Re: Left turns

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Obligatory: http://www.qwantz.com/index.php?comic=2587


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 8:35 AM
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Also: Am I the only person who always loves that March has the same days of the weeks as February? I love having two months where multiples of 7 stay stationary.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 10:15 AM
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Consecutive months, obviously. Silly.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 10:15 AM
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No! I love that too.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 10:16 AM
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You reminded me of the most bizarre and tragic thing. I was crossing the prairie in Canada on a bike trip and came across the aftermath of a collision between two tanker trucks. This was out in the middle of nowhere in Saskatchewan, the kind of place where you might pass a car (or a tractor, just as likely) every ten minutes or so, and where the intersections are at right angles and you can see for miles, especially on this clear summer day. So the chances that these two trucks would crash was extremely remote (I don't remember if one of them had a stop sign), but they did, and one of the drivers was killed. When I rode up, the ambulance had left, but the trucks were there and someone was hosing off the road. So there was this pointless death in the middle of nothing but peace and quiet for miles around.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 10:30 AM
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2, 4, no.

Is there no convention? Here, you are supposed to do-si-do, unless there are markings on the ground to go in front of each other. (At least, that's what I've been doing all these years.)


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 10:33 AM
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6: the convention is usually go in front, at least in the parts of this country I know about. There was an intersection near our house where pass-then-turn (not gonna call it do-si-do) was more workable, and the confusion made everything terrible.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 10:37 AM
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I've never seen the pass-then-turn and it sounds very unsafe, but I guess it's not too different from having a shared turning lane.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 10:39 AM
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I really hope this thread takes off. For some reason I find it super fascinating.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 10:54 AM
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I just checked the Highway Code and they say going behind is safer because you have a clear view of any approaching traffic when completing your turn. If you go in front, the other car can block your view of oncoming vehicles, so take extra care!


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 10:57 AM
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6: Thinking back to it, I don't think I ever once did the do-si-do when I drove in the UK. I hope I didn't accidentally cut someone off. But you have roundabouts almost everywhere (and yield signs!) which are clearly superior to every other solution.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 10:57 AM
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I'm not sure there's much more to say heebie, but I'm trying, I really am.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 10:57 AM
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The intersection near our old apartment the intersecting roads are relatively narrow (1 lane each direction) and the intersection is at an acute angle; if you want to pass in front you have to take a really shallow, unnatural angle on the turn. The problem is that what ends up happening is that people will line up to do the pass-then-turn thing, but then people will pull into the intersection behind them, preventing the opposite-direction turner from doing their pass-then-turn; if this happens in both directions, then traffic is basically instantly gridlocked.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 10:58 AM
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If you go in front, the other car can block your view of oncoming vehicles, so take extra care!

This is, in fact, a common problem! When I was trying to game out scenarios, I was picturing two left-turners inching past each other to better see, and then when one goes, they hit the next left-turner head on.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 10:59 AM
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But you have roundabouts almost everywhere (and yield signs!) which are clearly superior to every other solution.

Little roundabouts are useful but big ones are hell.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 11:03 AM
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The obvious solution is to have everyone do the Texas Star. Might not be safer, but it would be fun.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 11:06 AM
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I really hope this thread takes off. For some reason I find it super fascinating.

I tried!

Anyhoo, there are a couple of intersections near me where one streets jogs over a bit, requiring you to do-si-do, but often you come across drivers who don't know they're at a square dance. (Portland driving is characterized by a combination of aimlessness and passive aggression). At a normal foursquare intersection, though, I'd never do a pass-then-turn.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 11:07 AM
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_______|       |_________
        --------\
                \----
_______        __________
            |       |
 

Here is my attempt to illustrate the traffic problem I described with ascii! - are cars, / are cars that are attempting to turn.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 11:08 AM
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Yup that didn't work at all.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 11:08 AM
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15: I thought the big ones were great, too, although multilane ones would scare me if they were placed in an area where people don't know the rules. I never drove on a magic roundabout and those seem like they could be hellish.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 11:12 AM
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You guys are doing great!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 11:12 AM
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Here the convention* for intersections like in the OP (two lane road crossing four lanes separated by a center median wide enough for a car to pause in while turning) is for a second left-turning car to make its left turn while the first left-turning car is still waiting, so you could have a four-car do-si-do. Or maybe it would be more accurate to say that two cars would do-si-do while simultaneously promenading with another car on their right.

*as followed by Maryland drivers


Posted by: Todd | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 11:13 AM
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Little roundabouts are useful but big ones are hell.

No, little ones - assuming you mean proper mini-roundabouts - are annoying, because people don't usually use them properly and the third arm tends to give way to the more main road. So you might as well just have a give way sign and then everyone would know what's what.

Big ones are great. And if you don't know where you're going, tough shit.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 11:15 AM
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Rotaries (like roundabouts, but located in Massachusetts) here are fun because they often lack lane or exit markings, so it's really more like a very short nascar track with potholes and some arbitrarily large number of pit entrances and exits.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 11:15 AM
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Rotaries (like roundabouts, but located in Massachusetts)

Oh, you mean peenie-weenies.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 11:16 AM
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We have plenty of little roundabouts here but not many big ones. One of the latter has this statue of Joan of Arc (a copy of the one in the Place des Pyramides; apparently Philadelphia and New Orleans have copies as well). I've always suspected that it was placed there because zee roundabout eez so very Frensh.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 11:17 AM
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Or maybe it would be more accurate to say that two cars would do-si-do while simultaneously promenading with another car on their right.

Excellent.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 11:17 AM
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The do-si-do comes with the danger of twirling your partner round and round.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 11:20 AM
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Allemande left with the corner gal.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 11:23 AM
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I have never had a driver's license, and I've long been scared that if I learned to drive, I would intuitively do-si-do and kill myself and others, as per 1.


Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 11:24 AM
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Ladies to the center and back to the bar
Gents to the center with a right hand star
Other way back with a left hand star
Wave to your own and pass her by
Catch that next girl on the fly
Star promenade!

Traffic circles are indeed for weenies.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 11:29 AM
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When the caller says "partner trade", you have to switch cars with the other driver.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 11:30 AM
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In MA, the convention is two-fold:

1. As soon as the light turns green you quickly turn left before the oncoming traffic smashes you. They expect you to do this but may try to smash you anyway.

2. If you are turning left from other than the left-most lane, you may do-si-do if you feel like it, but that's for wimps, really.

Wait! Three-fold:

3. Actually, just do whatever seems mostly likely to get you where you want to be faster, and if the other people involved don't like it, flip 'em the bird.

(Convention #3 is actually the convention for all MA traffic decisions.)


Posted by: DaveL | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 11:39 AM
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23: There's definitely a minimum size below which roundabouts are silly and so you get something like this.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 11:44 AM
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They expect you to do this but may try to smash you anyway

So true! Apart from Montreal, MA (well, the Boston area) is the only place I can think of where drivers actually seem like they want to kill you.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 11:46 AM
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This is an extremely weird stretch of little tiny roundabouts. Not totally sure what they were trying to accomplish along there. It definitely slows the city bus down, maybe that was the plan.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 11:47 AM
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Big ones are great. And if you don't know where you're going, tough shit.

Ha ha, or if other people don't know where they're going they just go random places on top of you.

It's true that teeny ones are silly.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 11:49 AM
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35: they just want you to think that. Ideally they won't have to kill you.

Actually as a pedestrian I find drivers (well, cabs) much worse, with the attempting to push through crowded crosswalks thing.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 11:49 AM
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In fact, really I just hate most roundabouts and do my best to route myself to avoid them at all times. Fuck them.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 11:50 AM
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Somehow I omitted the "in NYC" part of 38.2 IN NYC. Cabs in Boston don't do that, generally.

In general I think things are pretty pedestrian friendly here, the reputation of the drivers notwithstanding, in part because you can't get up much speed, and in part because there seems to be something of a collective agreement that if pedestrians are aggressive enough they should get treated as plausibly as dangerous as cars.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 11:51 AM
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Rotaries are pretty fun on a bike. Like a slingshot around the sun!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 11:52 AM
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35: We have a few stretches of those too, and invariably, bus stops are located at the little traffic islands. RAGE. But it probably inspires more people to bike and walk.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 11:53 AM
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We now have a teeny peenie-about-round on our block, replacing a (lightly used) four-way stop. They held a neighborhood meeting to explain how to use it.

People have so much trouble with the concept of "it's not polite to stop and let someone on. Go. Let them yield." Even I do. It's quiet and it just feels vaguely like you should stop and let them on before you, to be polite.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 11:56 AM
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Come to think, one of those teeny roundabouts is mostly a do-si-so enforcer. All it's really doing is forcing you to cross behind the other car.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 12:07 PM
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36: We encountered a lot of close-spaced ones in Ireland, too. Sometimes the only indication that it was a roundabout (other than a sign, admittedly) was a white disc the size of a manhole cover painted on the road.

I think wherever we'd just have an intersection in the US, they think, "Let's put in a roundabout."

Roundabouts plus driving on the "wrong" side of the side = tension.

43: +1 to that! Of course that sounds like "Opinionated Massachusetts Driver" speaking, but stopping in a rotary is very bad and dangerous.


Posted by: DaveL | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 12:07 PM
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Driving in Boston was horrendous, at least as much because of my impaired sense of direction as the other drivers, but I never got into an accident. Then, one day, a tree fell on the car. True!


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 12:08 PM
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36: Those are common in NZ small towns. Beats having traffic lights, especially in off-peak hours.

43: That's cute. I can only imagine the horrors that would occur with a two-laner.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 12:10 PM
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I have no idea what the OP is describing. Anyone got a picture?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 12:10 PM
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one of those teeny roundabouts is mostly a do-si-so enforcer

I love this thread.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 12:11 PM
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There's an intersection here similar to the one Sifu described in 13*, but the main road is wide enough that the stacking problem generally doesn't occur. The biggest issue is that it's such a big intersection that you have to pull really shockingly deep into it in order to be able to do the do-si-do. Like, you're almost all the way to the opposing STOP HERE ON RED line before you get your chance to turn left.

The pavement is also really horribly washboarded (at a large scale - ripples, not ridges) that it makes the whole thing feel that much more dangerous.

In general, I love driving and view it as challenging, not stressful. It helps that, as I've mentioned before, I've got really good situational awareness, so I'm just not that worried about what everyone else is doing - I see them coming a mile away, so to speak.

*by Schenley HS


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 12:12 PM
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44: thread unity!


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 12:12 PM
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Then, one day, a tree fell on the car. True!

Doesn't count unless it flipped you the bird first.


Posted by: DaveL | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 12:14 PM
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Whoa: the linked map in 36 looks completely different to what I'm accustomed to. Did Google just overhaul their interface, or did Sifu do something weird with his linkage? Is it "Lite Mode"?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 12:15 PM
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It helps that, as I've mentioned before, I've got really good situational awareness,

This is just begging to be mocked. You probably anticipated that, though.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 12:16 PM
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People have so much trouble with the concept of "it's not polite to stop and let someone on. Go. Let them yield."

We just got a new roundabout in downtown, and at first it slowed everything down, but now that people are used to it, I rather like it.

The way that I intuitively arrive at "it's not polite to stop and let someone on" is, "once you're in the roundabout you don't have to pay attention to any cars outside of the roundabout. You can just drive until you reach your exit."


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 12:17 PM
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50.last makes me wonder: just about the only time I'm ever stressed while driving is in poor visibility (fog, whiteout, downpour), and perhaps that's because I rely so heavily on knowing where every potential danger is anywhere around me. I mean, I get that nobody likes driving in poor visibility, but other people also get stressed out in e.g. Manhattan traffic, and I totally don't. PCH neither, despite the scary cliffs and such.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 12:18 PM
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Did Google just overhaul their interface

Not just, but just for everyone.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 12:19 PM
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I won't make fun of JRoth, because he's telling us he's Jason Bourne.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 12:20 PM
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54: No doubt.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 12:21 PM
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PCH neither

But PCH is easy, flatlander*. The one I've been scared off is the so-called million dollar highway between Silverton and Ouray, CO. An unflappable friend called it "harrowing," but surely one of you will tell me what a piece of cake it is, because you're Jason Bourne's dad.

*I know, I know, Pittsburgh has hills.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 12:24 PM
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'People have so much trouble with the concept of "it's not polite to stop and let someone on. Go. Let them yield."'

Also applies to things other than traffic.


Posted by: dz | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 12:24 PM
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57: OK, thanks. It was just surprising because I was looking at a map not 2 days ago, but I hadn't read anything about a new interface.

58: Or Sterling Archer, as the case may be.

Seriously, though, it also enables me to walk my dog off-leash. I mean, he's a good, obedient dog, that's a prerequisite, but I also am seeing potential situations and reading peoples' body language/reactions in plenty of time to grab the dog or cross the street or just get his attention so that there's no issues.

Socially, of course, I have very literal awareness at all.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 12:25 PM
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60: Never been to that part of CO. I'm sure I've been on roads that scared me, but not often. Actually, the Skyway Bridge (or whatever it's called) in Tampa scares me a bit, but that's partly because the first time I drove it there was a crazy crosswind and it was night, so those were shitty conditions. Seven Mile Bridge in the Keys freaks me out as well, but I think that's just the crazy length - 7 miles with nothing to think about except, "what if something weird happened?" It's not as if any of the big bridges around NYC faze me in the least, and those are long and high.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 12:32 PM
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In 62.last, literal=little.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 12:33 PM
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I'm sure I've been on roads that scared me, but not often

I've linked it before here, but it never gets old: driving some of these roads, I wouldn't know whether to shit or go blind.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 12:56 PM
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I have no idea what the OP is describing. Anyone got a picture?

Thank god it's not just me.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 12:57 PM
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I wouldn't know whether to shit or go blind

Someone needs to use this expression with regard to first dates. A guy I know told of hopping on a lorry on some crazy dangerous road in Nepal, only to have them throw him off, for whatever reason. He was pissed, but watched the lorry drive off to where the road collapsed beneath it and it went down the cliff.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 1:03 PM
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I assume you two are just reading too fast and not stopping to diagram as you go.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 1:05 PM
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If you adjust my ASCII so that it look right it should be perfectly clear.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 1:05 PM
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Oh god, staring out the window on road trips as a child destroys spatial reasoning.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 1:06 PM
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69: I thought your ASCII was ok, but I understood the situation to begin with, so...

Whoa, just got a strong taste for the kind of mediocre corned beef and cabbage I grew up with. Hmm.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 1:08 PM
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I gave a try at ASCII art for what I understood the original post to say. Alas Unfogged does some weird filtering on pre/code tags, so go here instead. Imagine that the drivers start at the ^/v at the same time and proceed at identical speeds.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 1:14 PM
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Oh, I just read it again. Here you go, Paren.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 1:15 PM
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Woot! Identical diagrams!


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 1:17 PM
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The words totally meant something until I got to do-si-do.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 1:22 PM
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Roundabouts are starting to show up in Chicago and even more in Calumet County Wisconsin, near Sheboygan, which I also frequent. They are very small, tight and low-speed compared with the big ones in France, but the principle is the same "en principe" Since the Wisconsin and Chicago ones replace the pre-existing intersection, they can't be very big w/o some expensive eminent domain.

I remember printing an article from Salon years ago about how unregulated traffic in a large 3rd World city like Lagos was often surprisingly efficient and safe. Anybody know anything more about that?


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 1:26 PM
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67: Ha. Looks like I used the same expression the last time I shared that link, which means I'm becoming a repeating-himself old fuck, but at least I didn't die on the Karakoram Highway.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 1:27 PM
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That Bolivian road of death is so amazing. The Top Gear on that thing was great. I'll probably drive a mountain road with some pretty serious hairpins this weekend.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 1:38 PM
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||Question from my amazing gym owner: "I plan on eating a raw adrenal gland from a very good source of cow tonight (its never been frozen and about a week old). Anyone know anything about the possibility of this killing me?"

I feel like you guys could help out on this one.|>


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 1:43 PM
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I guess that was more of an "ask the mineshaft" than a "pause-play."


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 1:44 PM
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Adrenochrome! According to Hunter S. Thompson, can't possibly go wrong.

"Well," I said. "All this white stuff on my sleeve is LSD." He said nothing: Merely grabbed my arm and began sucking on it. A very gross tableau. I wondered what would happen if some Kingston Trio/young stockbroker type might wander in and catch us in the act. Fuck him, I thought. With a bit of luck, it'll ruin his life -- forever thinking that just behind some narrow door in all his favorite bars, men in red Pendleton shirts are getting incredible kicks from things he'll never know. Would he dare to suck a sleeve? Probably not. Play it safe. Pretend you never saw it....

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 1:58 PM
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Not that the quoted passage is about adrenochrome, I just always liked it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 1:58 PM
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Here's the adrenochrome passage>:

I shook my head sadly. "Jesus! What kind of monster client have you picked up this time? There's only one source for this stuff ..."

He nodded.

"The adrenaline glands from a living human body," I said. "It's no good if you get it out of a corpse."

"I know," he replied. "But the guy didn't have any cash. He's one of these Satanism freaks. He offered me human blood -- said it would make me higher than I'd ever been in my life," he laughed. "I thought he was kidding, so I told him I'd just as soon have an ounce or so of pure adrenochrome -- or maybe just a fresh adrenalin gland to chew on."

I could already feel the stuff working on me. The first wave felt like a combination of mescaline and methedrine. Maybe I should take a swim, I thought.

"Yeah," my attorney was saying. "They nailed this guy for child molesting, but he swears he didn't do it. 'Why should I fuck with children?' he says; 'They're too small!'" He shrugged. "Christ, what could I say? Even a goddamn werewolf is entitled to legal counsel ... I didn't dare turn the creep down. He might have picked up a letter opener and gone after my pineal gland."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 2:02 PM
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The Economist* had an article recently about Sweden's determined effort to reduce traffic fatalities to zero. They seemed to be well on their way, with a combination of reduced speed limits in cities and suburbs, sturdy dividers between opposite lanes of traffic, restrictions on passing, etc., etc.

Of course, none of that could be accomplished in the U.S. because Joe Dumbass thinks speed limits are an unconstitutional taking. Democracy doesn't work.

* Leave me alone.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 2:28 PM
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That Bolivian road of death is so amazing. The Top Gear on that thing was great

I've never been able to get into Top Gear but I know I'm missing a lot up my alley, so to speak. Did they mention the young Juan Manuel Fangio, and the Mechanica Nationale races?

Used to fire my imagination as a kid, the story of the hero mechanic and his homemade cars.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 2:33 PM
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84. Keep hope.

Young people are much less interested in cars than they used to be. Speeding for identity or even getting a car painted a special color will be unfashionable.

What do you think about the poor bondholders treated so unfairly after Detroit's bankruptcy? 20 cents on the dollar, and not being allowed to sell off the art museum either. If only people understood the real meaning of freedom.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 2:46 PM
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Oh god, staring out the window on road trips as a child destroys spatial reasoning.

It's true, I'm terrible at it.

Oh, I just read it again. Here you go, Paren.

Alas Unfogged does some weird filtering on pre/code tags, so go here instead.

All is made clear, at last! Thanks.

I miss driving in the US. I haven't enjoyed driving here, to the point that I've not followed up on getting a new license for the last year.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 2:54 PM
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What do you think about the poor bondholders treated so unfairly after Detroit's bankruptcy? 20 cents on the dollar, and not being allowed to sell off the art museum either.

Bankruptcy risk is part of the risk profile. If you don't think it can happen to your bonds, then you are the sucker at the table.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 3:02 PM
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There are a couple of superceded stretches of US95 that are pretty hairpinny. Idaho 64 from Nez Perce to Kamiah is a pretty good thrill. They ought to run a race on NF 493 from Pittsburg Landing, in Hells Canyon, to White Bird, just off the Salmon.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 3:14 PM
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79: Ew, but probably not going to kill anyone, especially if butchered cleanly (although how one figures that out I have no idea other than watching the process). Bacteria can grow in refrigeration, but they grow more slowly.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 4:10 PM
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No one should watch Top Gear, bunch of cunts. Or maybe that's too harsh on the other two muppets, but Clarkson definitely.

There's a show called The World's Most Dangerous Roads which has nice celebrities driving in stupid places.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 4:23 PM
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92

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01kwgsp because I always type links wrong on my phone.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 4:24 PM
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93

The city I currently live in claims to have the "Worlds Largest Roundabout," at 2.2 miles long. It encloses a huge park that is usually quite deserted.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 5:09 PM
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94

Technically, I-270 in Columbus is just a really big roundabout.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 5:13 PM
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95

I've always found driving slightly terrifying anyway, and I never had any idea this "do-si-do" thing ever happened, so now next time I drive I'm going to be even more terrified that someone is going to try to do this and I won't understand and everyone will die.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 5:40 PM
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96

Any interstate in the two hundreds is.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 5:41 PM
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97

For some reason 95 made me want to offer to give essear Boston driving lessons. No? Why, Sifu?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 5:42 PM
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98

96 to 94.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 5:42 PM
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99

I've never lived any place more interstated than Columbus, Ohio.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 6:09 PM
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I believed that Washington legally preferred the do-si-do, as an effect of left turns ceding right-of-way to oncoming cars. But lots of people don't do-si-do, maybe most drivers.

Also, I don't know how to parse this:

(2) Left turns. The driver of a vehicle intending to turn left shall approach the turn in the extreme left-hand lane lawfully available to traffic moving in the direction of travel of the vehicle. Whenever practicable the left turn shall be made to the left of the center of the intersection and so as to leave the intersection or other location in the extreme left-hand lane lawfully available to traffic moving in the same direction as the vehicle on the roadway being entered.

To the left of the center of the intersection... well, yes, I have to go through that section to turn left. But when?


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 6:22 PM
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99: when I visited there my hosts drove me to dinner via an interstate, and when I checked the map later I was pretty sure we could have walked to the place in under 15 minutes.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 6:24 PM
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102

Possibly there wasn't a safe, direct path to walk.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 6:29 PM
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103

Just wanted to get as close as I could to an Every Which Way But Loose reference. Been bothering that no one else has. Carry on.


Posted by: Clyde | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 6:31 PM
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100: It means before you're halfway (at the center) going in the forwards direction, not left to right (where yes, you must cross the center). It's saying not to do-si-do.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 6:34 PM
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105

101: Where is the nice place to take people there now?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 6:35 PM
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I think the "view blocked by another car" thing is a big deal and makes the do-si-do preferable. Especially when you drive a tiny car among monster SUVs.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 7:02 PM
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107

I learned to drive before I-270 was finished, and worked construction and drove trucks while things like the crosstown were being worked on. The place really is carved up by expressways. Katzinger's Deli, on Livingston Ave, is a good example of the contrast. It's on the edge of German Village, but the crosstown runs right up to Livingston. This seems perfectly normal until you live someplace else for a while.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 9:00 PM
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93: You live in a vastly more interesting place than I do. Not very round, though. Are there any multilane exit roads where the exit-from-inner-lane rule applies?

96: Any interstate in the two hundreds is[ just a really big roundabout].

Really? I thought Interstate 2XY was just the second spur road off of Interstate XY, like 279. I does give you access to an ersatz ring road of interstates, but I don't think it forms part of any meaningful ring itself.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 03- 6-14 9:42 PM
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109

Are there any multilane exit roads where the exit-from-inner-lane rule applies?

There is one, although I wouldn't say that traffic rules "apply", so much as they "are occasionally observed."


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 03- 7-14 4:21 AM
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108.last: they aren't always ring roads, but they aren't spurs; YXX interstates where Y is even start and end at an interstate, which in practice means that they tend to be ring roads or ring-ish bypasses.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 7-14 4:45 AM
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I find it completely impossible to mentally map American descriptions of driving. I can sort of translate everything to 'both doing right turns' and then connect in the possibility of collision, and then think, 'well, that's almost every cross-roads type junction I can think of that's not a motorway or roundabout.' Most of the ones I use regularly which aren't formally marked in some way, the cars go in front [contra the Highway Code, as per asilon's 10] but that's largely because they are 'yellow box' type junctions, so people tend not enter them unless they can nip right anyway.*

Often when they are marked, you do go behind.

* although checking, it turns out you can sit in a yellow box if you are going right.

http://www.tfl.gov.uk/roadusers/redroutes/959.aspx



Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03- 7-14 4:48 AM
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I really wish Boston would get with the program of ticketing people for blocking the intersection. I think it's mostly illegal, but it's also ubiquitous, as is the theory that if you are in the intersection at all then you should get the right of way until you're through, which creates a huge incentive for people to jam as many of their cars in the intersection as possible and, in some places, means that as a rule more than half the walk cycle is taken up with cars clearing the intersection. Yaaay.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 7-14 5:15 AM
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I'm not a driver, but my sense is that say 40 years ago to pass in front of another car on a right (in Britain) turn was regarded as morally equivalent to overtaking on the inside. You would certainly be hooted from all quarters and if there was a cop in sight they might even pull you over and chew you out. But at some point it changed and now everybody passes in front. Was the highway code rewritten on this point, or what?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 03- 7-14 5:19 AM
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114

People here honk and gesture if you block the box.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03- 7-14 5:21 AM
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I wonder if it's traffic levels? If there's several cars turning right and they all enter the junction to try and go behind the effect is to block the junction completely to the right-turning car in the opposite lane. Whereas if both are turning in front, there can be a flow of multiple cars without blocking the junciton.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03- 7-14 5:22 AM
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116

13 to 115.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 7-14 5:46 AM
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You'll get your do-si-dos when I get my shared social understanding of the superiority of dynamic late zipper merge.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03- 7-14 6:05 AM
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People here honk and gesture if you block the box.

People here honk and gesture if you honk at them for blocking the box. Total annihilation of the social contract. They also get bent out of shape if you pass them on the way to doing a dynamic late zipper merge, because they think you're being selfish when in fact you're doing your part to achieve traffic efficiency and harmony. Yet another reason why biking is the preferred mode of transportation, but drivers get in a snit about cyclists too.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03- 7-14 7:22 AM
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Speaking of which, I must have been having a bad search day when we had the merging post a while back as I have now found much better supporting material for Dynamic Late Merge*.

First, worst-looking page with the best stuff if you are interested in traffic science in general. (including a link to this in-depth monograph on Traffic Flow Theort.)

Better results for late merge:

The primary intent of the Late Merge developed by the PennDOT is to reduce the road rage between early and late mergers by informing drivers that it is permissible for traffic to travel in both lanes to the merge point. Although it is not standard practice, the Late Merge is used regularly at work zones on freeways by one PennDOT district office. No problems have been reported with its use, and it seems to be well received by drivers. A study of its operational effects found that it increased the capacity of the merging operations by as much as 15 percent
"A lot of drivers think that if they merge into the open lane as early as possible, that they are helping to keep traffic moving. But all it really does is create an empty lane without any cars in it, and a crawling, grid-locked lane opposite," says James. "People think it's courteous and makes them feel good without realizing that they are in fact causing a lot of trouble for everybody on the road."

Michigan controlled experiment:
Early Merge        Late Merge
Avg. Travel Time (sec/10,000 ft/veh)
272.44            167.46
Avg. Travel Speed (mph)
29.5                  47.57
Avg. No. of Stops per 10,000 ft/veh
1.89                  1
Avg. Delay (sec/10,000 ft/veh)
181.25            67.58
Avg. Total Throughput (vph)
990                 1207

*And all of these results are despite the persistent anti-social behavior of the Traffic Engineering Luddites among us. In the Michigan one for instance, 25% of traffic still merged early despite the signage encouraging them to behave rationally rather than like self-righteous dumb shits.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03- 7-14 7:30 AM
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120

Jesus understands.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03- 7-14 7:30 AM
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I'm usually in favor of late zipper merge. But there was one instance where I was in a two mile, 40 minute back up for an off-ramp (because the Port Authority had understaffed a toll booth on a holiday weekend) and no way in hell was anyone getting in that line via a late merge. Sometimes you got to pay your dues.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 03- 7-14 9:01 AM
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121: Depending on the configuration, I might not count that as a legitimate late merge; if it is 2 lanes that *must* go down to 1 it is, but if the 2nd lane also has the option to just continue on, then it isn't. In the latter case, if you gamble on being able to get in late and it is instead completely backed up, your obligation is to proceed on to the next exit.

There is a road configuration near here that will be hard to describe but which features a legitimate "screw the late mergers" configuration followed almost immediately by a place where unnecessarily early merging causes back ups that fuck up the initial merge. Probably needs a picture but:

Two lane limited-access splits with left lane "continuing" (with much more traffic) while the right lane goes over a bridge (much less traffic). Most people understand what is coming and get over in the left lane early (appropriately). Shortly after that a lane "from" the bridge comes back in making it a two-lane freeway again (no merge necessary).

But even past the potentially contentious merge point, the traffic is very slow on the single lane. What I observe is just past where the 2nd lane comes back in, people are trying to almost immediately merge to the right. There are two heavily-used intersections 1 and 1.5 mile further on so a lot of people are positioning to get off. Bu they have a mile or a mile and a half, if they understood that their job coming out of the first merge is to build up speed and make it a normal two-lane freeway as soon as possible, and *then* merge over it would work much better. As it is, they insist on being slow cars merging into faster traffic with all of the delays that causes, which backs up the actual 2->1 lane merge much worse than it otherwise would need to be.

I blame inappropriate early merge instincts.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03- 7-14 9:38 AM
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Depending on the configuration, I might not count that as a legitimate late merge; if it is 2 lanes that *must* go down to 1 it is, but if the 2nd lane also has the option to just continue on, then it isn't.

Yeah, that was the configuration. Having to explain that exception is going to be pretty tough for Late Merge Evangelests in communicating to an Easily Confused Public.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 03- 8-14 6:12 AM
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123: Yes, that has occurred to me. And even if it is recognized as a different situation altogether (the framing I like rather than thinking of it as an "exception"), it also requires a level of awareness in the moment that is hardly universal among drivers. Ah well, the driverless cars will get it right.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03- 8-14 7:28 AM
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