The Star - News, views and advertising of the Grand Coulee Dam Area

Coulee Medical Center ER and Walk-In Care

It all adds up



It’s not easy to get used to driving 10 miles per hour slower on a short stretch of highway you’ve been traveling daily for decades.

That’s a problem many folks face trying, straining, braking to navigate the multi-lane stretch of highway 155 by the Bureau of Reclamation’s Grand Coulee Project, which the bureau slowed from 40 to 30 mph because it’s building a new fire station across from Pole Park.

Even if traveling more slowly in front of a fire station is warranted, slowing the entire stretch seems a bit much.

Admittedly, that complaint sounds a little silly. It’s a short distance and really should not be much of an inconvenience.

But it adds up. The slower speed requirement adds a paltry 26 seconds to traversing that distance. Sounds too tiny to bother talking about — until you do the math.

As someone who lives on one side of the project in Coulee Dam and works on the other side in Grand Coulee, I estimated the extra time it will likely take me to get to and from work and other trips for a year. The slower speed will add five hours to my commute, one of the shortest in the country.

That calculation was an eye opener, and that’s for just one person. Factor in the travels of hundreds of other workers in this community alone and you must conclude that the speed adjustment just instituted a productivity loss of thousands of hours a year for one tiny community.

Slowing down near the fire station seems like a reasonable precaution, but at least one driver is going to find it very difficult to adjust to the other 20 seconds on that trip.

Scott Hunter

editor and publisher

You might be interested in:

Reader Comments