Archive for Laws

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 Environmental impact studies are often based on outdated data, but I won’t get started on the political side of this, at least not today!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


TGIF … and useful things to be aware of on the road this weekend

TGIFI hope you survived arguably one of the worst driving weeks of the year. I completely get why the roads are such a nightmare this week. Kids are back in school; summer vacations are over; everyone is getting back into their routines. But … it completely mystifies me as to why in about 2 weeks time people settle in and traffic does seem to ease up a bit (for LA standards). What happens to all of these cars? Where do these people go? Don’t get me wrong. I’m grateful that there’s an improvement. It just makes no sense. I mean, it should be the same cars and same people on the road. The same kids are going to school. Do masses of people start calling in sick to work? They surely aren’t taking public transportation. Do they push the limits and go in later to work? Are hoards of kids already dropping out of school? Why does this happen? I’d really like to know.

Anyway, today IS finally Friday. We love Fridays, but we sure do not love the traffic that comes with it. Friday traffic is indeed a conundrum. I’m sure you’ve observed traffic is usually very light on Friday mornings. At the end of the day, however, all bets are off! It’s total gridlock and there’s no escaping it. It used to be if you left work before 3 p.m., traffic was a breeze getting home. Now, it gets brutal after 12 p.m. and surface streets are MUCH worse. Where do these people come from? Where were they in the morning? By the way, have you observed that Thursday is the new Friday? Thursday night rush hour now rivals Friday and it lasts longer it seems than a Friday. I’ve often left work at 8 p.m. on a Thursday and it’ll take me more than an hour to get home. At that time of the night it should only be about 40 minutes.

Anyway, enough of the rant for now. Here are a few useful items to be aware of this weekend. I’ll be back on Monday with a full blog post. Tune in then for more!

Road Closure
Do you remember the Carmaggedon Bridge up by Mulholland and the Skirball area? Well, the bridge is going to be closed for part of this weekend so you might want to avoid the area. It will be closed Friday and Saturday night from 10 p.m. – 8 a.m.

New Law – 3 Feet for Safety Act
There’s a new law on the books — the 3 Feet for Safety Act — taking effect September 16th to help drivers and cyclists co-exist.