A California lawmaker has proposed lanes with no speed limit on two of the state’s busiest highways

source
Reuters/Peter Nicholls

  • A California lawmaker has proposed building new lanes on I-5 and state highway 99 with no speed limit.
  • John Moorlach, of Orange County, says the bill could help ease congestion and therefore lower pollution.
  • Conversely, Germany recently proposed a speed limit on its famous Autobahn system, which was met with fierce opposition.

Call it the American version of Germany’s autobahn.

A California state senator has proposed a bill to build speed limit-free lanes on Interstate 5 and Highway 99 in the state as a way to reduce pollution.

“Traffic congestion increases the emissions of greenhouse gases as it causes automobiles to idle longer while on roadways,” the bill submitted on Friday by Senator John Moorlach of Orange County, south of Los Angeles, reads.

If enacted, the law would instruct the state to “construct two additional traffic lanes on northbound and southbound Interstate Route 5” where there “shall not be a maximum speed limit.”

Last week, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that the state is abandoning its ambitious proposal to build high-speed rail from Los Angeles to San Francisco, and will instead focus on building an initial segment in the Central Valley.

“So 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 Sacramento’s CBS affiliate.

Currently, the drive from San Francisco to Los Angeles takes about 6 hours, depending on traffic.

Germany’s Autobahn is perhaps the most well-known example of highway stretches with no speed limits. There have been a few proposals to add speed limits to the expressways in order to cut pollution, but they have been met with fierce opposition from citizens.