Friday, August 26, 2011

I can't drive 55 . . . seriously

Between the first Coralville exit coming from the west off Interstate 80 and the building where I teach classes, about 6 miles to the north, the speed limit changes 327 times.

Maybe that's an exaggeration.

But it changes a lot. From 65 mph on I-80 (yeah right, like anybody does THAT), to 35 through all the lights by the mall to 55 mph on Hwy. 965 north of Coralville (good luck with that at the 5:30 p.m. rush hour, more like 15 mph), then you hit the speed limit nightmare of North Liberty. Or the policeman's paradise. I guess it depends which end of the radar gun you're behind.

Last spring, I was behind the wrong end and made an $80 donation to the City of North Liberty. I hope they spent it wisely.

"Ma'm, do you know what the speed limit is here?" the officer asked.

Well, I think it's pretty obvious I either didn't know or didn't care. You'd think policemen would get really tired of asking rhetorical questions.

I was out in the middle of the country, north of town. I was surrounded by cornfields.

"Um? 55?"

It was 35. He clocked me at 48. I thought that was pretty good, given that I thought it was 55. I thought I was safely 7 miles under the limit.

He didn't see it that way and wrote me a ticket.

Sigh. I bitched and moaned and wrote a check that would have paid entries for an agility or obedience weekend.

I am now officially the World Most Paranoid Driver when it comes to that stretch between the north city limits of North Liberty and SueAnn's building. The speed limit changes at least 36 times in that stretch of a couple of miles. It makes me crazy. It's really hard to drive 35 mph when you're going through the middle of nowhere. And the North Liberty police know this.

Cutting over to I-380 on the way home isn't any better. That street (Penn St.?) is under construction. It was under construction last spring. It's still under construction. It looks like it may be under construction until the end of time. It has signs for speed limit 35 mph immediately followed by signs that say construction zone speed limit 25 mph.

None of that matters because you're swerving back and forth between orange cones so much and switching from one side of the road to the other that you can't accelerate past 10 mph. Then suddenly - it ends and you're faced with a wide open road. I have absolutely no idea what the speed limit is there.


  1. Oh boy...that sounds confusing! I can see why cops would love that area. Of course, in my state you can tell who aren't locals by the ones who actually follow the speed limit.

  2. We have a route here where the speed limit goes from 55 to 35 to 55 to 35 to 55 all within a couple mile stretch. And you had BETTER obey it cause that local cop will get you. I've been fortunate, so far. However, go another 5 or so miles, let's just say I got my first speeding ticket (yes, my FIRST) on my way to a show last year and I was crushed. I wish I had been awake enough to respond to that rhetorical question with "well officer, how could I go 55 when I was trying to pass that guy who was doing 50 UNTIL I got next to him?". Probably a good thing I didn't, I doubt he would have been amused.