Wednesday, May 23, 2012
News Flash: People in Austin Can't Drive
But I have discovered a new breed of critter unique to the region, "The Center Lane Driver". There's a 70 mile stretch of I-35 that has a "No Trucks In Left Lane" rule. The purpose of this, I assume, is to keep the left lane moving quickly. On paper this may look great, but let me tell you it doesn't work. Trucks now hang in the center lane and this forces people to merge left or right to pass. Now you have 1 lane pretty much unused and 2 lanes in rolling gridlock. So instead of speeding up the traffic, it clogs up faster than my shedding hair in the shower drain during the 90's.
I guess TXDOT doesn't understand that trucks don't drive in the far right lane in metro areas because of exiting and entering traffic. It's hard to stop/accellerate those 18wheelers, so to avoid a dangerous situation where a car slams on it's brakes to exit or enters the road 20mph slower than traffic, they stay out of the right lane in congested areas. Take away the left lane to pass and it's a game over. It's not just 18wheelers, cars seem to love driving 10 miles under the speed limit and talking on the phone in the center lane, which backs up the trucks and magnifies the problem.
What they should do is make the left lane for passing. Wait, that's what the left lane is for to begin with. And if my memory serves me, we learned that in Driver's Ed along with "Slower Traffic Keep Right". But that was back when we encouraged everyone to "Drive Friendly". Now it's "Drive Like It's You Own The Road".
I really need to get in touch with Vince, the "Shamwow" guy. I have a great invention to market, "The Dumbassador". It's a spring loaded ball pein hammer attached to the car headliner aimed at the driver. The catch is it's remote controlled by anyone directly behind you. Driving 10 miles under the speed limit and won't move over? Call on the Dumbassador! WHACK! I guarantee you our entire nation would become better drivers virtually overnight. Plus, it speaks the universal language everyone can understand... pain. The flaw in my plan is it would have to be mandatory in every vehicle for the idea to work, but it WOULD work.