Is The American Autobahn Coming To California? Maybe.



For those of you wishing an Autobahn-type road would come to the U.S. it may be coming sooner than you think. If California state senator, John Moorlach of Orange County, gets his way a stretch of roadway in California would have no speed limit. Moorlach has introduced legislation that would create new driving lanes with no speed limit on two major highways. Why would he do this? To cut emissions, obviously.

SB-319 would direct the state’s Department of Transportation to build two unlimited speed lanes on each side of Interstate 5 and State Route 99, the main north-south arteries linking major cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Sacramento.

And who would pay for this project? It would be funded by the state’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund. If you read SB-319, it points out that the collapse of California’s bullet train plan that was supposed to run between Los Angeles and San Francisco (and was originally supposed to run the same route as the proposed unlimited speed lanes) has now left residents without “access to high-speed, unabated transportation across the state.” Moorlach’s logic is that there are now and will be, a growing amount of cars on the road and therefore growing emissions.

And although the idea is similar, this wouldn’t be a completely limit-free roadway. Moorlach pointed out that widening an existing highway is much cheaper than acquiring private land and building a brand-new rail line. So from a technical and financial standpoint, simply adding travel lanes with no speed limit is more feasible than the bullet train.

The question is if this actually goes through, would it work and also be effective? While sitting in traffic is hard on mileage, is it any better if everyone’s going 120 mph?