? On the other hand, this email comes mid-morning and I won't see the paper until tonight or tomorrow morning, so I figured maybe I'd give it a shot.
Raising Speed Limits
So even though I haven't gone that way this week, I found out from my daily briefing on Thursday that MDOT crews were busy raising speed limit signs on US-131. From Ann Street on the north side to 28th Street on the south, the speed has dropped from 70 mph to 55 mph, except for the S-curve in downtown Grand Rapids. Now it's 70 mph all the way, except still 50 mph in the S-curve.
Not sure what that's going to do. According to the traffic engineers, not much, since the drivers have never slowed down much in the 55 mph zone. This created a mix of 55 and 70 mph traffic in the three lanes.
Isn't it nice that the criminals -- those breaking the law and speeding -- now get to set the standard for everyone?
A similar speed up is planned for I-196 through downtown, raising the speed limit from 55 to 65 mph, once The Fix On 196 construction project finishes up this fall.
A Little Bit Of News Is A Good Thing
Of course on the drive home I can pick up traffic & weather from WLAV-FM. And on Thursday I heard that there was a car burning at US-131 and 100th Street south of Grand Rapids. The fire was on the southbound side, but I was prepared for a gapers' block northbound.
Even before I got to the southern border of Kent County, I could see the ugly column of black smoke. Since, northbound traffic was still moving, in part due to the fact there just wasn't a lot of vehicles going north. So I was able to get into the left hand lane and snap two one-handed somewhat unsteady shots -- though not a nice full frame full burning short at right angles:
Still, the fire department was on the scene spraying it down, orange flames shooting out and a great series of patches of scorched black grass on the hill grade to the entrance from 100th Street to US-131 southbound. The traffic southbound was backing up a couple of miles. And I had known that northbound was still open and able to breeze on by.
It's nice to have information.