Tuesday, August 23, 2011

California Dreamin; part VIII-XXIII-MMXI

Since you asked, I will discuss traffic slow-downs, jams, and snafus. Some of these issues are unavoidable when you have too many people traveling on too few roads...


Under normal conditions with no massive roadwork, suicide jumper teetering on a bridge, etc., a huge part of the slowdown is due to either ignorance of or blatant disregard for a few simple principles of the highway.

First--lane usage. When you are on a highway, the left lane is for passing. If you aren't going faster than the cars to your right, get the hell out of that lane. What happens is one or more drivers decide to hang in the left lane, not passing anyone. Other cars come up behind them hoping to pass the people on their right. They get backed up and start going into right hand lanes to pass.

That screws up the flow. If you have more than two lanes, the right lane is generally for ultra slow drivers or those who plan to exit soon. Driving in that lane when you see an entrance ramp which merges into the lane up ahead, if you have a choice, is NOT the thing to do.

If you can't move left from the right-most lane, then do not speed up in hopes of blocking people from merging. Let up a little and let them in. In the long run this promotes the flow.

It should go without saying that if you follow too closely to the car in front of you, and worry that someone will move into your lane ahead of you if you leave adequate space, you need driver therapy and a sharp slap to the face.

On the other hand, if you are merging, don't gun it and cut in two inches in front of the other car.

If only 50% of the drivers on CA highways, and elsewhere no doubt, observed these practices, traffic congestion would be relieved by a good 43.5%, minimum. People would get where they are going quicker and there would be fewer accidents.

In the interest of political correctness I will not break down the offenders by ethnic origin and the like. We only do that when trying to prove certain groups are being victimized by others, or the universe in general. I will say that it is clear that none of these concepts are standard procedure in some nearby countries and the third world. Or in places far, far away, for that matter.

About 29% of typical legal US citizens get it, and that is the largest group who does.

What do I conclude from all this?

I conclude that driver's licenses have little to do with ensuring or promoting highway sanity and safety, and that the curriculum for driver's ed must be severely lacking in matters of real use and substance. And I conclude from observation that in some circles one is considered a sell out and a sissy if he/she in any way contributes to the safe and sane flow of traffic. First to go would be the turn signals--guess they traded 'em in for rims.

Also, in SoCal, a large portion of the twenty something women in the Honda Civics seem an angry and ignorant breed--driving wise. They appear to have the idea that being aggressive without cause is somehow an act of liberation.

I sense that the word "empowerment", or variations thereof come up in most conversations one might have with them. Just a hunch. Their boyfriends most likely ramble on about tipping points, play bad ass in internet chatrooms and such, and have been trained to pee sitting down. They also appear to believe that they know what they are doing, yet a huge percentage really don't get it. Maybe they dated too many bad boys from the circle of society mentioned above and they learned their ways.

I guess I did not do well with the PC aspect of my tirade. oops Hey, if they can drive without creating a battleground or a parking lot out of the highways then tip that point all to hell and more empowerment to them.

I'll leave trophy wives and trophy children out of the equation for now. They are so pretty, why say something mean?

Oh yea, if you plan to change lanes, use your damn blinker, even if you don't understand why.

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Ballistic Mountain, CA, United States
Like spring on a summer's day


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