Traffic, the neverending story

Everyone in L.A. has complained about the traffic at one point or another. I don’t really get annoyed by freeway traffic anymore because my commute consists of walking from my bedroom to my living room or going to the airport, and I always conveniently time my airport trips to avoid rush hour. However, I do spend a good amount of time driving around Los Angeles and environs and see an awful lot of driving douchebaggery that is quite possibly contributing heavily to this problem. Examples follow!

Example 1: The other day, I was driving in Pasadena, and watched as Driver A (for asshole, natch) cut off Driver B (for blindsided, maybe?) so that A could get in the left turn lane. B’s response was to back up into the traffic coming towards him and cut over two lanes into the right-turn lane. Super!

Example 2: I’m in the far-left turn lane, in my wee car. A young lady in a Ford Extinction or whatever you call the biggest, baddest, gas-guzzlin’-est model of SUV is in the other left-turn lane. When there are two left-turn lanes, there is usually a sign to denote that it is okay to do a u-turn from the far left one, but that you can only turn left from the right-hand one. (I bet you know where this is going.) Guess what the SUV did? A u-turn in a giant SUV. I got out of the way in time, but zoinks. Bonus: She had two kids in carseats in the back. Take your driving and child safety classes from Britney?

The best example, though, is Example 3. I even have a diagram!

Example 3: I’m at one of those big intersections over on the wessside somewhere that finally has a freakin’ left-turn arrow (don’t even get me started on the need for those in most intersections). The arrow finishes, and I’m second in line to turn left. The person in front of me (who I’ll lovingly refer to as Douchebag) gets out into the middle so she can complete her left turn after the traffic passes. I stay back because traffic is heavy and I figure I’ll have to wait till the next light. As the light turns yellow, she is a mere one lane away from completing her turn when a bus in the right lane of oncoming traffic scoots through the intersection. Now, most people, having made it all the way over with just a car-length or so to go, would wait for the bus to pass and complete the turn. But no, not Douchebag! She backed up back into the left-turn lane in front of me. Except that I was in the lane and had a line of cars behind me and couldn’t back up, so she ended up sitting in the crosswalk for an entire light change.

Behold, I have completed this detailed and highly artistic diagram for your perusal.


I’m glad nobody got hurt in any of these incidents, because they’re actually pretty funny. I laughed for a few minutes after Ms. Douchebag backed up, and apparently found it worthy of artistic expression. But my real aim is to get stories from you:

What kinds of driving douchebaggery have you seen recently?

4 thoughts on “Traffic, the neverending story”

  1. I really wish all large intersections had left turn lights, they really make things easier in high traffic areas…in other words, they give cars an actual chance to turn without breaking the law.
    As for douchebaggery, on my commute home 134 east to 5 south….where the freeway splits the lanes going to the 5 are much faster, so douchebaggggssss always stay in the 5 south lanes and then at the last second come to a screeching halt and turn their blinkers on to change into the 134 E lanes (which are packed with cars that arent moving). It really makes me upset because I need to slam on my brakes to keep from slamming into them and the cars behind me have to do the same. Best part is, these drivers have TONS of notice that the freeway is splitting, i mean miles of notice, and probably a mile of the closer together white dotted lines…so they are really just being assholes and trying to beat traffic and ruining my drive. I hate them, really.

  2. As for left turn signals, I favor them as long as they become “yield” instead of red. When traffic is not congested, the ability to quickly turn left without waiting for a signal is great. It makes no sense to wait for a green turn signal if there if it is safe to turn.

  3. The perp in Example 3 sounds more like “Clueless” than “Douchebag”.

    This, on the other hand, is unmistakable douchebaggery: when it’s bumber-to-bumper on the freeway, rocketing off into an empty exit-only lane, only to merge back onto the freeway. Net gain: ten car-lengths and eternity in hell.

    Then again, that’s nothing compared to the bitch who stole my parking spot thusly: I’m trawling for a spot in a heavily-populated neighborhodd. There’s a monster SUV driving ahead of me. My shotgun alerts me to a an empty spot on my side of the street, and I stop just short of it, perfectly positioned to pull into it. At that instant, the SUV, which is about three car-lengths ahead of me, screeches to a halt, slams into reverse, and starts ZOOMING back at me at an ungodly speed, honking and gesticulating wildly throughout. This scares the bejesus out of me, and I start backing the hell away from it. SUV quietly eases into my parking spot.

  4. a couple of things that really really bug me. When going down a street, say Crescent Heights, and at 6pm or so the 2 lane street gets turned into a 1 lane street (the other lane is now parking.) But people still try and use that second lane to get ahead by a few cars then jump back into the number 1 lane when they approach a parked car, most of the time without a signal.

    Which leads to my 2nd douchebag calling card move. Not using a signal to, change lanes or park. How hard is it to reach your left index finger over, BEFORE NOT DURING, and change lanes?

    Oh and one more, say for some reason your lane is blocked and cars start to pile up behind you waiting for some douchebag unloading in a traffic lane, people behind you start to whip around you at break neck speeds intead of letting you move over, since you were there stuck behind the douche first.

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