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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 mudgette » Thu Dec 29, 2011 12:46 pm

Hi, new here...I'm considering moving away from DFW and am looking at Madison as a candidate but have never been there. Just thought I'd introduce myself before griping about drivers around here.

Here, being cut off at high rates of speed, being tailgated at high rates of speed, people changing lanes/making turns without signaling, slamming on brakes, honking, making obscene gestures, following you if you do something that makes them angry, driving dangerously because people are texting/talking on the phone, etc. are all par for the course. People here are also aggressive about backing out of parking spaces (they don't yield), honking at you if you stop at a yellow light instead of speeding through the intersection against oncoming traffic, etc. I experience all of these on a near-daily basis. Mostly I try to stay out of other peoples' way here. Road rage is a sad part of life in DFW.

As for going into the intersection to turn left even if traffic is coming...I only do this if traffic is relatively light and I think there's a good chance I'll be able to make the turn. Traffic is usually pretty heavy though so unless I want to risk a ticket from a red light camera, I stay out of the intersection until it's safe to turn or I have a green arrow. I don't know if legally we are allowed to venture into the intersection or not in Texas but I've never heard of anyone getting a ticket for doing it.
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Re: Madison driving peeves

Postby pjbogart » Mon Jan 02, 2012 7:19 am

Oh, I've got a couple of gripes as I sit here sipping coffee before work.

1. People who park in the fire lane. I'm ok with a UPS driver or cab pulling into the fire lane but far too often it's just someone too lazy to park their car and walk 20 feet to the store. Seems like liquor stores are popular locations for this poor behavior.

2. Polite drivers. Huh? Drivers being too polite? Yeah, if you pull up to a stop sign and you have the right-of-way, don't sit there like a fool motioning for someone else to go. You aren't saving them any time if the two of you sit and wave at each other for the next 15 seconds.

3. People who pull all the way to the right in order to make a left hand turn. I can't tell you the number of times I've come to a busy street trying to make a right-hand turn and found myself stuck behind some idiot who's occupying the curb lane as he waits to make a left-hand turn.

4. Police car parades. Oh my God, there's a police car behind me, I better drive 10 mph under the speed limit! Pretty soon you've got a stack of about 20 cars going 25 mph down Fish Hatch. I suspect police find this even more irritating than I do because they have to deal with it all day long.

5. Speeders. No, it's not a safety issue for me although I'm sure statistics show that people with a lot of speeding tickets are also more likely to have an accident. My problem with speeding is that on a busy street stop lights create natural gaps in traffic so that others can cross or merge but the two jokers going 15 mph over the speed limit essentially kill the gap and cost you your chance to cross.

I'm sure I'll think of ten more before the day is out.
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Re: Madison driving peeves

Postby bdog » Mon Jan 02, 2012 8:51 am

People who slow down at the moment they see the sign for their hwy exit. They make the off ramps really really long so there is no need to do this.

Exit at highway speed; you will have plenty of time to slow down.
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Re: Madison driving peeves

Postby Detritus » Mon Jan 02, 2012 11:10 am

bdog wrote:People who slow down at the moment they see the sign for their hwy exit. They make the off ramps really really long so there is no need to do this.

Exit at highway speed; you will have plenty of time to slow down.

Absolutely. And, as a corollary, people who think you can merge into 75 mph traffic at 25 mph.

Oh, and people who want to pass a truck on the highway without going more than 2 mph faster than said truck. Jesus H, get around the damn thing already or stay where you are!

I agree that, in general, Madison drivers are too timid. See Circles, traffic, behavior in.
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Re: Madison driving peeves

Postby Galoot » Mon Jan 02, 2012 11:31 am

Detritus wrote:Absolutely. And, as a corollary, people who think you can merge into 75 mph traffic at 25 mph.


Yes! There is one poor woman in a Honda coupe who I've seen do this several times at the looooong onramp from Fish Hatch to the westbound Beltline--she will drive along in that merge lane at about 25 mph, with her left signal on, expecting people to slow down to 25 to let her in. At least once, I just blew on past her at 55, and she looked at me with shock and indignation that I didn't slow down to let her in.

Get up to highway speed and merge! That's all that it takes.

OTOH, there are people that refuse to let you get up to highway speed and merge--this happens regularly at the Seminole Hwy onramp to the eastbound Beltline. I'll see plenty of space to merge, get up to the same speed as the car I see in my rearview mirror, and that car will SPEED UP to cut me off. So I have to go a bit faster to get that spot, and they'll keep speeding up to cut me off. It isn't like my getting in front of them was going to slow them down in the slightest, since I was already matching their speed by the time they decided to cut me off. No, they just hate the fact that someone is going to get in front of them.

See that almost never happens in California, from my experience. People realize that others have to get on the freeway, and while they won't slow down to let you in, if you match speed and move over, they will allow you that space to get into traffic.
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Re: Madison driving peeves

Postby snoqueen » Mon Jan 02, 2012 4:43 pm

There are certain cars that just aren't up to the Beltline (I speak from experience here). The person with the Honda coupe is probably driving one.

Those of us with cars like that should use alternative routes, and you'd be surprised to know how many people I talk to who do just that. Alternate routes get you where you are going about as fast as the Beltline a lot of times, due to some wreck or backup.

Galoot, I gotta say if you were trying to go 55 on the Beltline you probably pissed off about a hundred other drivers who think it's supposed to be 75. I think natural selection is going to make that road SUV's and semis only in a few years.
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Re: Madison driving peeves

Postby Galoot » Mon Jan 02, 2012 5:45 pm

Oh, I'll sometimes go faster on the beltline, but I've realized that the fastest way to get from John Nolen to Seminole, at 4:30PM, is to stay smack in the right lane, and deal with whoever is merging. At 4:30, I'm usually not going 55, I'm going 20mph or less. And I happily leave space to let people merge in, knowing from experience that if I move over to one of the other lanes, it will take me longer to get to my destination.

You could be right about that Honda coupe, although in my experience, any Honda Civic has plenty of power to merge into freeway traffic, you just have to know how to make it cooperate. My VW Golf GL isn't exactly a powerhouse, and even with my clutch slipping after 175k miles, I can still merge onto the beltline without any trouble.

That reminds me, I was going to get that fixed this week...
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Re: Madison driving peeves

Postby snoqueen » Mon Jan 02, 2012 6:09 pm

Nah. You won't need that thing in NZ.
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Re: Madison driving peeves

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Mon Jan 02, 2012 7:16 pm

pjbogart wrote:People who park in the fire lane.

Or handicap spots, or loading zones, or anywhere else they're not supposed to. I don't think this has anything to do with driving though, it's just a mindset that many folks have that rules don't (or shouldn't) apply to them. I was recently flabbergasted while helping a buddy move when he attempted to back his U-Haul into a driveway unsuccessfully because the incline was too steep. But instead of pulling out and just parking on the street (there was plenty of room) he simply shut off the engine and left the truck literally from curb to curb, blocking traffic in both directions. When I questioned him, he said, "What's the big deal? It's late and there's not much traffic." It was 8:15PM, Tuesday night, on a residential street. I generally find that people who act like this are usually the first ones to blow their stack when inconvenienced by other people's dickishness, as my friend would do if he ever came home from work only to find his driveway was inaccessible because of someone else's selfishness.

Galoot wrote:See that almost never happens in California...
What I remember being amazed by when I drove around California highways a decade or so ago was that folks really only used the left lane for passing. You know... the way it's supposed to be. It was dreamy. Of course, all the time I saved having nearly unfettered passing access was cancelled out by the raging forest fire which swept across the highway necessitating a 3½ hour detour. But still, it was nice.
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Re: Madison driving peeves

Postby wallrock » Tue Jan 03, 2012 10:39 am

bdog wrote:People who slow down at the moment they see the sign for their hwy exit. They make the off ramps really really long so there is no need to do this.

Exit at highway speed; you will have plenty of time to slow down.

Once on 18/151 I was stuck behind a guy who slowed down below 40 mph for the Verona exit before the ramp. I couldn't get around him in the left lane due to traffic and this guy had the gall to give me the finger when he finally moved over, as if it were my fault I was up on his rear bumper.
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Re: Madison driving peeves

Postby Bwis53 » Tue Jan 03, 2012 11:15 am

I wish they'd just get off the phone when turning!
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Re: Madison driving peeves

Postby fennel » Tue Jan 03, 2012 11:15 am

wallrock wrote:Once on 18/151 I was stuck behind a guy who slowed down below 40 mph for the Verona exit before the ramp. I couldn't get around him in the left lane due to traffic and this guy had the gall to give me the finger when he finally moved over, as if it were my fault I was up on his rear bumper.
This is a good time to bump the bumper sticker: from an earlier thread.
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Re: Madison driving peeves

Postby barney » Tue Jan 03, 2012 12:29 pm

I would like to add that the left lane rules also apply to regular multi-lane streets, and not just highways. Unless you are turning in the next three blocks or so, get the heck out of the left lane if you are going to go 5 miles under the speed limit. I'm looking at you, idiots on Gorham Street at 745 in the morning. I realize you'll be turning on Wisconsin Avenue, but that does not mean you need to be in the left lane blocking shit up by Tenney Park.
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Re: Madison driving peeves

Postby Ned Flanders » Tue Jan 03, 2012 2:58 pm

Hi! My name is Sheppy!

Happy New Year!
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Re: Madison driving peeves

Postby Violet_Skye » Tue Jan 03, 2012 4:36 pm

I could swear the traffic on the square was two way when I was a tweenager, mid- to late 1970s. Am I crazy?
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