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Road rage open thread

by Jerome a Paris Thu May 18th, 2006 at 12:19:43 PM EST

I just posted this in the Breakfast thread, but it should be a nice conversation starter here as well...

Driving on German motorbahnen is surprisingly similar to driving on US freeways - all lanes full, going at pretty much at the same 100-110 kph. It's exceedingly frustrating.

German drivers feel the need to go on the left lane so much before any car or truck to be overtaken that everybody is on the left bar the trucks, and thus even when the traffic is not so dense, it's still slow.

And there are speed limits (usually for "noise limitation) everywhere.

And the quality of the road is appalling compared to the French highways.


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I don't think you've seen appalling until you've visited Northern California. It is amazing more people don't get blowouts out here. It takes appalling to a whole new level compared to ANY European country. I would put the road quality here up there with Russia.

Mikhail from SF
by Tsarrio (dj_tsar@yahoo.com) on Thu May 18th, 2006 at 12:22:03 PM EST
Southern California is much worse than Northern California, in my opinion...try driving south from LAX at 5:00 pm sometime. Its nuts. And the old saying "cover me, I'm changing lanes" is from SoCal.

As for Switzerland...I don't have a car yet...which is a new experience...but being an American, I LOVE roadtrips!! So I miss that!

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia

by whataboutbob on Thu May 18th, 2006 at 12:25:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Did they ever catch the freeway shooter (early 05)? I don't think so.
by Lupin on Thu May 18th, 2006 at 01:43:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
and that's with billions per annum in subsidies :-)

btw, heavy vehicles prematurely age and stress roadbed and tarmac finish.  I would bet the increasing SUV count is raising road repair burden.  ironically in many residential n'hoods there is signage prohibiting vehicles over three tons.  however, no one bothers to enforce this law since it would prevent yuppies from driving their urban assault fantasy vehicles to their 3000 sq ft suburban ranch homes.  but don't get me started...

btw, I don't call it 'road rage'.  I call it like I see it -- Traffic Tantrum.  Warning:  Spoilt Brat Behind Wheel.

The difference between theory and practise in practise ...

by DeAnander (de_at_daclarke_dot_org) on Thu May 18th, 2006 at 06:13:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, I've seen it like that on the Autobahn (and often enough too ): ), but where the traffic thins out and the speed limits drop away, it's a whole different ballgame. That's when the reps, execs and other assorted road warriors start showing off what their Mercs and Beemers can do.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Thu May 18th, 2006 at 12:56:47 PM EST
The number of people injured in traffic accidents has dropped from 600.000 in 1970 to 200.000 in 2002. The number of people killed has dropped from 22.000 to 6.000, of those 4.000 were killed in cars and on motorbikes.



"The USA appears destined by fate to plague America with misery in the name of liberty." Simon Bolivar, Caracas, 1819

by Ritter on Fri May 19th, 2006 at 06:03:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
AT the same time (1970 - 2001) the amount of individual car transport in billion km per annum has doubled from 350 to 700 bn km.



"The USA appears destined by fate to plague America with misery in the name of liberty." Simon Bolivar, Caracas, 1819

by Ritter on Fri May 19th, 2006 at 06:10:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is very refreshing.
I hope, however, not many portuguese learn about it. Car accidents are the main cause of death if you are between 18-30. Uncivic behavior being the main factor.

If it becomes known that the, normally regarded as civilized, people of northern europe are just as mad behind the wheel, not even our sense of shame can help us.

by Torres on Thu May 18th, 2006 at 01:24:05 PM EST
Talking about Portugal.

Here are the Traffic Deaths of age group 18 to 24 in Europe per 100.000 youths.



"The USA appears destined by fate to plague America with misery in the name of liberty." Simon Bolivar, Caracas, 1819

by Ritter on Fri May 19th, 2006 at 05:43:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Dear NSA,

 Q: Where did I leave my keys?
A: Inside pocket of your gray jacket (it's hanging in the front closet).

Q: What should I get my wife for her birthday?
A: Blue sundress from Calypso, size 12. Also note that she likes to have her toes licked.

Q: Is now a good time to buy Google?
A: Unfortunately, due to strict federal laws NSA cannot provide stock tips.

Q: Can I substitute margarine for butter in my Toll House cookie recipe?
A: We know that you've been smoking pot.

Q: What should I have for dinner?
A: You've been eating a lot of Chinese and pizza -- how about some Turkish?

(via boingboing)

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Thu May 18th, 2006 at 01:45:22 PM EST
...I presume you haven't driven your car in the Netherlands yet? Replace German with Dutch and your description would be just as accurate, if not more so.

And where in Germany do you drive? I haven't the same experience as you had... This was from last October, just after 5 pm:

Image Hosting by PicsPlace.to

But let's talk about the roadworks in Germany... Man. There was not one motorway in Germany on that +2000 km trip that did not suffer from some road construction. (Then again, the Dutch have also copied this for this year.)

Or you might just baiting us into the jaws of a "Vive la France!"... since I've to agree on the superb quality of French l'autoroutes.

by Nomad (Bjinse) on Thu May 18th, 2006 at 02:35:52 PM EST
The difference between freeways and tollways...
by Bernard (bernard) on Thu May 18th, 2006 at 02:59:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I swear to God that I'm going to start slapping "GLOBAL WARMER" and/or "I HAVE A SMALL PENIS" stickers on the SUVs that are starting to colonize the center of Amsterdam.

What.  Don't.  People.  Get.  About...

...SMALL STREETS AND NO PARKING SPACES?

Ack, sorry to shout, but those people irritate the hell out of me.

Actually, the "small penis" sticker isn't quite the ticket here, because I mostly see yuppie women driving those monsters.  It must be some sort of status symbol or something.

</rant>

by Plutonium Page (page dot vlinders at gmail dot com) on Thu May 18th, 2006 at 03:35:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You see an awful lot of soccer moms driving monsters in California, too.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu May 18th, 2006 at 04:18:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't come much in Amsterdam (I just don't dare to), but amen to your rant. In general I find that many people here have real troubles putting their money where their mouth is. The next argument I've heard is that "in the end, there'll be SUVs on bio-diesel, so it's okay".

Argh.

by Nomad (Bjinse) on Thu May 18th, 2006 at 05:57:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
bio-diesel = methadone?

no, methadone is more effective...

bio-diesel = positive affirmation therapy.

The difference between theory and practise in practise ...

by DeAnander (de_at_daclarke_dot_org) on Thu May 18th, 2006 at 06:05:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
no, afterthought, positive affirmation therapy is probably more effective...

The difference between theory and practise in practise ...
by DeAnander (de_at_daclarke_dot_org) on Thu May 18th, 2006 at 06:05:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hey, how come something like this isn't included in "Energize America"?!

(Bust seriously, how can this even be legal?  Who the hell owns the rights to the moon?)

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire

by p------- on Thu May 18th, 2006 at 03:05:51 PM EST
What's that?

(neener, neener)

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Thu May 18th, 2006 at 03:06:58 PM EST
... you haven't been tailgated at 80 mph on I-25, when you can't get into another lane?
by Plutonium Page (page dot vlinders at gmail dot com) on Thu May 18th, 2006 at 03:36:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nope.  But then I very seldom venture into the Land of the BrainDead™ (a.k.a. Albuquerque) and use the backroads when I have to.  Worse is westbound I-40 coming down into ABQ from Moriarity - I never go that way, either.  I take my time.  

If I was in a hurry I wouldn't live in New Mexico  ;-)

BTW, we're getting rain this week.  In ... May?

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Thu May 18th, 2006 at 06:35:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ha ha, you should see me driving along at 50 in the right lane on I25 between Denver and Colorado Springs. Another old fart saving gas, you know!
by asdf on Thu May 18th, 2006 at 08:18:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
for driving too slowly in the left lane, even if you are at or above the speed limit. Legal road rage.

Jeff Wegerson - Prairie State Blue
by wegerje on Thu May 18th, 2006 at 11:50:35 PM EST


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