“Yes I would, if I could, I surely would!” Simon & Garfunkel
This past weekend, I found myself wishing I had stayed home because it took me FOREVER to get anywhere I needed to go. Saturday night, I was heading out to dinner in West LA near Santa Monica Blvd. and the 405. I had to travel about 6-7 miles and it should have taken about 20 minutes, maybe 30. The problem is it took 30 minutes to get from the beach to Lincoln Blvd., a distance of about 2 miles. There was no accident causing the traffic jam. It wasn’t rush hour. It’s a problem of overpopulation and overdevelopment in a small concentrated area. No one is immune to this anymore driving in Los Angeles. It’s not just on the Westside or Downtown. It’s in the Valley and all over. And sadly, there are no truly effective shortcuts remaining to bypass the gridlock.
Despite these problems all over Los Angeles, the development continues with little regard for the consequences — noise, traffic, lack of parking, etc. Environmental impact studies are often based on outdated data, but I won’t get started on the political side of this, at least not today!
It got me thinking though if I had the power to change the rules of the road in some way, what would I change. Here are some of my ideas. Yes, this is a fantasy, but hey, it’s good to have some fantasies!
- No road construction is allowed during rush hour or on Fridays EVER.
- The three strikes law now applies to people who don’t use their turn signal.
- All natives have access to Carpool lanes. :=)
- Bicycles (and bike lanes) are not allowed on streets where it reduces the number of lanes of traffic. (Seriously, it amazes and annoys me how many already extremely busy roads now have just one lane each way to drive so that they can accommodate bicycles. So now, if you want to adhere to the 3′ law when passing bikes, you have to drive into opposing traffic to pass them. Not so safe. Not so smart.
- Employers are required to offer employees telecommuting at least 1 day a week, preferably 2. Heck, I’ll even throw in a tax credit.
- Motorcycles would not be allowed to rev their engines in residential areas. In fact, the three strikes law should apply here too.
- Restaurants and businesses are not allowed to poach street parking spaces for valet service.
- Real estate developers when applying for permits (and the politicians who approve the projects) will be required to direct traffic on busy intersections during rush hour. That’ll put a stop to the overdevelopment!
- No more speed bumps are allowed on residential streets to appease neighborhood councils.
- Shuttle bus services in neighborhoods will be provided to help cut down on the number of cars on the road. It’s a great way to promote staying local and supporting local businesses too.
- There would be a moratorium of any further development in any densely populated areas until a complete and effective public transportation system is in place.
Do you have any rules of the road you’d like to add to this list?
I wish you a good work week. Drive safely out there.