Category Archives: Driving

Not Amused By This New Traffic Scheme

Regarding Mayor Villaraigosa’s new traffic plan to post traffic cops at intersections, Skunks of Los Feliz writes:

I haven’t really noticed a positive effect on travel times at Beverly and Rossmore, which is the only intersection on my commute patrolled by traffic officers under Mayor Villaraigosa’s newly enacted traffic plan.

I would take it one step further actually and say that in some areas(I am driving Melrose or Beverly eastbound from Hollywood to Echo Park at traffic time), these well meaning officers have actually made traffic worse.

I first noticed the extra congestion last Friday – I was wondering what the problem was until I saw the traffic cops at major intersections. At first, I thought that the traffic lights were going haywire, so that’s why they were there. But it was not the case.

I feel like twenty minutes or so are added to my drive home, and even though I have an iPod full of the ultimate in music, I am not amused by this new traffic scheme. Maybe others will disagree, so I can speak only for myself – what do y’all think?

Not Amused By This New Traffic Scheme

Regarding Mayor Villaraigosa’s new traffic plan to post traffic cops at intersections, Skunks of Los Feliz writes:

I haven’t really noticed a positive effect on travel times at Beverly and Rossmore, which is the only intersection on my commute patrolled by traffic officers under Mayor Villaraigosa’s newly enacted traffic plan.

I would take it one step further actually and say that in some areas(I am driving Melrose or Beverly eastbound from Hollywood to Echo Park at traffic time), these well meaning officers have actually made traffic worse.

I first noticed the extra congestion last Friday – I was wondering what the problem was until I saw the traffic cops at major intersections. At first, I thought that the traffic lights were going haywire, so that’s why they were there. But it was not the case.

I feel like twenty minutes or so are added to my drive home, and even though I have an iPod full of the ultimate in music, I am not amused by this new traffic scheme. Maybe others will disagree, so I can speak only for myself – what do y’all think?

Lane Change Mania

Another funny phenomenon: impatient drivers who constantly switch lanes, hoping to get in the fast lane. This mostly happens on streets with two lanes(like Melrose, Sunset or Fairfax let’s say), here in Los Angeles, but I am sure it’s not an exclusively Angeleno idea. It can happen anywhere.

These drivers never seem to get where they are going any faster. They don’t understand that lane speeds vary so greatly, so you might as well stay in the one you are in, even if it seems slower at the time – it will probably speed up in the next minute or so. I find myself passing them more often than I do the other drivers who just chill and don’t try to weave.

They are pretty funny to watch, especially when you pull up alongside these guys(a large percentage of them tend to drive superficially souped up imports(sorry, loud muffler does not add horsepower…)) at the next light. But then again it’s not so funny when you begin to suspect that this gratuitous lane-shifting may be a major contributor to traffic.

I guess it’s the principle of anti-Slack in action.

Driving Styleses

Last night while driving to the Burbank Fry’s and a few other establishments in that area a thought encroached on my normally placid demeanor: is it just me or do people here drive extra-crappily? I’m talking about drivers who actively block you from entering lanes into which you are signalling, little people driving big SUVs and can’t seem to gain full situational awareness, people rolling through stop signs at crowded four way intersections, etc.

I have noticed a similar style of automotive anarchy in West Los Angeles, where people seem overly aggressive and reckless in their driving. It’s more than that though, I think that root issue is a sense of entitlement that some of these people seem to have – “I’m driving a newly leased, big car so of course I have the right of way!”

I don’t know if statistically these behaviors lead to more accidents per se, but I would hazard to guess that they lead to more stress for all users of the city’s byways.

I am more used to the Central LA style of relaxed driving where people work to create a nice flow of traffic and then go with it. No weaving in and out of lanes trying to get into the faster one and then ending up at the same stop light, no high pressure occupants screaming inside their shell because they can’t exit gracefully from their miscalculations. At least most of the time.

I feel worn out when driving in places like West LA and Burbank – I definitely have to drive more defensively than anywhere else I go. Some people I have talked to seem to notice a correlation between higher rent areas and shittier driving – perhaps its because more people there have fully paid insurance on cars that they don’t own(read:lease) so they really have nothing to lose by driving like they own the road, or maybe the issue goes deeper. Back to that sense of entitlement that tells them that the shinier object has the right of way.