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July 27, 2011 at 5:17 am #730450
You all are making me miss the East Coast something fierce. Every time I go back to D.C. I feel like I need to ramp up to the style of driving I learned in my youth, where green means go, the merge lane is meant for accelerating to the flow of traffic (IF you’re lucky enough to have one; on-ramp from Route 29 to the Beltway, anyone?), and keeping right except to pass is considered more than a vague guideline that you might follow if you feel like it. And you can’t talk on your phone, you need that hand for your horn. :D
cjboffoli: I learned to drive in D.C. My husband is from Oregon. The first time we visited my family, we were on the Beltway five minutes when he turned to me and said, “NOW I understand why you drive like that.”July 27, 2011 at 8:09 am #730451
How can you tell an east coast driver in Seattle? The ones in the ditch when it snows. Yea, we all ran down the streets at 60,70… when we were 18 and had reflexes. We also had months to get used to it. They move out here…get a few mild winters, and lose the winter driver skills… then they try and duplicate the same feats of derring doo… and you can usually find them in the left meridian or ditch trying to pass…July 27, 2011 at 2:58 pm #730452
East Coast drivers tend to be honkers, too. If something displeases them, they’re all over the horn.July 27, 2011 at 3:16 pm #730453
IWonder: I think I was still there when it was finishing up. To be able to drive to the office (World Trade Center West) through the new tunnel was pretty sweet. Taking the Pike all the way to the airport? Such a breeze!
datamuse: I was back there in April and was surprised that I still had the skills to successfully maneuver getting from Georgetown to Baltimore and Georgetown to Alexandria (I don’t miss some of those interchanges).
kootchman: I’d think that the east coast drivers stay off the roads during Seattle snowstorms because the natives don’t know how to drive in it. They’re also the ones prepared to walk if they get stuck. During the snowstorm before Thanksgiving, most I spoke to who abandoned vehicles and walked back to West Seattle were from the east coast.July 27, 2011 at 4:07 pm #730454
is it possible these two things are connected?
“the wait for another shade of green after the light changes, and a tendency to run more red lights than any other place I have ever driven.”
we’re big on survival instincts here in the NW..
perhaps it has something to do with all of the wild animals that the Pacific Northwest their home ;->July 27, 2011 at 4:13 pm #730455
are you insinuating that Pacific Northwesters don’t know what to do when the snow and ice hits?
perhaps those flatland California transplants freeze up..
but a true Pac NWer will take the time to chain up, throw some extra weight in the car and a sandbag or two in the back for extra traction (over or under the wheels) and take to the side streets.
We weren’t walking because we either
left work early enough to get home safely
or were smart enough to find somewhere pleasant to wait out the traffic jam:)
You don’t have to live here long to figure out that hills and overpasses become skating rinks when it freezes.
btw.. the biggest problems with the commute occurred because of commercial drivers.. including our friendly local neighborhood articulated buses.
what were they thinking?July 27, 2011 at 4:23 pm #730456
Sorry KMan but the theory that east coast drivers all lose their skills is bunk. I’ve been out here 20 years and still do fine, thank you.
I was one of the walkers home from downtown last November. Beat the hell out of a 7 hour bus ride. Wasn’t that bad and the cold beer and juicy steak upon arrival were major incentives.
Now, for driving skills, I did have to tone it down in a HUGE way when I first arrived from Boston. And why the hell is everyone smiling at me? I consider myself a very alert and thoughtful driver having learned many valuable lessons in this much more civilized driving environment (sometimes a bit clueless, but more civilized). Skills are skills and I still got em.July 27, 2011 at 4:31 pm #730457
How can you tell an east coast driver in Seattle? The ones in the ditch when it snows.
Depends where on the east coast you learned to drive. I’m usually the one cussing the tailgater behind me who thinks that AWD means he can drive like the pavement is dry. Or, in the case of last November’s commute from hell, the three jackknifed semis I saw (two on the Duwamish curve, one on 599) that seemed to be responsible for much of the backup. My Prius’s engine braking feature got a workout that night.
And yeah, we do honk. Especially when someone tries to switch lanes right into us, which has happened to me more often in the PNW than anywhere else I’ve driven. Do they teach people to check their blind spot in driver’s ed programs out here? Cause a lotta folks ain’t doin’ it.
Oh, but this took the cake: I watched a dozen cars stacked up at a green light on Westlake where it took the driver of the foremost car a good ten seconds (I counted) to notice that the light was green. Not ONE of them honked. Only in Seattle, I swear.
Kimberley: didja have to navigate the Mixing Bowl? I remember that being what separated the men from the boys…or the women from the girls, as the case may be.July 27, 2011 at 7:51 pm #730458
JoB – I’m saying those west of the mountains who are perhaps city dwellers don’t always know what to do. Staying home isn’t always an option for some, and a dusting of snow shouldn’t really necessitate having to stay home, at least for most people.
datamuse – oh yeah, can’t say I miss the mixing bowl at all.
I swear the worst traffic I’ve ever been in has been the stretch of I-5 from Seattle to Tacoma, worse than Boston, DC, Atlanta and many other cities with large metropolitan areas.July 27, 2011 at 8:16 pm #730459
My thoughts: BLOW THE HORN! If the person in front of you is too busy dialing their phone to drive on the green, BLOW THE HORN!! If they are driving 5 mph because they are looking for something, BLOW THE HORN (they should pull over)!!! If they are going below the speed limit while planted in the left lane, BLOW THE HORN!!! If they were first to the 4-way stop but won’t go, BLOW THE HORN!!! If they stop dead at the merge, BLOW THE HORN!!! WHY don’t Seattles use their horns? Drives me nuts. Oh, I’m from NYC. In case you didn’t guess.July 28, 2011 at 4:52 am #730460
just a point of clarification, and a warning:
contrary to wsgolfer’s post (#8) i saw someone get popped by the red light camera at 35th and avalon just yesterday morning.
they’re still alive and generating revenue at that intersection.July 28, 2011 at 10:20 am #730461
cause if ya blow your horn a lot…you may get shot. Unlike NY we conceal and carry in this state…and people get might pissy round’ here when you act NY’r….and if they aare in the left lande doing the speed limit…you get the ticket for road rage. I’d try and tame that horn thing…it’s for “dire warnings” not a traffic control device.July 28, 2011 at 2:19 pm #730462
contrary to popular opinion, people brought up west of the mountains also learn to drive in ice and snow.
i know i did..July 28, 2011 at 2:41 pm #730463
Kootch, maybe you can explain the habit around these parts of using that nice, long merge lane to get up to, oh, 45 mph, MAYBE 50, then merge into traffic going 55-65, THEN accelerating to freeway speed.
What’s up with that? It happens all the time. Where I come from that’s an excellent way to get into an accident.July 28, 2011 at 2:50 pm #730464
JoB – then perhaps they should put those skills to good use when there’s snow on the ground.July 28, 2011 at 4:10 pm #730465
The horn IS intended as a safety device but also totally appropriate to wake up a distracted driver. Of course if you could just ask nicely you wouldn’t need the horn, but that’s kinda hard car to car. Big difference between a quick toot and a BEEEEEEEEEEEP. IMOJuly 28, 2011 at 4:18 pm #730466
Datamuse, that is not the correct technique for merging. Everyone knows you’re supposed to crawl up to the gore point, come to a complete stop, then wait for someone to let you in.July 28, 2011 at 4:43 pm #730467
I find I use the horn because all these drivers have their i-pod ear buds on. How else can I get their attention! I thought that was illegal, but I see it all the time.
The other difference w/re to snow is that every Jimmy with a truck and a blade moves snow back east. The infrastructure is prepared for it.July 28, 2011 at 6:01 pm #730468
I Wonder – You can legally have one ear plugged/covered while driving. I’ve always found that interesting, since deaf people can drive.July 28, 2011 at 6:11 pm #730469
KBear: I am now imagining somebody trying that maneuver on the Capital Beltway. :DJuly 28, 2011 at 6:14 pm #730470
Elizabeth, deaf people are accustomed to paying attention to their surroundings without the benefit of sound. Also, not being able to hear the sounds of traffic does not distract them from driving, as phone calls or music would do to a hearing person.July 28, 2011 at 6:17 pm #730471
Forgot about this one until it happened yesterday – be sure to politely stop and wait, hornless, when a late lane-cutter (say, to exit I-90 to I-5 South when it’s backed up) stops a whole lane of interstate traffic because they are too special to wait in line!July 28, 2011 at 6:20 pm #730472
The line cutting cheaters get P-lenty of horn, and maybe more, from me. Can’t tolerate that nonsense.July 28, 2011 at 8:47 pm #730473
Here’s my favorite… some butt head behind me lays on the horn the left off California…onto Alaska…..but I am waiting for a pedestrian to cross…dumb—July 28, 2011 at 10:45 pm #730474
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