By Courtney Bissonette
The newest addition to Ammerman’s campus roads is a speed indicator located between the visitors parking lot 5 and parking lot 4. The speedometer was installed October 9th in an effort to solve the never ending traffic crisis. While this stretch of road does house the largest traffic jams in the exits of the parking lots, whether the speedometer will end the roadside riddle or not is still up for question, however the initiative is taking a step in the right direction.
Both lot 4 and 5 are easily the biggest lots the campus has and almost always guarantee a parking spot, but the layout of the pavement does raise a few eyebrows. While the smaller parking lots have less parking and only one combined entrance and exit, having it on a one way road is far less dangerous then the maneuvering out of 4 and 5. Tara Daniel, a concerned student said “Leaving the lot is somewhat of a math problem. Adding up the time it takes to cross the left lane and get in the right one while combining the speed of the cars coming in opposite directions and the amount of yards of road they have to decide whether you have enough time to successfully cross or your car will get smashed, is a nightmare. If snap judgements are not made then you spend the time doing the math when you could have just gunned it. Not to mention of course you have the honking of the cars behind you which is very helpful when solving a physics problem that could potentially end your life. I think the drivers on the road could slow down a bit but then again the drivers turning out of the parking lot often requires a significant amount of speed. There is definitely a pro and con list to this speedometer.”
While there is no penalty for the speedometer recording you going over the speed limit, unless you are caught be a cop, past studies indicate that generally a speedometer’s presence reduces average traffic speeds by about 10% alongside the speedometer and about 7% at short distances downstream. In a study, the proportion of drivers exceeding the speed limit by at least 10 mph fell dramatically from 15%-20% to only 2% at one site on days the speedometer was deployed, and the device was particularly effective when deployed in school zones. Many students are doubtful the indicator will help long term and some even brag on twitter how high there score was. However, Brianna Barnett weighed in saying “I feel while the device is a new attraction, students might abide more to the slower speed limit for now. Maybe to check to see if their car speedometer matches the one on the road, but it seems more like a bit of entertainment that will wear off when students are rushing to their classes.” Another student, Sam Segal agreed stating “A professor urging me to get to school on time is more of a reason to speed and poses more of a threat then a machine suggesting to slow down, with no enforcement behind it.”
Whether the driver is a law abiding citizen or rule breaker, the speedometer does broadcasts your speed up in big lights for everyone else to see and campus police to catch. So if the shame doesn’t haunt you a ticket might. To some the roadside speed indicator may be a waste of money but to others it is initiative and a step a step closer to solving the moving vehicle menagerie Ammerman campus faces.