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Re: Autobahn in the US (long, boring, and philosophical)

> This isn't exactly an audi query, but I thought you guys would be 
> uniuqely qualified to comment.  I'm working on a paper on the pros and 
> cons of a policy of unlimited speeds for rural stretches of interstate 
> in the US.  I would appreciate any insight as to whether you think this 
> is a good idea or not (given audi's need for speed this seems a 
> no-brainer!).  But seriously do you think this would improve 
> transportation efficiency, or just reduce our highways to carnage???  

Well, since there's a place here in the U.S. for stormin', I thought it 
would be relevant to reply to the list if anyone has other opinions amid 
the "speed kills" slogan of many U.S. politicians/law-enforcement.

I thought for a minute (okay -- just several seconds), and the best 
argument I can come up for unlimited speed highway is -- to make up time. 
Face it, no matter how well a plan is planed, there's always that doo-doo 

I also take family trips from here in Omaha (middle of nowhere) to 
somewhere else in the country. I donno how many millionairs are here 
subscribed to the list, but I found most of the time flying ain't the 
most practical nor affordable solution. In which, driving is the only 
alternative. No matter how gun-ho you are, time does wear people's nerve 
thin -- even among the family members. Not to mention boring scenic with 
miles and miles of corn fields. In that light, unlimited speed is a 
bliss. Who could ever know a 4WD minivan can do 100??

The last is the racer factor. I don't mean those *#$&%! that cut in and 
out of traffic, but just the enjoyment of driving (and see how the last 
engine mod is working).

On the other hand, there are many bad factors for speed unlimited. Most 
people in U.S. drive not for enjoyment/art of driving, but NEED to drive 
from point A to point B. Most of people does not know how a car tick -- 
these people impress themselves by knowing where to put the key in (and 
those fuzzy dices).

Under that light, most people driving in U.S. are woofully inadequate to 
drive in high speed. They don't know the characteristics of their own 
cars; they don't know what to do in emergency maneuver; they don't know 
what should be a sensable thing to do in high speed; simply, they are 
defensive drivers -- they won't bother with possible solutions until they 
come face to face with the problem.

Second is environmental concerns. Specifically, gas guzzling. Most cars 
in the U.S. are not geared and designed for high speed travel. Most are 
geared to be efficient to travel around and under 55, and will begin to 
guzzle gas like heck when pushed for speed. The worse are those trailers 
-- not only they have high center of gravity, but I definitely think they 
weren't made for high speed transit. Of course, this do favour the German 
cars since many got gears well spaced to take the Autobahn.

The last -- the clunkers. Not only they're making EPA to have the car 
makers to go further and further into idiotic solutions that does not 
solve the root problem. But how would you feel when you're going down the 
highway and a clunker that looks like it won't make it in the driveway 
comes into your lane? Clunker does not have to LOOK clunked -- as I -- 
and several others on the list -- have experienced. The car can look 
prestine on the outside but is falling apart in the inside.

So how should one make a relatively safer place for possible U.S. 
autostrada? How about, "driving is a priviledge, not a right?" Another 
words, both the driver and the car that is to be driven have to get 
permits. The process of getting permit will test the fitness of the 
driver (knowledge and skill) and the car (the clunker factor). (Yeah, I 
know -- there are problems to this as people who live in places where 
annual auto check can mention. But right now I'm talking about 
priviledge, not a right -- so I think this is justifiable.)

Soooo, to enforce this priviledge, all the entrances to this imaginary 
U.S. autostrada a grande vitesse is boothed -- something like toll booth 
-- at where the driver and the car is checked. Heck, let's also have a 
$0.25 fee deposited done here (everytime when entering the bahn), which 
will be used to keep this cool place usable for high speed travel.

This is just rough sketch, but I think it's somewhat doable in this 
beuracratic country. (:

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