Sunday, November 17, 2013

First World Problems: City Driving

I suppose you may think I always complain about driving. While this is true, most cases are not nearly as bad as our drive into the city.

It seemed a good idea to avoid the highway and rush hour traffic.  This is possibly the first mistake.  Mind you we still left nearly ninety minutes early.  The first strike was the one lane that people treated as two. Confusion spread as cars went to the right and were isolated on one side. To panic and try to get back over without getting hit.

Followed by a lag from a tricky intersection. Not the first of the unknowable hold ups.  We stayed true those first few times.  Staying in a straight line not betting on the phantom right lane the third or fourth time we had little choice as the left turns piled up.

This worked out well for the first few blocks we were able to make it through green lights. Sadly this did not work out well when we decided to use the extra space to go around; the car in front of made it across and then stopped with no warning with her car still running and dropped something in the mailbox. While traffic stopped because we were trapped behind her with people wanting to turn right.  It was already past four PM. Which meant there was no reason she had to run out then blocking traffic. Her mail wouldn't even be picked up until morning and we passed many safer mailboxes with her still in front of us where she could have safely stopped.

Shortly afterwards there was a Honda with road rage. He pulled up next to us wanting to go straight.  Most obvious as he continually inched forward he wanted to be in front where there were parked cars and only one lane.  I was forced to let this crazy driver go first or cause an accident.

There was a car who tried the same trick to get around a blockage by using the parking lane, only to find a person in front of him had actually parked.  Which caused him to be momentarily trapped until he crazily decided to just drive in front of our car with no warning.

There were more close calls as a car with a highly suspicious 'license' plate pulled up alongside us at a red light.  The 'license' plate was a laminated piece of paper which they seemed to have printed themselves and was more than two weeks expired.  They proceeded to gesture towards us wanting us to roll down our windows.  As we refused since they had gotten way too close to us.  They decided to talk anyhow asking us how to get to the highway.  As if we knew at that point what direction anything was because we'd been in the car for nearly an hour and dealing with more and more bad drivers.

By far the worst driver we encountered was a black SUV.  The giant hulking form wanted to turn left in front of us while we were stopping at a red light about five cars back.  So, I let them because they seemed to want to park.  Upon finding that they would not fit in the space available, they blindly pulled in front of my car.  Lucky, I was paying attention or we would have hit them.  As we were turning right, I didn't realize that they were intent upon parking.  A space was available directly around the corner, and the black SUV pulled up fully prepared to parallel park.  Unfortunately, I had no idea this was the case because they failed to use a turn signal.  Also, there were other cars behind me and I could not safely slam on my brakes.  Not only were they prepped to park they proceeded to park without looking as they started backing up towards my car.  In full panic mode, I could only wildly turn my wheel.  Our escape was extremely close between this black SUV and a line of cars in the left lane which were waiting for the light to change.  There was just enough room to squeeze past the black SUV which was already beginning to park apparently having no cares about nearly hitting our car.  In conclusion, I wish that people would use their turn signals.  It is not a difficult task and I cannot understand anyone's ability to not use a turn signal when turning.  I actually have to concentrate to not engage my turn signal because the habit is second nature.

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