So this is a topic I’ve thought about at least a dozen times on my daily commute. I’ve noticed, that even though I’m rarely on the same schedule from day to day, I end up sharing the road with the same drivers. Day after day, I’ll notice the “HATE I80” license plate is in front of me again, “Princess” sticker, the car completely missing the front left bumper (leaving exposed windshield fluid lines), or the exact same plumbing company van day after day. It would be one thing if I were leaving the house at the same time each morning; exactly at 7:25am, or exactly at 8:10am, but my schedule varies anywhere between, and somehow my commuting counterparts share the same fate.

Along the same topic, I’ve noticed something about my commute. Once you travel the same routine a few times, you get the tricks down. I know, that when I turn onto Sunrise, the far right lane is the fastest until you cross the bridge at American River. Then, the far left lane is fastest, up until the last minute lane change just before hopping onto Highway 50. Other drivers know this same routine. It’s like you have two classes of drivers out there; actually, make that three. 1) Drivers who’ve done this commute enough to know it blindfolded; 2) First time or infrequent commuters; and 3) People who are just (insert your favorite stereotype here) drivers.

This is where it gets interesting. The on ramp for Highway 50 has a metered light, and 2 lanes for single commutes (carpool peeps get their own speed-a-riffic lane with no waiting). So, turning onto the on ramp, experienced commuters move immediately to the right lane (as in, not the left lane). There are a few advantages to approaching this metering light from the right lane. First off, as previously mentioned, these are all of the “experienced” commuters in this lane, who know what the routine is. They know that the light on the left sometimes ignores the line of cars waiting and skips the next turn (allowing the right lane to go twice in a row), are steadfast about revving up when their light turns green, and, here’s the clencher, ensuring that two cars go through for each light (as the little sign indicates) rather than one.

This is a pet peeve of mine. I don’t understand how these people don’t realize that two cars are allowed to go for each green light. Granted, this was a new concept to me at first, too. But for me it was only AT FIRST. I was a little shocked to see 2 cars going through the green light, and immediately assumed that the 2nd car was just an impatient commuter, in a hurry to get to work. Then, when i saw another set of cars proceed, I started to look around for any indication that this might just be allowed. And, padow! There it was. Just below the metering light, stated clearly, “Two cars for each green light”. That’s TWO cars people, not one. It almost makes me feel justified to make up the difference at my turn, when I see one lowly driver proceed through the green light gate that should have allowed two. Especially when it’s the three of cars ahead of me (just barely putting me out of my turn). It doesn’t seem so wrong to let 3 cars go through on the next turn when only 1 car went through on the last, right? I guess no police officer would agree with me, but, in a fair and justified world, this would be allowed :)

Oh well, I guess I’ve learned enough of the “commuting tricks” to make it an ok drive. Knowing which lanes to be in helps ease the pain of the stop and go traffic. It’s sad when I think about what I’m doing to my poor little car’s engine, brakes & clutch; it spent it’s first few years with only freeway miles, and now it’s being forced to deal with icky Sacramento traffic. I’ve been considering detailing it just to give my car a little pick me up :) In fact, a perfect xmas gift would be a gift certificate to get my car detailed!!

Sidenote, I’m pulling a Dave and writing this blog Wed night with the intention of posting it tomorrow. It’s an awesome idea, and I had to give credit where it’s due.


1 Response to “Traffic”

  1. 1 Original Cyn November 15, 2005 at 1:33 AM

    My thoughts exactly! I frequent the metered on ramps and know the right lane trick! I get unreasonably annoyed when only one car goes! If you can’t read you shouldn’t be allowed to drive!

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Mom to "C", wife to Ben. I'm a part-time blogger, cook, organizer, seamstress, house cleaner, taxi, nurse (the mom kind), accountant... I could go on, but really... it's all in the blog. Read away!

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