Writing in the Post Dispatch, columnist Pat Gauen says this: "There was a time when I could make it from my home in Collinsville to my brother’s house, near Joliet, Ill., in three hours flat." Of course back then when the speed limit was 70, he and others were driving above that. Then came the energy crisis and the Carter people pretty much forced the states to regulate the top speed at 55 mph.
I remember that so well. We were young and married and living in a strange (to us) part of Illinois after having grown up in Chicago. So we went home to Chicago more often than we do now. When 55 came along it was a brutally long drive through mile after mile of the same scenery. It often seemed we'd never get there.
Then when the feds relaxed that law, Illinois did not go back to 70 as many other states did, but held at 65. All I can say is, I'm glad Gov Quinn okayed raising it again this week. 15 or 20 minutes may seem like nothing but when you're sitting in a car for hours, it means a lot.
Gauen writes much on the safety or lack thereof with the higher speeds, but in the end, he's happy it's been raised. I don't recommend whipping along at the 80's he talks about, but 70 has always been the speed at which interstate driving was most efficient in time.