Kansas Turnpike’s old 80 MPH speed limit

I finally found a picture of the Kansas Turnpike’s 80 MPH speed limit signs:

(This image is on http://www.route56.com/highways/photobrowse.cgi?photo=KTA1. The image is from page 31 of the Kansas Turnpike Authority’s Fifth Annual Report (1957), so any copyright is probably owned by the state.)

The Kansas Turnpike’s former 80 MPH speed limit is the highest numeric speed limit ever been posted on a U.S. road. The second highest numeric speed limit is the 75 MPH limit currently used in many midwest and western states.

Before the federal government’s 1973 arbitrary 55 MPH speed limit cap, Nevada and Montana had no numeric speed limit. After the 1995 repeal of arbitrary federal speed limit caps, Montana reverted to its non-numeric daytime limit until May 1999 when a legislated 75 MPH went into effect.

Kansas currently allows speed limits up to 70 MPH, but its legislature is trying to allow 75 to be posted on certain highways.

Until 1973, speed limits gradually rose to keep pace with roadway and vehicular technology improvements. Even though vehicles and roads are now profoundly more safe than 1973, most current speed limits are lower than 1973 limits due to arbitrary and capricious speed policies. The sad truth is that insurance corporations, the hysterical buffoons they fund (e.g., Joan Claybrook, IIHS, Ralph Nader), and inane politics have far more influence on speed limit policy than sound traffic engineering principles.


I am working on a Master of Science in Engineering Management. Since I already have a MS Computer Science degree from the SMU Engineering School, I only need 7 additional courses to complete this degree. (If I already had an appropriate statistics course, I could have done it with only 6 additional courses.)

I should complete this MSEM degree in fall 2005. That assumes I take a course this summer, two courses this fall, and one course each in spring and fall 2005.

There is also a Doctor of Engineering in Engineering Management degree. In my case that degree could only require five courses more courses beyond my MSEM plus a praxis. A praxis is a dissertation that’s useful in a practical sense. This is opposed to traditional PhD dissertations that are just “contributing to the body of knowledge.”

This DEEM degree is very tempting. I could probably finish it in fall 2006.

If I was to complete the MSEM and accept the degree, I would not be able to count those courses towards a DEEM. The DEEM requires that at least 18 hours of “course work“ (6 standard 3 hour courses) are not used for a previous post-baccalaureate degree. So what I want is to be simultaneously enrolled in MSEM and DEEM credits. I would satisfy all MSEM requirements as early as possible and then start on DEEM stuff. If at any point during my DEEM track I decide that I just cannot continue, I could dump the DEEM and stick with the MSEM.

I will meet with the Engineering Management, Information, and Systems department chairman to discuss this.

Does Dallas Suck?


The Dallas Morning News released a jaw-dropping but unsurprising review of the City of Dallas that it commissioned through the consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton. The conclusions are disheartening: Dallas is a visionless city that is screwing up basic city functions like crime prevention, education*, and economic development.

This is disappointing. I put my reputation on the line when I encouraged my family to move inside of Dallas and Dallas ISD in September ’03. Even though I live in a stable area with a good elementary school and a reasonable commute to work, sometimes I wonder whether I made the right long-term decision.

Will Dallas change course? Does City Hall have the guts to concentrate on the big picture, stop micromanaging, and curtail its pointless bickering? City Hall’s response over the next few days will be interesting.

Should I dig in and fight for the city? Should I just acknowledge a mistake and plan my exit path?

*I know education is not run by the city, but the report shows how Dallas could do much better at helping Dallas ISD do its job.

How unsafe are our roads, really?


In 2002, US motorists drove 2,856,000,000 miles. There were 42,815 traffic-related fatalities. 87% of these fatalities were drivers or passengers.

Based on these numbers, you will die in a traffic fatality after you travel 150,000,000 miles.

Suppose you drive 20,000 miles a year. That is probably a lot more than the average driver. At that rate you would have to live 7,500 years before you will die in a crash. Factor in the above 87% statistic, and your life span expands to 8,620 years of above average travel before you will die in a traffic crash.

Shop around for animal care

This chart shows why it’s important to shop around for animal care:

Name Teeth cleaning Dog Cat
A & B Animal Clinic
9027 Garland Road, Dallas, TX 75218
(214) 328-7055
$125 Rabies: $15
Distemper, $25
Heartworm: $21
No office visit charge unless investigating other issues.
Rabies: $15
Distemper: $25
Lindley Joe W DVM
8518 Plano Road, Dallas, TX 75238
(214) 341-6600

8515 and 8518?

$210-215, 20% off in 1q
Sedated, monitoring, polishing, scaling, flouritreatment
Physical exam, DHPP, rabies, 4 part heartworm test, fecal
No heartworm test.
Casa Linda Animal Clinic
11434 Garland Road, Dallas, TX 75218
(214) 328-5445
Full comprehensive, rabies, etc., $16 for fecal
$72 for everything except FIV, FAIDS
$7 for city license
East Lake Veterinary Hospital PC
10101 East Northwest Highway, Dallas, TX 75238
(214) 342-3100
$371.97 and up for basic dental, radiograph discount of $47.59 ($324.47), includes pre-op medicine, etc., dental scaling, dental probing, fluoride treatment $50.82 for exam
$14.79 per shot
Usually 3 shots for dog
$50.82 for exam
$14.79 per shot
Usually 2 shots for cat
Lake Highlands Animal Clinic
10040 Shoreview Road, Dallas, TX 75238
(214) 341-6810
Closed on Thursday, the day I called.
White Rock Animal Hospital
11414 East Northwest Highway, Dallas, TX 75218
(214) 328-3255
$145 and $235, depends on how much anesthesia, how much tartar, weight $126 w/ kennel cough
$108 w/o
Rabies, distemper, parvo, heartworm, fecl, complete exam
Rabies, feline distemper, etc.
East Dallas Veterinary Clinic
8541 Ferguson Road, Dallas, TX 75228
(214) 328-9935
$100, extractions, bloodwork, extractions additional, pain package recommended on extractions $68 includes vaccines, exam, and fecal $68 includes vaccines, exam, and fecal
Wisdom Animal Clinic
2403 Texas Blvd. Richmond Rd., Texarkana, TX
(903) 793-1193
$61, anesthesia, surgery, not included Bordetella $9 $35-$40, includes shots and exam

The seven veterinary clinics nearest me had an amazing variance on their prices. I occasionally travel to Texarkana, so I can take advantage of the Wisdom Animal Clinic’s bargain prices.