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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 gargantua » Mon Dec 12, 2011 10:58 pm

The Square was indeed a one-way thoroughfare. Back when it had the Strand, and a big Manchester's, FW Woolworth's, The Hub, Wolff Kubly & Hirsig (in other words when it was the shopping hub of the city), it was a popular place for youth to while away the hours circling the Square and revving car engines at stop lights. Gas was cheap enough to waste then. It was the tail end of the cheap gas era and wasting it by aimlessly driving around was a popular pastime indeed.

People, just regular people like us, could drive our personal cars up and down State Street as well.
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Re: Madison driving peeves

Postby fennel » Tue Dec 20, 2011 8:56 pm

I tried to find this information via the lamentably indexed "Rules of the Road" online section of the WI statutes – to no avail.

The prevailing standard in all states I've driven in – except Wisconsin – is to move into the intersection while waiting to make a left turn against two-way traffic. In both of the driver education programs I've taken, it was a particular point of evaluation (Michigan and Vermont).

So, is it legal here? If so, what's up with Driver Ed in this state? (And if not, what's up with the bonehead rule-makers?)

I've watched people at the head of a left-turn line wait multiple cycles before waking the f*ck up and making the damn turn.

If the generally accepted standard is observed, at least one vehicle per cycle can make the turn (but only if vehicles first move into the intersection).
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Re: Madison driving peeves

Postby snoqueen » Tue Dec 20, 2011 9:00 pm

I believe it is standard practice to move to the middle of the intersection if you want to turn left and need to wait for oncoming traffic. I don't know if there's a law about it, though.
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Re: Madison driving peeves

Postby fennel » Tue Dec 20, 2011 9:12 pm

So I wonder if it would be ok to just tap bumpers, shift into low, and push the recalcitrant knucklehead into the intersection ...
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Re: Madison driving peeves

Postby Stebben84 » Tue Dec 20, 2011 10:25 pm

I like your style.
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Re: Madison driving peeves

Postby Bad Gradger » Tue Dec 20, 2011 10:28 pm

Peeve 1: Nobody here knows how to use their turn signal.

Peeve 2: The "Madison Turn," cutting across one or more traffic lanes to get into the turn/exit lane you didn't even bother to anticipate. Often seen on East Wash among drivers initiating turns in either direction from the center lane.

Peeve 3: Half the cars on Stoughton Road go 40, the other half try to go 70, and the lights at Buckeye and Pflaum are set on a ridiculously short timer for a 55 mph expressway.
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Re: Madison driving peeves

Postby Igor » Tue Dec 20, 2011 11:37 pm

fennel wrote:The prevailing standard in all states I've driven in – except Wisconsin – is to move into the intersection while waiting to make a left turn against two-way traffic.


A different (but related) peeve is that some people do not seem to grasp the concept that at a busy four-way stop, the people going straight go first, and people making left turns headed the opposite direction cut behind them. I

I'm sure it is based on their experience with a left-turner in their past that was not so polite, and cut in front of them. Still, it just seems so much more efficient.
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Re: Madison driving peeves

Postby Lily » Tue Dec 20, 2011 11:51 pm

I realize that must have been frustrating but Ducasta's post was hilarious!Thanks! What a jerk that other driver was.

Sorry but my driving peeve has to be drivers talking and/or texting on the phone. In fact today I was walking towards the bus stop to go home, heading to University and head West. Got up to the corner near at the Wisconsin Institute of Discovery, saw the pedestrian light was giving me less than 9 seconds to cross and stood and waited. After running around today, I was just not in the mood to run across University Avenue in 4:00 pm rush hour traffic, even with the light in my favor. Heck, my bus wasn't due for another 10 minutes anyway. HOWEVER, not 10 seconds AFTER THE LIGHT WAS RED, clearly a SOLID red light for drivers, a young woman in a car talking on a cell phone blasts by me and blasted through a solid red light. No brakes. She clearly didn't even SEE the red light.

Around town I've seen numerous people blowing right though stop signs, stop lights, pedestrian crossings, bike baths. My peeve. Cell phones being operated by DRIVERS too distracted to drive responsibly.
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Re: Madison driving peeves

Postby kurt_w » Wed Dec 21, 2011 7:08 am

fennel wrote:The prevailing standard in all states I've driven in – except Wisconsin – is to move into the intersection while waiting to make a left turn against two-way traffic. In both of the driver education programs I've taken, it was a particular point of evaluation (Michigan and Vermont).

So, is it legal here? If so, what's up with Driver Ed in this state? (And if not, what's up with the bonehead rule-makers?)


See this thread, from lo these many years ago (this is a topic that keeps coming up...).

Prof Wagstaff provided a handy link to the Wisconsin Motorists' Handbook. On p. 23, it provides this explanation of how to make a left turn:

Wisconsin DOT wrote:Pull out toward the midpoint of the intersection (See center dot in Figure 5.) Wait, with wheels straight, until it is clear to turn. If the traffic light turns red, complete the turn when it is safe. Keep just left of the midpoint (center dot in Figure 5) of the intersection as you turn.

Don’t turn the wheels while you are waiting to make a left turn or U-turn. If your wheels are turned and you are hit from behind, you could be pushed into oncoming traffic.
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Re: Madison driving peeves

Postby BillEKlub » Wed Dec 21, 2011 10:38 am

Though my list is long, I would say two of my favorites occur practically within sight of each other.
#1) Incoming from the Beltline on John Nolen, at Lakeside just past the garish holiday light display. Far RIGHT lane merges LEFT, making (2) lanes out of (3). My Beef #1: Rapid Roy, that NASCAR Boy who is pretty sure he has timed the light just so and can speed past the law-abiding citizens only to smoothly squeeze left at the last possible second.
#2) Just up the road a piece where said citizens turn left from John Nolen on to E.Wilson, bottlenecking the left lane whilst they await an opening. My Beef #2: Rapid Roy who is sure that he can dart around the left-turning car by just squeezing smoothly into the right lane. Last I checked, nothing about sheet metal "squeezes" smoothly.
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Re: Madison driving peeves

Postby green union terrace chair » Wed Dec 21, 2011 1:59 pm

Remember that most people take Driver's Ed when they're 15 or 16, get their license and never review the rules of the road again.

I think you oughta have to take a written test every decade when you renew your license.
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Re: Madison driving peeves

Postby Stebben84 » Wed Dec 21, 2011 2:07 pm

green union terrace chair wrote:Remember that most people take Driver's Ed when they're 15 or 16, get their license and never review the rules of the road again.

I think you oughta have to take a written test every decade when you renew your license.


I've thought the same thing. If I'm not mistaken our drivers license expires every 8 years? I think to get a new one you gotta take a test. People are idiots on the road out there and don't know the rules.
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Re: Madison driving peeves

Postby city2countrygal » Wed Dec 21, 2011 6:54 pm

I think if you are still driving after you are 70 years old, you should be tested every year to two. My grandma was dangerous behind the wheel the last few years she drove. Her kids really had to take her keys away. She was a leadfoot too, not a granny driver!
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Re: Madison driving peeves

Postby Eastsider » Thu Dec 22, 2011 5:51 pm

Ned Flanders wrote:Didn't the Square have two-way traffic in the old days?


Yes, in the early 1920s.
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Re: Madison driving peeves

Postby Archipants » Fri Dec 23, 2011 4:20 pm

More to add to the list:

1) Not coming to a stop (or darn close) when making a right turn on red. This happens all the time at the intersection of Fairchild and W. Washington. I was walking across the intersection today when some jerk ran the red light making a right turn onto Washington at speed... with me in the middle of the intersection. This is an especially dangerous intersection due to the proximity of the 222 W. Washington building to the street - making it hard to see around the corner if pedestrians are coming.

2) City buses making multi-lane changes during rush hour across University through campus in order to make a left turn on a side street. It is usually done in less than a block which I realize that this is necessary due to their routes but it is dangerous as hell. I've griped about this one before.

3) People that speed through the Sentry parking lot at Hilldale (or any parking lot for that matter). It's a parking lot for Christ's sake... chill out.
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