Atta Ikede

August 31, 2008

Autobahn

Filed under: San Francisco, Uncategorized — attaikede @ 8:21 am

There are highways in Germany called autobahns that don’t have speed limits. In fact all they have is a minimum required speed. I think everybody who owns a BMW dreams of driving on these highways. Heck, sometimes even I dream of driving on those highways! hehe.

In my experience, highway driving speeds in and around San Francisco are quite slow. Those of us who cut our teeth on the 401 know that you can go up to 130 km/h without being the fastest car on the road and it’s normal to change lanes at that speed. In fact at 130 km/h you’ll be forced into the middle lane like a turtle so that speeders can zoom past you in the left lane at 140, 150 and up. That’s what happens on a Sunday morning when volume is reasonable.

San Francisco is very different: There are several highways in the area and they’re all slow. if you drive at 80 mph ( =130 km/h), you WILL be the fastest car on the road. In fact, you can’t drive faster than 70 mph unless you have a clear view of the road ahead and know there isn’t a cop there. The cop watch gets stressful after a while so the best strategy is just tough it out at 65 mph. It’s slow, but at least it’s safer and you’re um .. saving gas.

There is one exception, however, and that is what I refer to as San Francisco’s autobahn. What is this mythical place? It’s the Bay Bridge!

Bay Bridge from Coit Tower

The bridge is a double decker highway — outbound traffic is on the lower rung and inbound traffic is on the upper rung. It’s something like 5 or 6 lanes each way.
I think maybe it’s the sudden expansion from 3 lanes to 6 that gets drivers excited, cuz speeds noticeably pick up under there. It’s my favourite place to drive!

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2 Comments »

  1. Thank you so much for the picture, now I know it’s a double decker highway!!

    Comment by picnic buddy — September 2, 2008 @ 6:59 pm

  2. I decided to post another. After confirming, this is the first post with first photo!

    Comment by picnic buddy — September 2, 2008 @ 6:59 pm


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