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Madison driving peeves

What are the things that puzzle, enrage, delight and tickle you as you go about your life in Madison?

Re: Madison driving peeves

Postby Jademan7 » Mon Jan 09, 2012 1:35 pm

Just to clarify, I bike 30-40 miles 3 to 4 times a week, usually to work and back plus some recreational rides. What really pisses me off is people on the street that slam on their brakes and stop for bikers or runners that are coming from the bike trails. Drivers aren't expecting this so they cause an unnecessary back up in the middle of the street. Also, most of the bike trails have a stop sign for the bikes and pedestrians. If you are driving on a road that doesn't have a stop sign, but the side road does, you wouldn't stop to let the person with the stop sign go ahead of you, would you?
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Re: Madison driving peeves

Postby snoqueen » Mon Jan 09, 2012 5:00 pm

I totally agree. When I'm biking and some overcompensating car driver stops at Fair Oaks and the bike path, I take out my phone and pretend to be checking something and I just stand there and wait until they get it: I've had people waving their arms and swearing at me, but I've got the stop sign, and they don't. There are situations where rules are good, and traffic is one of those situations.

What we need is a new sign. It should be green, and it should face the cars and inform them "THIS IS NOT A STOP SIGN."

That oughtta do it.
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Re: Madison driving peeves

Postby Walter » Mon Jan 09, 2012 8:12 pm

pjbogart wrote:The last time I got stopped by the police was when I did a U-Turn at a controlled light. He was nice about it, didn't ticket me and just let me know that U-Turns at controlled intersections are prohibited even if they aren't marked as such. I didn't know that. Now I do.

<snip>

Oh, and Walter... please spend some time ticketing lazy people in fire lanes. If nothing else, it will be good for some giggles (and it's easy revenue).


Since 1/1/10 and the implementation of WI Act 97, unless the controlled intersection IS marked, a U-turn is permitted, from the closest left lane to the closest left lane.

What? You can't park in the fire lane outside the liquor store? I thought this was Wisconsin, not Cuba!

There is a lot of Mens Rea in this thread too.
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Re: Madison driving peeves

Postby snoqueen » Mon Jan 09, 2012 8:45 pm

There, my new word of the week:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mens_rea

The shoe fits, that's for sure. It'll always fit us old children of the sixties. You had to be there to see why.
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Re: Madison driving peeves

Postby Detritus » Mon Jan 09, 2012 8:48 pm

snoqueen wrote:There, my new word of the week:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mens_rea

The shoe fits, that's for sure. It'll always fit us old children of the sixties. You had to be there to see why.

We're all guilty of something. I heard that on Law and Order, so it must be true. Or maybe I read it in Freud. One of those.
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Re: Madison driving peeves

Postby WestSideYuppie » Mon Jan 09, 2012 9:35 pm

kittenwithawhip wrote:Like Walter says, If I see a cop I'll drive 1-2 mph faster than they do. It's not enough to set them off on a pursuit unless you are hanging out your window waving half full whiskey bottles. That way I am out of their sights soon enough and can resume my normal driving speed.
To all of you people who hit your brakes and slow down, that irritated person behind you is me. Really, hitting your brakes the moment you see a squad is more likely to cause an accident than just slowing down at a reasonable rate.


If slowing down is likely to cause an accident...

On the other hand, if you're tailgating me, then I've already slowed down at a reasonable rate. :mrgreen:
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Re: Madison driving peeves

Postby Stebben84 » Mon Jan 09, 2012 10:10 pm

Signals. For fuck sake use your signals. Its one of the only ways to let others on the road know what you're doing. There is a reason they put them so close to the steering wheel. Its very easy and becomes habit pretty quick. For what it's worth I use them biking as well.
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Re: Madison driving peeves

Postby rabble » Mon Jan 09, 2012 10:30 pm

And it would be nice if you used those signals a few feet before you got to the turn. By the time you've finished slowing down and then come to a complete stop, I've already figured it out.

Activating the blinker after you've stopped to wait for traffic is a nice confirmation but really, by then I was pretty sure you were either turning or having a heart attack.
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Re: Madison driving peeves

Postby Igor » Mon Jan 09, 2012 10:34 pm

kittenwithawhip wrote:Like Walter says, If I see a cop I'll drive 1-2 mph faster than they do. It's not enough to set them off on a pursuit unless you are hanging out your window waving half full whiskey bottles.


I actually saw that in East Troy on the way to an Alpine Valley show once. I have to assume they eventually got ticketed by the stealth cops sitting on top of the van having "engine trouble".
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Re: Madison driving peeves

Postby Igor » Mon Jan 09, 2012 10:36 pm

Stebben84 wrote:Signals. For fuck sake use your signals. Its one of the only ways to let others on the road know what you're doing. There is a reason they put them so close to the steering wheel. Its very easy and becomes habit pretty quick. For what it's worth I use them biking as well.


I can never decide if the lack of signal use is worse in Madison or not, since so much of my driving has been here for 30 years. It sure is annoying though.
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Re: Madison driving peeves

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Tue Jan 10, 2012 2:05 am

The signaling thing is not specific to Madison and it's of the same category of thoughtlessness I was describing earlier in this thread. It's just something people who don't think rules are for them do (or, rather, don't do.)

More annoying to me are "thinkers" -- that is, folks who actually go through a thought process to determine whether they need to signal or not. "Is there anyone behind me?" "Am I in a turn-only lane?" "Do I need to signal if the road splits?" Fer fuckssake, just signal. You can never go wrong if you do it every time and as Stebben said, you'll be surprised how quickly it becomes a reflex if you do. Oh, and yes, you should signal when you're turning into a driveway on a residential street too! (The same buddy who I earlier said once parked a moving truck across an entire street -- a traffic "thinker" if ever there was one -- once explained that this was unnecessary. I can't for the life of me recall his faulty reasoning. As I said, it's all the same mindset...)
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Re: Madison driving peeves

Postby Detritus » Tue Jan 10, 2012 1:44 pm

OK, I'm gonna get petty now. I absolutely detest being behind someone in a parking ramp who drives at 1 mph carefully scrutinizing each parking space to see if there is a car in it. "Let's see...nope! There's a car in that one. How about this one? Nope! There's a car in that one, too. Maybe the next one...."

It's one thing to check a space between two Escalades only to discover a runty Yaris docked in there, and another thing to be unable to see past the nose of your own car. Hint: if a quick glance up the aisle won't tell you that every damn space has a car in it, maybe you shouldn't be driving outside the ramp either.
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Re: Madison driving peeves

Postby acereraser » Tue Jan 10, 2012 1:52 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:The signaling thing is not specific to Madison and it's of the same category of thoughtlessness I was describing earlier in this thread. It's just something people who don't think rules are for them do (or, rather, don't do.)


Well, I certainly noticed the lack of turn signal use when I moved to Madison over ten years ago. I don't regularly get out into the hinterlands, so I can't say I have noticed it statewide, but it is definitely a custom here. It really feels like a "too cool for school" type of thing, only nerds use their signals.

I walk downtown quite a bit, and was crossing Doty one day, from the AnchorBank side to the City/County Building side. A cop is facing me, also looking to cross Doty, or so I was led to believe, because their turn signal was not blinking. As I got close to the other curb, it became apparent the cop was yielding the crosswalk to me, and intended to turn onto Doty. With a smile on my face, I pointed to the front of the car, and asked "Where's yer turn signal?" The cop in the passenger seat replied "I got yer turn signal right here," and flipped me the bird. I was pissed, but that was a pretty bitchin' cop moment.
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Re: Madison driving peeves

Postby Henry Vilas » Tue Jan 10, 2012 2:09 pm

While far from a perfect driver, I've gotten into the habit of always using my turn signals, even when on an otherwise deserted road before changing lanes. I sometimes laugh at myself for doing so.

Haven't had a ticket in nearly fifty years of driving.
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Re: Madison driving peeves

Postby dave esmond » Tue Jan 10, 2012 2:17 pm

rabble wrote:Activating the blinker after you've stopped to wait for traffic is a nice confirmation but really, by then I was pretty sure you were either turning or having a heart attack.


Ah yes. As I refer to it it's the difference between a signal and an indicator.
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