Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Welcome to Newport

the Yaquina Bay Bridge
We rolled into Newport at about 11:30 A.M. May 3rd and, upon arrival, checked into the Whaler, where we were given a very warm reception. The first order of business was to drive the route, estimating where Ted would end his walk the second day. After that, a late lunch of wonderful fresh fish. Our second order of business was the official “Toe in the Water” Ceremony (more about that in a separate post).
Checking in at the Whaler,
Tammy can't believe Ted's going to WAO

In 1915 Newport was described as a “year-round health and pleasure resort at the entrance to the famous Yaquina Bay.” At that time the town was accessible by steamship and rail. Tourism increased in 1932 with the opening of the Oregon Coast Highway and the Yaquina Bay Bridge. Today the economy of Newport is centered on tourism, commercial fishing, some logging. It is from this beautiful port city that Ted’s walk will begin his walk tomorrow at 8:00 A.M.

fishing boats on the beautiful Yaquina Bay

1 comment:

  1. There are 2 basic myths that aggressivly need to be debunked concerning the setting of speed limits.

    These are that, 1. lower speed limits save fuel, and 2. lower speed limits save lives. Both of these are demonstrably untrue.

    As to saving fuel, the fact is most passenger vehicles achieve their maximum fuel efficiency at speeds between 60 and 65 miles per hour. Indeed with few exceptions, such as the very smallest cars, most vehicles will achieve at least as good if not better fuel economy at 70 miles per hour as at 55. Indeed I have never owned a car that achieved better fuel economy at 55 than 70 but several that did better at 70 then 55. It is true that the fuel efficiency of almost all vehicles does decrease sharply above 75 to 80 m.p.h.

    But let us assume for the sake of argument that a speed of 55 m.p.h. really was more fuel efficient than 70. In this case lowering the maximum speed limit to 55 m.p.h. would still not result in any meaningful savings of fuel for one very simple reason. The vast majority of driving that is done by most people is not done on high speed roadways. Rather most driving is done on urban and suburban streets at speeds that typically range from 25 to 45 miles per hour. Most private automobile trips involve such mundane journeys as to places such as grocery stores, churches, dry cleaners, commuting to work and so forth. The percentage of driving on high speed rural roads(and indeed the number of vehicles that travel such routes) is actually quite small.

    As to the contention that lower speed limits are safer, this is only partly true. While it is true that a vehicle striking another vehicle or fixed object at 70 miles per hour is likely to result in even more serious injury or death that the same collision at 55 m.p.h., there are other factors that need to be considered.

    The first factor to consider is that drivers travelling at speeds well below what a road is designed for are likely to be lulled into a fause sense of safety that will cause them to be not as attentive as they should be, making accidents more likely.

    Then there is the very real role that driver fatigue and "highway hypnosis" plays in crashes in rural areas. Even adding as little as 15 to 30 minutes to a drive of a few hundred miles can mean the difference between a driver arriving at his destination awake and alert or dangerously fatigued.

    Then there is the problem of vehicle travelling at different speeds. On 2 lane routes in particular this can lead to potentially dangerous conflicts.

    I have much more to say unfortunatly I have run out of time for right now.