Thursday, July 10, 2008

Do cut in line while merging. Please!

Stay tuned to this space, and tomorrow or the next day I'll explain why, contrary to what most drivers think, it really isn't rude when -- seeing a merge coming up -- you drive all the way to the front of the empty lane instead of hanging in the long, long line in the other lane.

Not that I would do this, mind you. I don't want to get shot by some road raging nut. I'll explain more later. Today column-writing for Saturday Viewpoint page comes first. In the meantime, some interesting reading to keep you busy:

The end of suburbia? Joel Kotkin says (in the L.A. Times) "not yet." Link.

Kotkin's responding, in part, to an article in the March Atlantic magazine, that created a lot of buzz, from Christopher Leinberger, positing that McMansion suburbs will become the next slums. Link.

Now, here's a critique of Kotkin's piece, by Bill Fulton of the California Planning & Development Report. Link.

This month's Atlantic has an interesting and provocative piece on crime in Memphis, with a mention of Charlotte, pegging the rise in crime in suburban areas to the rise in Section 8 housing vouchers and the demolition of old-line housing projects. Link.

Interesting developments in Sacramento, chronicled by the Wall Street Journal. The WSJ tells how the six-county Sacramento region agreed on a plan for growth -- including that some areas simply wouldn't allow development -- and is making it happen. Link.

Here's Witold Rybczynski on the legacy of Buckminster Fuller. Link.

Also, a piece from former Maryland governor Parris Glendenning saying Americans are tired of feeling like victims. Link.

And finally, here's something you're unlikely to see out of Charlotte-Mecklenburg: "The county board of supervisors in Loudoun County, Va., has voted to ban itself from accepting any campaign contributions from developers or builders." Link.

21 comments:

Comment #1 said...

Still looking for those page views, huh? Tell Mr. Smith to try and post controversial topics to get some comments.

Anonymous said...

First! (And now this blog is officially worthless.)

I am really looking forward to your explanation of why it's OK to blast up the merge lane and then crowd your way in front of a bunch of people who've been patiently waiting their turn in line. Is that some cute trick you picked up up North?

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Hey, 9:28: This "hick" has lived all over the world, including several years in Europe.

So cram it.

It seems pretty obvious that Mary spent a year up in Boston learning a bunch of bad habits, and now she seems determined to advocate them here.

Anonymous said...

Cram this hillbilly. Did they teach you how to speak proper english in Europe?

Anonymous said...

anonymouse 7:40, it's not about who's turn it is. It's about keeping traffic flowing by using as much road as possible. When someone stops halfway in the merge lane to try to get in, that backs up traffic on the highway AND in the merge lane. It is a LANE for a reason. If everyone in the regular lane lets one person in, traffic flows more smoothly and EVERYONE benefits. So, while you think the person driving up the merge lane is the selfish one, the people not letting him in are the selfish ones , and they're backing up traffic for the rest of us.

Anonymous said...

I lived up north for a few years. Trust me, they are much less ruder than any drivers down here.

Anonymous said...

It's not only rude, it is unconscionable. I advocate prison time.

And you, ma'am, are absolutely SHAMELESS in your attempts to incite.

Anonymous said...

Uh...not everybody in Europe speaks English.

Anonymous said...

If the lane is open, DRIVE IN IT. The people who straddle the line and slow down both lanes are the ones who should be shot.

Anonymous said...

8:04 blogger...You must be the jerk that attempts to pull ahead of others waiting in line...What's the big hurry. CHILL OUT

Anonymous said...

Well, Mary, there are bunches of homes and condos on the light rail line. Why don't you purchase one, take light rail and shut up about traffic?

Or are you one of those hypocrites who complains about development but lives in the suburbs?

Anonymous said...

Such Venom from people. Why can't we all just get along. I think the current economic conditions has everyone on edge. Just try treating people as you would like to be treated. Believe me, it works

eye_dee_ten_tea said...

I love telecommuting.

Southerner that moved north to Charlotte said...

There is a difference between a MERGE lane and a regular traffic lane.
My problem is that people run up the empty left turn lane and instead of turning left they jump over at the last minute to go straight (Matthews drivers) And it is illegal because Matthews police occaisionally hide at the intersection and writing tickets for crossing the solid line between the lanes.
Now, if you don't wait to come to the solid lined part, it's not illegal, it's just RUDE. Bet they could also ticket the people that stop in the left lane (just short of the solid line) trying to get over and cause the people behind them to miss the turn light.

Anonymous said...

I generally let people merge from on ramps because in my opinion it is not like they are just trying to get in my lane they have to merge, there is no option. If I am in the left lane on the interstate close to the car in front of me traveling faster the those in the right or center lane I will not slow down to let you over and I don't expect you to do that for me. I get over at the first opportunity. If I am merging onto the interstate and no one is stopping or slowing down to let me in I will continue to drive in the merge lane until it ends and stop there to wait for someone to give me a little room. I will not stop half way down the merge lane to wait but if I am half way and some one gives me room I'll move over. I usually use my turn signal to change lanes. I have found that sometimes when traffic is relatively tight and I use my signal the car in the other lane will speed up to keep me from getting over but if I don't use my signal they stay where they are even after I change lanes. WTF?? I love driving even in heavy traffic and I understand that there are times when you let people over. What some people need to understand is that just because you want to move to a lane that is traveling faster does not mean you get to, even if you have your signal on. You will have to wait for a break in traffic just like I did. I am also the guy that, if by myself, will stay in my lane even if you try to bully your way in. I do not get intimdated at all. You want this lane bad enough to be at fault in an accident, bring it on. I do not bully my way in and expect the same respect from everyone else! I drive a big old Bronco so bring it on!

Anonymous said...

I'm glad to know that your time is far more valuable that mine and everyone else's on the road.

Anonymous said...

I say those that hurry into the travel lane and create an unrealistic line of traffic while the "merge" lane remains unused are idiots who really don't know how to drive. It would be the same as immediately entering traffic onto an interstate from an on ramp at a lower speed and therefore holding up that traffic lane. Use the pavement provided I say; I do and figure the fools that don't and are to my left are simply that, fools.

Anonymous said...

Hey Anon at 2:46 on 7/11. Who are you referencing?

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