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Speed limit: 11 Miles Per Hour

I was recently at a Hyatt hotel in Lost Pines, Texas. The posted speed limit on one stretch of road was 11 mph. In another area, it was 19 mph. Very clever. My guess is that if you did a randomized experiment, actual driving speeds would be lower with the 11 mph speed limit than the more familiar 10 mph limit.

The first time I saw a speed limit like this was in grade school, where one of the teachers had a mock traffic sign that read “Speed Limit 3 mph.” She was an art teacher. I can remember nothing about her or her class other than this — I’m not sure what grade it was, or even what school. Whenever I run into my own former students, I ask them what they remember from my class. Invariably it’s something equivalent to this traffic sign that they remember, like a story I told about my wife that had nothing to do with the subject matter of the class. Which is why, when I teach, I try to tell a lot of stories about my wife.