a99kitten’s Musings

I blog about a WHOLE LOT of stuff :)

So I drove down to the bay area yesterday for some appointments. It’s funny because I as drive down the mountain, through Auburn and Sacramento valley, I was thinking it was a calm, easy drive. Hit the tail-end of the morning commute traffic in Roseville but I planned the drive to avoid any commute traffic in the East bay/SF area. Yeah….

It was 11:00am when I got to Berkeley. It should take me 15 minutes to get from there across the Bay Bridge. Took 45. Non-commute traffic on a weekday. What. The. Hell?

Was nightmare traffic all the way down 101 to Palo Alto. Once in Palo Alto, an old man almost crashed into me as well as run over a pedestrian because he failed to notice the GIANT sign and painted words on the asphalt designating the lane he chose as right turn only. He thought that only applied to others apparently and went straight. The girl in the crosswalk in front us, who he almost took out, looked like she wanted to shoot the guy in the face. Rightfully so. I would have helped her.

Finished my Palo Alto appointments and headed to the coast for the last of my appointments. Again, non-commute hours. 2:45pm on a weekday. Driving up Sand Hill Road to 280 and 2 different cars ran stop signs and almost took out cars or bikers. One guy held up traffic so he could do an illegal u-turn right in front of the No U Turn sign. Guess that sign didn’t apply to him.

I won’t mention the numerous jackasses (statistically almost always in a Prius) that claim the fast lane as their own and go 55mph on the freeways. I literally want to punch them in their faces.

Then on Hwy 92, a huge truck decided that the center line divider was merely a suggestion and almost caused a huge accident by gong waaaay over the line and taking out all of the oncoming cars. Thankfully he dropped his cell phone and corrected in the nick of time probably only causing a mild heart attack in the driver of the car first in his path.

I left the coast around 7:30pm after checking traffic online and seeing both ways to Highway 80 were equal in their suckage. Chose the Bay Bridge over 880. A guy on 101, near the 101/80 split stopped his car in heavy traffic, put on his blinkers, and pulled out a map. Yep. Car wasn’t stalled. No car problems. He just wanted to see where he was going. So who cares about the hundreds of cars around and behind you. Not kidding. Pulled out a map. First of all – who the hell has a paper map anymore?!?!?! After tons of cars were honking, he put the map down and drove off flipping off the car behind him who dared honk. I was in the lane next to him so I saw it all. Unreal.

On 80 somewhere between SF and Cordelia (I don’t pay attention to those places except the exit to Napa!), a guy went from the far left lane all the way across to an exit. I guess he realized he was about to miss his exit. And who cares about the 5 lanes of traffic you just cut off and caused everyone to slam on their brakes? They aren’t important.

Once I got out of east bay, traffic cleared up. There were spots of slowness due to nighttime road construction but nothing major. And no idiots showed themselves. I’m sure they are out there, but simply statistically less of them once out of the way-too-crowded bay area.

I lived in the bay area during the dot com boom and the traffic then was a nightmare. Every day. All the time. You can never just go anywhere. You have to plan on horrific traffic. Weekend jaunt? Ha! Plan an extra few hours of sitting in or navigating traffic. It’s stupid. The biggest stupid part is the local governments all talked about expanding the roadways, blah blah back during the dot com boom. They did start working on Highway 101 then. They are still working on it. 13-15 years later. Awesome.

The place is simply too crowded. And it will stay that way as long as the area stays successful. And who doesn’t want that? Of course we do. BUT, people need to learn how to drive. If people just applied common sense and **paid attention**, a lot of accidents and slow traffic could be avoided. But that won’t happen.
And guess what? You are not the most important person in the world so you don’t just get to do whatever you want. There ARE other drivers out there. You do have to look when merging. You need to look in your mirror or turn your head, Not just close your eyes and pray no one is occupying the space you want to move into. But also need to merge. Not come to a complete STOP on the on-ramp and sit there too scared to move. ARGH!!!! Get off the road. Turn in your license, sell your car and take the bus.

I know traffic is bad in other areas. We are not alone in that. But I am willing to bet we have some of the WORST drivers in the US in the bay area. The Worst. Worst. Worst. Ever.

Now I am back in the mountains. And so happy. Peace. Sure the tourists are stupid in the winter and cause all sorts of problems with their inability to drive in snow and ice. But it’s still waaaaay better than dealing with the mess and masses in the bay area. And guess where most of those tourists are from……

Between driving back to the SF Bay Area from Tahoe yesterday morning and driving on (2-lane) Highway 92 from the coastside daily it made me remember a reason I hate the Bay Area…the unlimited amount of *idgit drivers. So here is a checklist I think they should include with all DMV tests & renewals:

1. Are you medicated in any fashion? Stay off the freeways and for godsakes stay OUT of the fast lane.

2. Are you so old you have zero reflexes left? Stay off the freeways and for godsakes stay OUT of the fast lane.

3. Did you come from a country where there are no driving laws beyond ‘look straight ahead and pray’? Stay off the freeways and for godsakes stay OUT of the fast lane.

4. Is your day so packed that the only time you have to talk on the phone, yell at your kids in the backseat, do your makeup, shave your beard, brush your hair, eat your breakfast/lunch/dinner/4th meal, or daydream is when you are driving? Stay off the freeways and for godsakes stay OUT of the fast lane.

5. Are you so unable to confront anything or anyone that when forced to merge with other traffic you simply don’t look – you just stare forward, drive and hope everyone else is paying attention so no accidents occur? Stay off the freeways!

5. Are you the proud smug owner of a Prius who feels that since you contribute so much to society by saving the planet one car trip at a time, you can drive as slow as you want and don’t care about the cars in back of you? Stay the F out of the fast lane. Your little carpool sticker means nothing once carpool lane time is over. And if you are stopping the flow of traffic by going 55mph on a 65mph freeway in the fast lane – you are only giving more people reason to run you off the road. And breaking the law..move to the right.

I think this list should be sent with everyone’s registration and license renewals…

*idgit =