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22 May, 2006

Adventures in L.A. Traffic

I used to drive 35 miles each way to work, and anybody familiar with L.A. traffic will tell you that's no easy feat. Aside from the usual bottlenecks are irritations that only add to the stress. Like people who change lanes or make turns without using their signals. Or people who leave their turn signals on without making turns or changing lanes. Well, at least it's not Manila; now that's a free for all.

Still, that's only a small consolation. I've always been a careful, defensive driver, even more so after a serious accident fifteen years ago. In all my years of driving, I've only had one moving violation. The cop said I didn't make a full stop at a four-way intersection, but the indignant look on my face almost made him apologize for giving me a ticket.

Unfortunately, local drivers don't appreciate my caution and think staying within the speed limit is slow. I've been tailgated and honked at with bright lights flashing so many times I've resorted to passive defiance: the more they tailgate, the slower I go. There's something satisfying about watching a rude driver froth at the mouth because he had to change lanes to overtake me.

As I prepare to get on the road for a one and a half hour trip through the 405 freeway, I brace myself for another encounter with L.A. traffic, and remind myself that though some drivers leave their brains at home when they get on the road, it doesn't mean I should do the same.

posted at 11:31 AM by City Muse


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