This is related to the Texas speed limit debate a while back, but I'm curious about this issue of design speeds on roads that result in the driver constantly breaking the law as they drive what feels 'natural.'
How did this get to be Scripture in traffic engineering, that design speed should be so much higher? Is there a proven safety benefit, or is it a comfort thing? I know narrower roads are being tried in some places as a reaction to excessive speeds -- the 'self organizing' road its called in Europe.
Has anyone seen any good articles/books on this issue, pro or anti-higher design speed?