Sunday, June 25, 2006

A reminder:

That little strip of concrete or asphalt that connects the surface street to the freeway? That's called the "On Ramp". The purpose of the onramp is to allow your wheezy family bus to chug up to something approaching combat speed so that you can merge safely into the traffic on the freeway, instead of just standing there like a duck in thunder, watching the cars whiz past you.

To do this you must press down on the accelerator. If you are in a pickup, station wagon, diesel vehicle, Prius, or other such conveyance, you may need to push the accelerator all the way down to the floor to be at a reasonable speed by the end of the onramp. (The accelerator is the long, skinny pedal on the right, for those of you who are a little confused and hit the brake at the end of the onramp. )

If you follow these instructions, the crazy lady in the BMW behind you will not still be in second gear(!) at the top of the onramp, and have to blow past you in a squeal of rubber and vitriol, which I'm sure is a little disconcerting.

Also, the yellow speed signs on cloverleafs are not speed limits. They are suggested safe speeds. What they don't tell you is that 25mph is the suggested safe speed for a Corvair with shot ball joints on bald retreads after a Crisco tanker has overturned on the roadway. Normal vehicles can probably edge up to 30 or 40mph without the driver spilling their decaf latte all over their Blackberry.

That is all.

17 comments:

Myron said...

Reminds me of a story a friend told once. A lady friend of his wife's called for help. She had been rear-ended on an on ramp here in Houston. When he asked what happened she said she had stopped to let the traffic go by and pointed at the yield sign. He told her "damn, it says yield, not give up."

pdb said...

And that funny triangular white and red sign, that says 'YIELD'? Is not synonymous with the funny octagonal white and red sign that says 'STOP'.

Jebus Crispy. Last week, I was forced to merge onto I-40 at 35mph because of some bunghole in a Caprice. When my 90hp Subaru had wheezed up to 70, I looked in my mirror, and sure enough, he was blocking traffic in the LEFT LANE.

sigh. If only I could perform Force Choke...

T.Stahl said...

How true.
Even here in the land of no speed limits.

Zendo Deb said...

I wonder if these people have driven to big city... they would probably die in a place like Chicago or San Jose or LA, where there really is traffic. I have been through Knoxville at rush hour ... so called. Actually I spent one summer driving between Knoxville and Oak Ridge National Lab. So I know from Knoxville traffic.

Standard Mischief said...

I wonder if these people have driven to big city...

Nope, the idiots are here too. It's even worse than say, Nevada or Wyoming, because of poor planning and lack of open space causes the cloverleafs and acceleration lanes to be much shorter.

Because DC is a company town, you get a regular influx of dippy-mats and con-tractors from all over, even places where it never snows, and they bring their crappy driving skills with them.

As long as we are talking pet peeves, my other one is the idiots (predominantly Midwest) that slow down and pace the car they are planning to pass on four lane divided highways. Yup, they friggin slow down in the fast lane, block traffic for everyone else, pace the slow lane vehicle for a while and then slowly edge past them. Then they accelerate +20 mph and get back in the slow lane, then they slowly return down to their cruising speed. Anyone want to clue me in on WTF is going on with that?

Dr. StrangeGun said...

When I can, and I'm not ruining someone else's day, the solution to these goobers is to identify them well before it's critical and SLOW DOWN.

Yes, counterintuitive. But what happens is, you open space between yourself and them and let them booger their way into the traffic flow, and then floor it and merge somewhat normally because they've invariably slowed things down.

It works, I do it almost every other day. And I drive a 3000 pound minitruck that on a good day has 100 horsepower left over after the AC takes it's toll.

bjbarron said...

Crusing up the Garden State Parkway and NJ Turnpike as I do each day...I get caught in a different type traffic problem, one that I think is only found in the NorthEast.

Bumper to Bumper traffic...at about 85MPH. I had accidents happen so fast in front of me that I drove under the airborne cars and then congratulated myself for not getting stuck behind the accident.

Every day is an adventure in DeathRace2006 survival.

Standard Mischief said...

Cruising up the Garden State Parkway and NJ Turnpike as I do each day...

Yea, the Jersey turnpike is the antithesis of I-74, somewhere in the middle of all the freaking corn growing "I" states. Never have I seen some many people efficiently sharing an interstate. Me at 73 mph in the slow lane, getting passed by everyone. Of course, I've never seen it go Tango Uniform. I guess that would suck.

Anonymous said...

"What they don't tell you is that 25mph is the suggested safe speed for a Corvair with shot ball joints on bald retreads after a Crisco tanker has overturned on the roadway"

I always thought it meant for little old ladies, at night, in the rain, but your definition works.

farmist

Anonymous said...

What's your hurry? You're only going to work ...

boxstockracer said...

From my brother-in-law, who used to be a courier:

"The world is full of people who don't know where they're going, don't know how they're going to get there, have all the time in the world to do it, and drive like everybody else does too."

B&N said...

I've been telling my friends and wife for years that on the spot executions, via large caliber handgun rounds to the back of the head, would solve most of the attitude problems on the road and improve the gene pool to boot.

Social darwinism at work.

princewally said...

"As long as we are talking pet peeves, my other one is the idiots (predominantly Midwest) that slow down and pace the car they are planning to pass on four lane divided highways. Yup, they friggin slow down in the fast lane, block traffic for everyone else, pace the slow lane vehicle for a while and then slowly edge past them. Then they accelerate +20 mph and get back in the slow lane, then they slowly return down to their cruising speed. Anyone want to clue me in on WTF is going on with that?"


Pretty girls in the slow lane car.

Cowboy Blob said...

Ya know, I almost launch into one of these posts after every trip to Phoenix, so I'll just vent here.

Yo, Chica! Si, usted en la GM pickup de windup! That's I-10 you're merging into, not a farm road! I know further into Tucson, the limit is 55...we're not there yet! I'm not tailgating... I'm drafting! Does it help?

Anonymous said...

Hey now, don't diss the Corvair (with bald tires on Camero rims, the ball joints are ok).

You aren't having fun until 60% of car's weight (you know, the rear) is swinging around faster than it should be. Oh, did I mention I was at the main intersection of a small town where everybody knows who I am? You know, being the only nutbag with a Corvair in the area and all.

Stupid hillbilly truck with a leaking (err... holed) oil pan.

phlegmfatale said...

"Normal vehicles can probably edge up to 30 or 40mph without the driver spilling their decaf latte all over their Blackberry."

Thanks for the guffaw! You're preaching to the choir, here!

David said...

Thanks Tam. That was great. Definitely ranks in the top ten of my pet peeves.

Princewally that's my number one. These people wouldn't last 30 seconds on the Autobahn. At least in Germany blocking the left lane is considered 'criminal duress'. I'm about ready to consider it justification.