Monday, December 13, 2010

Traffic Event
There are several routes to get through the mountains from the Valley to the West Side in LA.  One is the 405 Freeway which needs to be avoided for short trips.  The other routes are canyon roads, two lane paths that wind through the hills to the other side.  The roads twist and turn and with the right car it is a very exciting drive at just a little over the 35 mph speed limit, say 50. It is better than a roller coaster ride at Magic Mountain.
Today I found the need to make that trip over Coldwater Canyon to Beverly Hills. Tis the season after all. I am in a BMW so I have the right car, and the morning drive traffic is gone.  Just me and the road, for a moment, I feel like an Indy driver on Memorial day. That is until I come upon an old model Volvo creeping along at 20 mph.   The ancient driver is driving way under the speed limit, breaking for every turn and wiggle in the road and yielding to imaginary wild life crossings.  To let him know that I am behind him, as is the custom in LA, I crowd him a little.  It is the signal we all agree on that says, share the road and at least drive the speed limit.  This driver obviously does not speak auto.  He continues to coast and break and yield to the frustration of anyone behind him.
Soon I am not the only driver who is frustrated.  There are six cars behind me that are thinking the same thing I am... why is this guy driving like he is from Florida?  Once again I crowd his back bumper.  (Honking is a NYC tradition that is rarely use on this coast).  The rule is once five cars are being blocked by a very slow driver, that slow driver should pull over and let the traffic by.  Again, this driver, "no speaka" nor "knowa the rules".
The parade slows to a funeral march. Lined up behind me is another BMW, a Lamborghini, a Porche, and three cars I can't put a make on.  The Lamborghini is having trouble going 20 mph, it idles faster than that.  The driver guns the engine just to keep it running.  It is a loud sound but the Volvo is unfazed.
 I give the driver the benefit of the doubt, one more time, thinking that he is just unaware of the commuter crises he is causing us.  I politely ride his back bumper again,  he shoots me the finger and hits his breaks.  I am able to stop in plenty of time as are all the others in the long line.  That is when I realize that this guy knows that he is leading a long line of pissed off drivers through the Canyon and doesn't care.  As he creeps ahead of me his personalized licence plates read,  "STA BAC"
As you were,


Tom Crowl said...

Reminds me of the commercial where the old woman yells at her husband, "You're going like a bat out of Hades!"

Bob Conrad said...

These are the times you wish you were driving a Sherman Tank, or maybe a James Bond car with rockets in the front bumper.