Oh, you're rich? Well then you may drive faster than the rest of us.

Rich people should be able to drive faster than poor people.

Is that the menatlity of some cities?

Imagine, if you will, a typical wide suburban road with two lanes of traffic in each direction, a car-width median with left turn lanes at intersections, wide sidewalks on each side, and driveways on each side to allow access to commercial parking lots and gas stations.

Anecdotally, I think I may have noticed that a speed limit on a street like this in an affluent neighborhood might be 40-45 MPH. Run the same street through the ghetto, and the speed limit is likely 35-40 MPH. I imagine traffic engineers would have identical speed limits on these streets no matter where they run.

Is it just my imagination, or is there something to this?

This might be better explained by neighborhood densities and the era in which these towns were built. Seen many low-density or new ghettos? Not me, and higher densities and older age seems to mean lower speeds. I see that in my area of the Chicago suburbs, older towns have more general purpose and grid-like roads set at relatively low speeds, while the newer suburbs are purpose-designed with feeder and trunk roads and the speeds tend to be higher.

I may be misusing the term “ghetto” then. I am distingushing between suburban style single family house neighborhoods of different affluence.

Might have to do with zoning to, or the fact that older hoods have been issued a speed limit that unlikely to be changed. Remember when the “national” speed limit was 55?

I don’t think this has anything to do with the query, and at the risk of sounding like a huge asshole, but… rich people would tend to drive cars with better brakes, handlings, tires etc. So, it would be sensible to allow rich folk to drive faster than poor folk, on the average.

I think you may indeed be misusing the term. I have never heard any suburban neighborhood described as a ghetto. A ghetto is usually an inner city area distinguished by poverty. Some suburban neighborhoods may have more affluent residents than others, but I understand suburbs to be on the edge of the city and distinguished by single family homes, whereas a ghetto area consists mostly of multiple family housing and higher housing density. Most suburban homes are occupied and kept up by their owners, as opposed to being rented.

Most of Los Angeles’ “ghetto” areas consist of single-family houses (some quite large) on fair-sized lots.

In a moderately well-off (but not affluent) suburb near me, a four-lane road similar to the one described in the OP has a 25 mph speed limit (and is closely patrolled).

Looks like the goal is to promote municipal income and “encourage” you to patronize the pitiful businesses lining the route.

Yeah, but that’s L.A., where everything is two stories tall and takes up a square block. I swear to God I start seeing single-family homes out the airplane window a half hour before we land.

Posting An Example To Prove Your Point:

Rt 9W, running from northern Alpine, NJ down to the Lipton’s corporate headquarters in Englewood Cliffs (where it parallels to the Palisades Pkwy).

Idiots in Corvettes, Ferrari, BMW, and Mercedes sportscars routinely speed-jockey down this strip while zipping in and out of lanes at speeds close to triple the speed limit. :mad: I have witnessed races/rages literally every time I have been on that Bergen County road over the years. Not Once have I ever seen an expensive car pulled over for a ticket, although I have seen older and cheaper cars with rust-holes pulled over.

A less affluent neighborhood may well have more pedestrian traffic. And the pedestrian traffic would actually be trying to go somewhere, as opposed to taking the jog-stroller out on a walking trail. That might be a reasonable (to me, anyway) reason to post a lower speed limit.

I actually see the opposite: lower speeds in more affluent neighborhoods. In the richer meighborhoods, you usuallyhave more actively involved parents and homeowners who are also more influential. Often they’ll agitate for lower speeds even where it’s not even warranted. In lower income neighborhoods, the residents often have less of a sense of ownership (and in Texas, may be immigrants who may not even realize they have a voice) and will just live with whatever is posted.

Actually, I noticed this in a way. If you go to the local traffic court, ask yourself if the people in the room proportionaltely reflect the class and race demographics of the county. The couple of times I have been, the people appearing seemed to be disproportionately low income ethnic minority.

And now ask yourself if there might be an even higher proportion of alluent people who don’t have to go to the local traffic court to take care of their tickets.

My (lawyer) brother regularly writes letters for his buddies who’ve gotten tickets, getting the charges switched to some other violation. They end up paying much higher fines, but don’t get points on their liscences, and don’t have to show up in traffic court. The last ticket I got, I just paid the fine by mail so I wouldn’t have to hassle with appearing in traffic court.

Anyway, to the OP, in this area all of the affluent areas have imposed very low speed limits through local ordinances. Unincorporated areas tend to be poorer (lower local taxes), and typically haven’t had the lower speed limits imposed locally, either.

Interesting. Like what?

I have no problem with this.

We drive safer cars, in better conditions with higher insurance coverage. Get the hell out of my way.


Traffic court often deals with multiple offenders, delinquent notices, etc., so it’s not unreasonable to think that people who may not be able to afford to pay off a ticket, or have less free time to deal with bills and such would be more likely to get a summons vs. someone who’s more affluent and can afford the initial fine or is better about paying things on time.

I’ve never had him do it for me, so I’m not too familiar with his lawyery hijinks. It involved pleading to a different offense that had a higher fine – for some reason, I’m thinking “noise violation,” but that’s probably wrong – and the moving violation is switched to that. So the State gets more money, and doesn’t have to deal with a court case, and the defendant doesn’t get points on his license.

Generally my reaction to this is: :dubious: 'cause it’s basically removing the points-on-license control that’s supposed to keep bad drivers off the street. But as he points out, most people keep driving on suspended licenses, and “everybody does it.”

proceeding further in that kind of lawyer vs. engineer argument is pointless, so – like I said – I don’t know the details.

“defective equipment” is another nice catch all that they use to get their 150 or so while keeping your license clean. I got a bogus speeding ticket in Lousiville and one phone call to the prosecutor got me that and I was on my way.

What did you get a “defective equipment” ticket for?

Wealthy neighborhoods usually don’t have cars parked on the street, which makes it a safer driving zone. Regardless of the speed limit I’ve found residents in such neighborhoods deliberately drive slower than normal anyway.

And for clarification, “wealthy” isn’t a function of money as much as reference to a cultural state.