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driving laws/styles RE: [T3] HELP

At 8:11 PM -0600 3/25/04, Jim Adney wrote:

To me it's clearly a matter of courtesy, but I think that concept is completely
lost on most people. I hear that the situation is worst in California, where
everyone wants a lane to themselves, so that if you ever got 5 cars on a 5 lane

In the middle of the desert on a major divided freeway (not highway, freeway -- the traffic engineers correct me at work whenever I say highway when it's a freeway!), with two lanes in each direction, under total free flow WAY below capacity, it seems to make sense to hang out in the right and just pass on the left when you overtake someone. Er, unless the right lane is rutted and ruined by trucks... then you hang out in the left, watching your rear so that you can shift right when somebody comes up faster behind you.

Most of the 5 or 6 lane (each direction) freeways in these parts spend many hours per day at or near capacity. So, when they're not congested, traffic is PACKED and FAST. Motorists MUST drive and stay in the left lane just to support the sheer volume of automobiles. If they didn't, the onset of congestion would happen much sooner and there would be a near-empty lane on the left. ;)

I can see people driving in lane 1 or 2 on a 5+ lane side of the freeway when it's empty... they're used to driving over on the left all the time, and it totally avoids the on & off merging lanes. Why pack the right and middle lanes if there's tons of room? If you're passing on the left, why not give a lane or two of buffer?

It's interesting driving across the US, because you may notice different
amounts of driving care and courtesy as you move from state to state. I have no
idea what makes the difference, but it's there, and someone ought to figure out
what the good states are doing right so that we can all start doing it.

The freeway simulation folks at work note that California defaults to building onramps that are considerably longer than those in other states; gives you loads more time & space to get up to speed and find your merge spot. So, some of the variation in driving behavior must certainly be related to variations in freeway/highway construction standards in different regions.

Hm, I'll bet that long ramps are bound to be helpful for lower-powered cars like stock old VWs...

-Greg (who, even after eight years, could NEVER figure out how to do the freeway onramp merge dance with Michiganders...)

List info at http://www.vwtype3.org/list | mailto:gregm@vwtype3.org

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