Blogging (in) LA: L.A. Can’t Drive

Nice one, dumbass...

L.A. Can't Drive I can’t think of a better day to talk about this next blog than a rainy day in Los Angeles. I just drove back from the gym which is less than a mile from my house, and in that single span I saw more 4 wheeled dumb-assery than a Target parking lot in the Valley on a Saturday. Which, by the way, I personally believe is the single most dangerous place to walk in all of Los Angeles. Compton ain’t shit when you have a horde of trophy wives in Escalades on Blackberry’s meandering blindly in search of two parking spots they can sprawl their Bimbo Boxes in showing the world just how much they don’t give a fuck about their fellow human beings. Now that I have that off my chest…

I was doing research a few months back while I considered starting my own ‘Bad LA Driver’s Blog’. “The Devil’s Taint”, which is what I affectionately call the 405, was going to be a masterpiece of snark, wit and plain old trash talking. Then I found L.A. Can’t Drive… My hopes were dashed! The site was everything I wanted. Replete with photos, hilarious stories and not just an Idiocy Meter™ but an Asshole Meter™ as well. So I gave up my dreams and added L.A. Can’t Drive to my newsreader and haven’t looked back.

The founder of the site, a bloke naked Mike was kind enough to do a quick interview with me about the site, driving and other fun stuff. Enjoy and check out the site. He does take submissions from the public so if you’ve got any doozey’s send them his way. Just check L.A. Can’t Drive for details.

J: First off I love your site. As a 10yr+ LA driver I see this stuff every day and I’m glad you’re there to chronicle the gems. How did you get started with the site? Was there one particular incident in particular that spurred you into action?

M: The website has always been and always will be a medium for me to vent freely about my frustrations with asinine, assholish, and quite frankly retarded–yeah, I said it, you overly PC fake-as-hell bitches–L.A. driving. All kidding aside, when I moved to L.A. in 2006, I found myself succumbing to road rage, which when coupled with my sciatic issues from sitting in traffic all day, made me a pretty irate commuter. As a born and bred New Yorker, adjusting to the culture and lifestyle of Southern California is hard enough without having to deal with sucky drivers. And believe me, the irony has not been lost on me that a Chinese (albeit Asian American) male from New York City is writing about bad driving. Contrary to what some detractors may say, I have never claimed to be a perfect driver, nor do I drive like I’m chauffeuring Miss Daisy. And I certainly don’t drive around like a citizen cop trying to find bad driving for my blog. I needed a cathartic release from my daily frustrations, and being a creative person at heart, I thought that writing about my anger and letting it go in the webosphere was healthier than acting it out behind the wheel and screaming epithets at other drivers. There wasn’t one particular incident that made me decide to finally start making a running commentary on L.A. driving, though I must say that the plethora of drivers cruising around at night without their headlights on blew my mind from day one. And I’m not talking about dusk either…owls are hunting and roaches are having bonfires, and yet a disturbing percentage of L.A. drivers still have no idea that their headlights are off. To this day, I still don’t understand it, and it’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen in any other city I’ve lived in or visited.

Read the full interview after the jump

ICME: Frosty!

This happy Frosty greeted me at an intersection yesterday while I waited for the light. He’s so happy and festive that I had to take a picture. I wonder what is in the present at his feet.

Merry Merry!

(click image to big-a-fy)

Distracted Driver enhanced enforcement set for 10/5

I got it in a couple of  tweets from the CHP.  A multi-agency task force is set to enforce the hands free cell and texting ban on October 5.  All day event  and the tickets aren’t cheap.  They refute the urban legend that the tickets are only $20, they are actually $139 plus court costs which will push you near the $200 mark.   You’ve been warned, the largely unenforced ban will be enforced on Tuesday

It Really Caught My Eye: Sepulveda Crash

Saw this at the corner of Exposition and Sepulveda this afternoon. Luckily, it seems no one was hurt, and it sure caught my eye! The amazing part was that the light was still functioning, cycling through the Go, Slow, Stop routine, not realizing someone took the Go signal too hard.

Hate It When That Happens

Driving Douchebaggery

jerk
jerk

You know what I like to do sometimes? I like to take pictures of douchebags. Especially when a guy darts around from behind my car, into the other lane, and back in front of me – only to come to a stop at a red light, 10 seconds later.

But, I like to make a scene of it. You know, blatantly hold the iPhone, high above the steering wheel. Holding it long enough that I see him see me in his rear view mirrow. Taking a picture of his car with his license plate as the focal point. Making him wonder nervously for the rest of the weekend why. Why? WHY??

Today’s episode of Driving Douchebaggery took place on Ventura Boulevard. But, it can happen anywhere.

So can photography.

Get Drunk and Go Home With a Stranger

As the holiday season approaches and your calendar begins to overflow with festive party invites, we at Metblogs urge you to act responsibly, especially when it comes to alcohol consumption.

Our motto is: If you’re going to be making a merry mess of yourself all over town, please do us all a favor and go home with a stranger.

OK, maybe that’s not an official Metblogs motto, but it should be. The thing is, there are many alternatives to drinking and driving. You can take the Metro, call a taxi, hire a limo, appoint a designated driver, call a sober friend, call Alcoholics Anonymous. Still, with all of these options, so many of us will choose to get behind the wheel of our own car and drive home after a night of boozing. I am not proud to admit how many times I have done this in the past.

According to Y Drive, “The main reason people drink and drive is that they don’t want to leave their cars behind.”

Y Drive's Magic Folding Scooter
Y Drive's Magic Folding Scooter

That’s why Y Drive came up with an innovative and affordable service that eliminates this factor altogether. When you call Y Drive, a professional driver will come to you on a folding scooter. For a flat fee of $38, the Continue reading “Get Drunk and Go Home With a Stranger”

Those Most Sporting of Street Closures: LA Marathon Monday

lamarathonIt’s that time again! I understand the LA Marathon is a world-class athletic event offering us humans the possibility to excel and revel in our physicality, but for me, the LA Marathon means one thing: road closures.

This year’s route begins in downtown, heading south on Fig, and jogs around Exposition Park; proceeds west on Exposition Blvd. to jog south through Leimert Park; heads up to Rodeo ROAD via Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd; north on Crenshaw to Venice; then zigzags up La Cienega to Pico, executing a u-turn via San Vicente to Wilshire & 6th Street, heading east again through the Tar Pits area & Hancock Park; meanders around in Hancock Park/K-Town a little bit before heading to Olympic, pointed east; and then returns to its starting point downtown.

Plan your routes accordingly. The map is here.

Photo by mil8 via Creative Commons.

MyKey – your key to saving your kid from themselves

In all actuality I wish I had the MyKey feature on our Focus.  Like many buyers of the Ford Focus, ours is meant as the car for the new drivers in the house to use to learn to drive.  The Focus has all the right qualities for the new driver: perfect size, great economy and safe as well.  

Ford upped the ante and gives the parents more controls to help ensure the new driver is staying safe with MyKey.  The feature is available on the 2009 Ford Focus initially and will eventually be rolled out some of the other models in the Ford line.  I actually wish I was in the market for a new car as this would be high on the list for my soon to be licensed teen.  

In short MyKey allows the holder of the parent key the ability to set parameters of the cars use to help make certain some risks the young driver faces are minimized.  Its a huge leap from back when I got my license and my folks tracked mileage.  The MyKey system allows parents to set specific parameters to ensure safety equipment is used and potential distractions are limited.  It makes the “valet key” seem prehistoric with the features it provides.  The features are easily set with the parent key and can only be altered with the parent key.   Some of the features a parent can select that I really liked:

  • Limit volume on the sound system to 40%
  • Allow sound system to operate only when all front seat belts are in use
  • Limit speed to 80 mph
  • audible speed warning at preset speeds
  • Prevent disabling of the Advanced Traction Control system

You can download the entire press release if you want the details: ford_mykey-press-release.  To see some pics of the options as displayed during programming  you need to make the jump.  To get the full deets on the new logo, well you have to make the jump as well. Continue reading “MyKey – your key to saving your kid from themselves”

Is Huffing While Driving a Reportable Offense?

Recently, I wrote a post about a young female driver illegally holding her cell phone up to her ear and talking on it while driving, without using a hands-free device or the speakerphone. I included pictures of the offender. There was a split of opinion in the comments as to whether it was useful to try to change the behavior of such drivers by photographing them, speaking to them, and highlighting them on L.A. Metblogs. Today, I saw a guy huffing behind the wheel. I’d like to know what, if anything, readers think should be done about him.

Inhale the rest of the huffing post, after the jump

Fact and Fiction about “New Driving Laws Taking Effect July 1st!”

I’m guessing we can thank today’s enacting of the ban on automobile-based cell phone yakking for the resurgence of a chain email purportedly full of info about a assortment of new fines going into effect in California on July 1st. The message first appeared last year, warning of fines supposedly going into effect in 2007, and quickly added a number of other states to the tally of those cracking down on drivers for things like driving in the carpool lane and using a cell phone in a construction zone. So, I’m surprised to see the very same message making the rounds again this year, with an amended date ‘natch. Fortunately, the folks at TruthorFiction.com have the lowdown on what is and isn’t true among the laundry list of fines, and as you’d guess it’s about 98% bunk so if it shows up in your inbox you can rest easy not forwarding it to Aunt Gladys in Modesto or Cousin Joe in Humboldt.

Important Lincoln Heights Crosswalk Threatened

2808-n-broadway.JPGOne of the first projects I worked on was to get a signalized crosswalk at that intersection,” says Erika Gallo. “We collected hundreds of signatures and our success were the crosswalk signs. We knew we needed more but were never able to be promised more than the signs.” Now it seems as though that crosswalk may be removed entirely.

I’m on a few community e-mail lists for Northeast LA & noted this post. I think it’s important to know about. What I’m not clear on is the reason for removing this crosswalk. I have called the DOT only to land on hold forever. Perhaps someone will have better luck than I. Google maps with street view has an excellent image of this intersection and the crosswalk itself.

Here’s the post from local businesswoman Erika Gallo:

Good morning friends and neighbors,
Most of you know me or recognize my name. I want to give you a bit of background on this intersection. As you know, my family has owned Sloan’s Dry Cleaners at that intersection for over 30 years. Over these years we’ve seen countless people cross that street and nearly be hit by cars that won’t stop. In my time spent working at our business I’ve seen four people hit by oncoming traffic. I particularly remember one young man who I saw thrown up in the air and land flat on the floor…

Continue reading “Important Lincoln Heights Crosswalk Threatened”