Archive for Driving Annoyances

The Rain Paradox – things that make you go hmm

Wash Me

Wash Me










Have you ever noticed when it rains a clean car gets dirty and a dirty car gets clean? See if you can guess which way it went for my car Thursday night.



Can you Imagine Driving in a City Where Stepford Wives are Driving?

Sorry for the delay in my post, but I just returned from spending a weekend in Tucson, Arizona. I witnessed something I don’t think I’ve ever seen on the roads in Los Angeles — an open lane, I mean wide open. The lane was under construction more than 1/4 mile up the road. There was a sign that read “Merge Left — Lane Closed Ahead.” We know those signs. They’re on every other road we traverse in Los Angeles. The funny thing is people were actually heeding the message, not at the front of the lane where it was closed, but about 1/4 mile back. Do you get what I’m saying? The lane was wide open with NO cars. What was an even more bizarre sight to see, the cars in the left lane were lined up that 1/4 mile distance one right behind the next. No one was vying to get as close to the front of the right lane as possible before merging. No one was attempting to cut anyone off because they couldn’t wait their turn. I’ve truly never seen anything like it driving in Los Angeles! I wanted to take a picture, but it wasn’t safe and of course being the driving trailblazer that I am, I drove up to the front of the right lane before merging. I was the only driver who dared. I have to confess, it was enormously satisfying to bypass all the traffic in the left lane in mere seconds. What can I say; I’m a Los Angeleno through and through.

This experience left me feeling like I was in a parallel universe where people not only obey the rules of the road, but they also take on a Stepford Wife demeanor. They slow down when someone wants to change lanes. They let people in ALL THE TIME. They use their signals. I will say, I saw one car not signal on the road, but he had a NY license plate. It wasn’t such a big deal though because everyone drives so slowly already!

Are all Tucsonans exceptionally considerate? Or perhaps all Los Angelenos are just rude? It’s stress. Clearly, we drive in a city that is bursting at the seams. It’s a natural response to want to get out of the situation and move ahead as quickly as possible. We’re so programmed to drive offensively, it’s just become second nature to be impatient when we have to wait.

When I returned home to Los Angeles and got in my car, I decided to see how long I could drive like a Tucsonan. It was a test. I would not outpace the speed of traffic on any road I traveled. I would let people in my lane. I already do signal, so that’s not an issue. But, I would be patient and considerate. And so I was … for at least an hour.


Car Shame of the Day

The guy below on the right in the little black Ford drove up the right shoulder bypassing the two lanes of cars patiently waiting to get on the freeway. Way to go! You got about 5 cars ahead before coming to an abrupt stop on the freeway because of traffic.

(Note the color of the car and my assessment of what the color means in my last post!)

Also, be sure to check out the Car Shaming Page if you haven’t seen it lately. Got any car shaming pictures to share? Send them to me and I’ll be happy to post.

Car Shame of the Day

Car Shame of the Day

Picking on Priuses and PT Cruisers

Why is it that 8 times out if 10 when I get stuck behind a ridiculously slow car it’s a Prius? The other 2 times it seems to a PT Cruiser, clearly not the turbo charged version. I suspect the PT cruiser (or any variation of that car) would rank higher if there were more on the road. It’s true. This is based on empirical evidence. It occurred to me that I should post photos proving my point. There’s plenty of time for this as I suspect this condition will not change any time soon.

I have observed, however, that it’s never a black Prius that goes slow. It’s typically the lighter colors. I believe that’s because there’s a cool factor associated with owning a black colored car even for someone who owns a Prius, doubly true if they have tinted windows. No one cool would be caught driving 45 MPH on the freeway. Think of the car scene in the beginning of Revenge of the Nerds.

Speaking of, do you ever wonder what the color of your car says about your personality? Stay tuned. I’ll have some great insights on this coming soon.

Have a safe weekend.

Marci Freud 


Seeing Red!

Who else is seeing red?

Who else is seeing red?










Just thought I’d take a quick look to see how the commute home is looking. Not TOO bad for me … yet. Feeling sorry for the folks heading the other way on the 405. The 101 is worse though.

Ode to the Red Light Shuffle


Poet's Corner

Poet’s Corner













Listen up everyone
’cause there’s a new dance
It’s taking LA by storm
but you gotta have the right form.
If doing it isn’t a must
then you’ll be left behind in the dust.

No doe see doe
no dips, no show
It’s a vehicle prance
a drivers stance
where the position is sought
for the prime spot
When the light turns green
it’s not being mean
It’s the Red Light Shuffle

Make your move
turn your head
It’s all about precision
for the coveted position
to take off like a rocket
Now don’t you mock it
Just put your pedal to the metal
and don’t you settle
or you’ll miss out on the Red Light Shuffle!

Your behind a Prius and the light turns red
You either move away or your gonna need a med
Cause the cars will fly by in the other lane
while you’re left behind to go insane
Then the light turns green
and you can’t escape the scene
You missed out on the red light shuffle!

No doe see doe
no dips, no show
It’s a vehicle prance
a driver’s stance
where the position is sought
for the prime spot
When the light turns green
It’s not being mean
It’s the Red Light Shuffle.

Happy Monday! Proceed out there with caution. Don’t get into a scuffle with the red light shuffle, but do let me know how many people you see today doing the dance including you.

Marci Allan Poe

P.S. I haven’t given up my day job … yet.

P.P.S. Just wait until I put this to music!

My Life on the Road – What a Morning!

You ever have one of those days where every driving choice you make is the wrong one? You change lanes hoping to get ahead, but somehow end up farther behind than if you stayed in the same lane. It almost feels like you’re moving backwards. It’s been one of those mornings for me. You would think that I, more than anyone else, would know better than to get stuck in the Obama traffic nightmare.

Here’s my morning and how it went down. I had a doctor’s appointment in Beverly Hills at 9:30 a.m. (Don’t worry Mom, it was just an annual check-up.) I allowed 50 minutes to get there from the Marina. That should have been adequate. After all, it used to be that Friday morning traffic was light in Los Angeles.

Before leaving my home, I checked where the Obama Motorcade closures were so I could avoid any delays. I consulted with my bible — — and knew to avoid the freeways. I was feeling pretty smug. I’m in the know. I know where to avoid the traffic hassles! Well, the traffic Gods were laughing at me, cackling really. As I headed East down Venice Blvd. past Overland, I suddenly encountered gridlock. The traffic all but stopped entirely. I sat for about 15 minutes moving maybe 50 feet. I’ve been fasting since the night before, which means I’m already a little cranky. I haven’t had my morning coffee and I’m hungry. I’m not a happy camper.

I then called KNX 1070 Traffic to report (and find out) what’s going on there. Yes, I have 1070 on speed dial. Next time you hear a traffic report, be sure to listen for them mentioning Tipster Marci. Come on folks — I live in my car. This is one of my important survival techniques. So, I was told that I was stuck because of the Obama motorcade. “No! That can’t be!” I declared. “I checked to see where he was going to be and avoided that area. He’s supposed to be in the Westwood/Century City area, not where I am!” I was told that we’re not always told exactly where he’ll be. So, at my first opportunity, I made a U turn and headed back towards Overland. I could take Pico across and avoid Century City. Good. It’s fine. A delay. I’ll be a little late, but now I’m moving along nicely. Then, suddenly, I see the sign. LANES CLOSED AHEAD.

Lane closure on Overland

Lane closure on Overland

Here I go again. As I’m listening to 1070, I hear the next traffic report. They talk about Obama and the road closures and then say, “By the way, it seems there’s road construction on Venice Blvd. heading East from Overland. It’s down to one lane. Avoid that area if you can.” I didn’t mention my name this time, so no Tipster Marci credited for this. I get through the Overland construction, head down Pico eastbound. I see multiple police vehicles parked along side Rancho Park (a sign that Obama is headed that way soon). Thankfully, I stayed ahead of the motorcade and got to my appointment about 15 minutes late.

Police cars Waiting for Obama at Rancho Park

Police cars Waiting for Obama at Rancho Park

So now, I’m at the doctors and declare that I think my blood pressure is going to be extremely high after that drive. The doctor asked why. I told him explaining that I write a blog about driving and I should have known better. He then asks me where the Obama closures are because he’s heading out of the office shortly and wants to avoid that area. I bring up my post and read it to him. He looked at me and said, “I think I’ll go home instead.” Yeah…

Appointment done. I picked up a large cappuccino on my way out of the doctor’s office building and I headed back home. (This place oddly has exceptionally good cappuccino.) This time, I take the freeway back — 10 to the 405. Mercifully, no driving issues. As I’m making that transition from the 10 to the 405 South, I see 3 military helicopters heading east in the sky with two F-15 fighters following behind. (Wish I could have gotten a picture of that!) I raised my coffee to the sky, leaned back in my seat and sailed home.



Friday Obama Closures

The area around Wilshire Blvd. between Veteran Avenue and Comstock Avenue from 9 – 11 a.m.

The area around Beverly Glen Boulevard between Ashton Avenue and Bellagio Road from 9 – 11 a.m.

The area around Sunset Boulevard between Hilgard Avenue and Carolwood Drive from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

The area around Beverly Glen Boulevard between Bellagio Road and Pico Boulevard from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

The area around Pico Boulevard between Prosser Avenue and Century Park East from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Closure along Hilgard Avnue between Le Conte Avenue and Weyburn Avenue from 8 a.m. Thursday – 6 p.m. Friday.

Some bus service will also be impacted, as the Metro Bus Orange Line route 302/2 on Hilgard Ave between Le Conte Ave and Weyburn Ave would be cancelled from 11 a.m. Thursday – 4 p.m. Friday, a news release from LAPD stated.

Obama’s in Town, Blame Gweneth Paltrow for the Bad Traffic

Obama is in town today. Gweneth Paltrow is hosting a fundraiser for him so you can blame her for your traffic nightmares.

Here are the road closures as promised. Avoid these areas at all costs!

  • Centinela Avenue between Ocean Park and Olympic boulevards, 1:30 – 3:30 p.m.
  • Lincoln Boulevard between Pico and Wilshire boulevards, 1:30 – 3:30 p.m.
  • Santa Monica Boulevard between 26th Street and Ocean Avenue, 3:30 – 5 p.m.
  • Ocean Avenue between Pico and San Vicente boulevards, 3:30 – 5 p.m.
  • San Vicente Boulevard between Ocean Avenue and Bundy Drive, 5 – 7:30 p.m.
  • Sunset Boulevard between Allenford and Barrington avenues, 5 – 7:30 p.m.
  • Sunset Boulevard between Allenford Avenue and Roxbury Drive, 5 – 7:30 p.m.
  • Beverly Glen Boulevard between Sunset and Santa Monica boulevards, 7:30 – 9 p.m.
  • Wilshire Boulevard between Sawtelle and Santa Monica Blvds, 7:30 – 9 p.m.

He’s around tomorrow too, heading inland to San Dimas. No info yet on any closures.

Demand Campaign Finance Reform and you’ll have far less of these road closures in the future!

Citizen Marci

2 Quick Things

Be careful out there. There’s a full moon — a blood moon no less — and all indications are showing some crazy driving out there!

After 2 days of Vice President Biden blocking traffic on the Westside, it’s now Obama’s turn. He’s coming to town on Thursday. I’ll post traffic closures as soon as I can find them!