Are we getting a Californian autobahn?
Most riders have a bucket list of roads to ride on. Whether it’s the Pacific Highway, the Tail of the Dragon, or the Stelvio Pass, these mythical roads are enforced as some of the best or most impressive bits of asphalt in the world. There’s one some of you might have on their list as well but not because of how picturesque it is or how many bends there are—the world-famous autobahn is known for one thing, and one thing only: the absence of a speed limit in some of its stretches. If figuring out how to get to Germany has been the only thing keeping you from putting your tires on the famed highway, there might be an alternative coming soon. It looks like we could be getting an autobahn closer to home.
With its gorgeous year-round weather and beautiful geography, California is a must see and do for any bike enthusiast. It is also a bit of a motoring paradise thanks to a number of motorcycle-friendly laws, including authorized lane splitting. There might be a project coming soon that will strengthen the state’s position as the place to visit on two wheels: California is considering creating speed limit-free lances on some of its major highways.
Senator John Moorlach introduced bill SB319 that suggests the addition of lanes without any speed limit to Interstate 5 and State Route 99. Early reports say a 240-mile stretch on the I-5 and a 230-mile stretch on the 99 are being considered, connecting Stockton to Bakersfield. Other reports also state that a “functional limit” of 100 mph would be implemented.
The project has been submitted to help reduce emissions—something California has been championing for a few years now. By adding a lane and increasing the speed limit, the Senator hopes that it will help reduce the number of idling vehicles and therefore reduces emissions. This is also what would justify paying for the project using the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund.
“Why don’t we provide people with vehicles the opportunity just to drive at 100 miles an hour, get to San Francisco in a shorter period of time than the train would?” Moorlach told CBS Sacramento—the train being referred to here being the bullet train project to link Los Angeles to San Francisco and that ultimately fell through. Moorlach cites Germany in example, commenting that there are fewer reported incident on the autobahn.
For those of you who, like me, wonder (worry?) about left lane hoggers, worry not: the bill includes a “stay right except to pass” clause. There could be a Californian autobahn in the works!