Archive for January 2015

11 Ways I Would Change the Rules of the Road if I Could…

“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 Environmental impact studies are often based on outdated data, but I won’t get started on the political side of this, at least not today!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!

  1. No road construction is allowed during rush hour or on Fridays EVER.
  2. The three strikes law now applies to people who don’t use their turn signal.
  3. All natives have access to Carpool lanes. :=)
  4. 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.
  5. Employers are required to offer employees telecommuting at least 1 day a week, preferably 2. Heck, I’ll even throw in a tax credit.
  6. Motorcycles would not be allowed to rev their engines in residential areas. In fact, the three strikes law should apply here too.
  7. Restaurants and businesses are not allowed to poach street parking spaces for valet service.
  8. 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!
  9. No more speed bumps are allowed on residential streets to appease neighborhood councils.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.


2015 Running Tab of Expenses Due to Poor Road Conditions


Driving in Los Angeles, we are forced to pay more than our fair share of car related expenses. We pay more than most states for car insurance and vehicle registration. We drive cars disproportionate to our income levels (granted, a problem of our own making) and of course we pay more in maintenance because we tend to drive more. We need our cars to get around more than most other major metropolitan areas because of limited public transportation options. But, what seems most unfair is that despite our gas taxes and numerous voting measures that have passed to improve our roads, we still have among the worst roads in the nation. These poor roads translate directly to dollars out of our pocket. I thought it would be interesting to keep a running tab for 2015 on just how much money comes out of my pocket due to poor road conditions. My first expense for 2015 has surfaced and I thought I’d share it with you.

But first, last year, because of endless construction in both my neighborhood, at work and on the freeway of course, I had to replace 2 tires because of nails in the road. I hit many potholes, which lead to the need for an alignment more than once.

Back to 2015 … I have to pay the deductible on a new windshield. You’ve probably seen the beautiful “Sunset In Venice” Starry Night photo that I posted on my blog page Photos Captured on the Road. If not, check it out along with other photos I’ve taken. The stars that appear in this photo are actually pit marks on my windshield appearing as stars in the sky. I give credit to the 405 Sepulveda Pass Improvements Project for this artful masterpiece. Without the endless construction debris blowing onto my car, we would have missed out on this new brand of urban art. It also made for an interesting driving experience when driving at sunrise or sunset with the sun straight ahead, rivaling a Harold and Kumar tripping moment.

Just a couple of weeks ago, when heading North on the 405 Freeway through the Sepulveda Pass, a sizable rock hit my windshield, making it necessary for me to finally replace the windshield. While I was hugely relieved it wasn’t a bullet, the mark it left would say otherwise. So, I called my insurance company and they’ll replace it, less my deductible. So far for 2015, I’m up to $250 in expenses due to poor roads in Los Angeles.

It’ll be a little sad to say goodbye to the blinding beauty the pitmarks created on my windshield, but alas, the year is young and the construction continues.

By the way …

Thanks to those of you who expressed concern because I didn’t post last week. I’m back and all is well … I won’t let it happen again! Thanks for your continued interest. Have a wonderful week!


Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions for Drivers

What are your resolutions?

What are your resolutions?

It’s that time of the year again. We get a clean slate, or so we think, when we can start anew with the best of intentions. All bad habits are so last year. This year will be different, right?

Well, as the first new workweek of the year begins, I’d like to share what I see as the Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions drivers should adopt. I won’t state the obvious like use your seatbelt or don’t drink and drive. The law covers those pretty well. So, without further ado, here goes.

Use your turn signal – Repeat after me. It is not a sign of weakness to use your turn signal. This isn’t poker and you’re not giving up your hand by trusting another driver to let you in. Same applies if you let drivers into your lane when they signal. Just look at it as good karma. Today you let someone in; tomorrow you get a good parking space. You also can’t expect everyone in LA to have psychic powers and anticipate your next move.

Don’t accelerate when someone uses their turn signal and tries to come into your lane. More people will signal when this behavior stops.

Don’t drive on an empty tank of gas. Come on, you know that happens. You get in your car and the warning light comes on. BUT, you still have 1 bar showing you have gas. You instantly become a religious person. You pray to the driving Gods to let you get away with it this once and you promise you’ll never do it again. Ha! There’s your first lie of the new year.

Be more patient in the car. *see footnote below. Let me share with you a story that might help here. I was pulling up to a red light on a street and I was in the right turn lane. There was a gargantuan SUV in the lane to the left of me waiting for the light to turn green. I inched forward so I could see past him as he didn’t obey the law to stay behind the crosswalk. He kept inching forward making it impossible for me to see. It took me a moment before I realized he was fu*#ing with me. I looked at him and mouthed something that seemed to displease him. Let’s just say, he was clearly not a balanced person and I feared that he was about to get out of the car and come over to me and show me just how unbalanced he really was. So, here’s my point. It serves no purpose to engage an asshole in any way, particularly in a vehicle. Sometimes people get caught up in the heat of the moment and sometimes they really didn’t intend to do what they did to piss you off. In other instances they’re just complete assholes like this guy and the best thing you can do is get away from the person as quickly as possible. That’s what I did in this instance.

Don’t text and drive. It’s just not worth it. Despite what our egos tell us, our brains are not wired for multitasking. That’s why people these days just sit at an intersection, even after the light turns green. *see footnote below

Leave for work 5 minutes earlier than usual. You’ll be surprised how much less stressed and more patient you’ll be when you’re not running late and have time to spare. (I’m pretty sure this is the resolution I’m least likely to stick to, but I’m going to try. Every minute in the morning is precious especially when you’re not a morning person.)

Keep air in your tires. It’s kind of like having good posture. Everything feels and seems to work better when you’re sitting up straight. Same is true when the tire pressure is right.

Smile at a random driver at least once a day. I’m pretty sure it’ll catch the person by surprise. I’m also pretty sure that the person you smiled at will tell someone about it later. In fact, let me know how they react after you smile. If they change lanes to get away, take a look at your smile in the mirror. You just want to offer an easy, friendly smile not appear as a stalker or lech.

Practice isometrics in the car. Squeeze those buns! Odds are you made a resolution to lose weight or get more fit this year. Why not use that time sitting in traffic wisely. I don’t consider this multitasking. I also don’t recommend smiling at someone while you’re doing the isometrics.

Learn something new. Los Angeles has a decent selection of radio stations with some interesting programming. Catch up on current events, listen to books on CD or podcasts. Who knows, you never know where that next source of inspiration may come.

And the number one resolution for 2015 … Tell someone about this blog! I have a fun year planned for the blog, so please be sure to check back regularly to see what’s going on. Sign up for mybLAuto’s email list and then you won’t miss anything! I will never sell your email address.

Wishing you a happy, healthy, safe and prosperous New Year!


*You have every right to honk if someone in front of you is not paying attention because they’re texting.

© 2015 mybLAuto

Coming Soon!

Keep checking back for more shaming pictures, funky car citings and the all important New Year’s resolutons! While you’re at it, email me your New Year’s driving resolutions.

Happy New Year!