Barton Springs Road is a thoroughfare that runs through Zilker Park. On very nice days, everyone and their dogs can be found at Zilker Park. Unfortunately, everyone is driving there due to the poor public transit which means Barton Springs Road is a major fustercluck, especially at Stratford Drive which branches off into several parking areas. If you’re trying to make a left turn out of the park at Stratford Drive onto Barton Springs Road, good luck to you! You’ll have to deal with those super-cautious and afraid-to-drive motorists who shouldn’t be driving that will block traffic for twenty minutes because their Prius isn’t powerful enough to play Frogger! If you give up, make a U-turn, and try and go around MoPac on Stratford you’ll just end up lost in the hills because it doesn’t go around MoPac at all. Barton Springs Road would really benefit from having roundabouts installed in Zilker Park since there’s so much traffic coming and going at a constant rate.
Tag Archives: right turn
On my latest excursion around Austin I’ve come across another misleading sign. Exiting northbound MoPac to eastbound Braker you see the following sign indicating that the right-most two lanes will put you on Braker Lane.
As soon as you get to the intersection though, you get no warning that only the left-most and right-most lane puts you on Braker. The second middle two lanes makes you go straight!
On my way home from work there is a right-hand turn where the right lane becomes a dedicated turn/yield lane onto the cross-street where it becomes the right-hand lane of the cross-street and merging is not allowed until farther down as indicated by a solid white lane. There is a tall Jersey barrier on the right-hand side and it sits on an incline so it’s a essentially a blind curve which is probably why it was designed this way.
Well, I normally take this corner at 30 MPH without stopping. On this particular day I was zooming up like usual and right as I entered the curve I saw someone STOPPED at the exit of the curve trying to merge left. I hopped on my brakes and with the squeal of my tires I stopped within INCHES of giving this guy a surprise colonoscopy. What the fk?! You aren’t suppose to stop there, especially since it’s a blind curve! As soon as you got through the turn, it is fkn obvious that the merging is not legal until farther down the road so you don’t need to stop and wait! Pay attention next time moron! He’s lucky that I was paying attention.
So drivers in the US can’t get used to roundabouts because roundabouts require them to think. Sounds about right. There is a major intersection that I have to deal with every day to and from work. Traffic is always backed up at this intersection. I’ve often wondered if it would be better if this intersection was changed to a roundabout. Then I realized if people can’t figure out how to merge onto the freeway smoothly then how the hell are they going to handle a roundabout. It’s too bad because I love roundabouts given that a highway junction back home was converted from a traffic light to a roundabout almost a decade ago and the congestion was dramatically reduced afterwards.
The article made an interesting point about the difference between a traffic circle and a roundabout. In a traffic circle, the traffic going into the circle has the right-of-way and in a roundabout the traffic already in the circle has the right-of-way. I don’t understand why traffic going into the circle would ever have the right of way, but I can see why that method is unpopular. I guess that’s why roundabout are not too commonplace in the US since most traffic circles are in the northeast and there are more people in the northeast to sway the bias. Again, it’s too bad because I think roundabouts are genius traffic controllers (unless we’re taking about a Turbo Roundabout which everyone back home hates and I can’t blame them because it’s such a fustercluck).
Coming home this afternoon I encountered some jerk in a Grand Prix. I was accelerating in the middle lane to the speed limit of 50 MPH and I guess this dude was doing the same. I planned on merging over after I overtook him, but I had to make a premature lane departure due to some idiot in a Toyota Echo who failed to understand how to make a lane change. So here I am doing 50 in the right lane and this asshole in the Grand Prix feels the need to tailgate me. I need to make a right-hand turn into my apartment complex, but there is no dedicated turn lane so I must make a right turn from the thru lane. I put on my blinker and he stays glued to my ass. I don’t bother slowing down until the last to see if he reacts. I get closer and then laid on my brakes locking up the wheels and then released the brakes to make the turn. Hmm, seems like you can stop sooner than me and can make the turn as fast as I can. Bravo. For the record, he stills tailgates my ass through the apartment parking lot, taunting me.
We’ve all been there: stuck in traffic on a city street just crawling along and someone wants to turn right onto the main road from a side road. Well, it’s no big deal to let them in since no one is going anywhere fast. So I stop and let them in. Well, the guy behind them decides to take advantage of this and sneaks in. What the hell? It’s social protocol that I let one person in. If I’m feeling generous, then I’ll wave you in, but honestly you shouldn’t expect that I’m going to let you go! Since traffic is moving so slow anyways, you’re not going to get to your destination any sooner than if the person behind me stopped for you. You are now an asshole for cutting in line and I will stare you down with all my passive-aggressive anger! If you are the third car waiting in line and you take advantage, then you are a douchebag and I hope you choke on that double bypass burger.
Coming up to a stop at an intersection, I want to make a right-hand turn. There is a yield lane, but it is being blocked by an old-timer in a Volvo. After waiting for a while I see the Altima in front of the Volvo take the yield turn lane and proceed. This clears up an area where the Volvo could creep into and I could sneak into the right-hand yield lane. But now, the Volvo driver is clearly distracted by the wonders of NPR to even consider being nice to his fellow drivers. If only I could preempt that broadcast and say “The large automobile fore of your conveyance has vacated the premises and the automobile operator aft of you wishes to proceed with completing a right-hand turn. Please move forward.” Of course, in the heat of the moment it would probably sound more like GTFO.
Why did you install guardrails on the highway in front of my place of employment? There is no hazard such as a ditch to drive into. There is also plenty of space to slow down before hitting a tree. The guardrail also meets with the painted median on the road eliminating any space to pull over in case of an emergency. It is also at the same height as my window so I can’t fkn see traffic when pulling out into the roadway. I do not feel the need to edge so close to traffic just to see if I can safely pull out. Seriously, who plans and approves this sheet? Do they not bother driving down the road to see what’s happening before doing something stupid like this? What a fkn waste of resources and tax dollars.
A concerned driver.
One thing I’ve noticed is a lack of auxiliary right-hand turn lanes around here. It seems like the right through lane just becomes a mandatory RH turn lane or you take your chances of getting rear-ended turning right. This wouldn’t be such a big deal if there were also a breakdown lane between the RH through lane and the curb. It seems like they only make the road wide enough for all travel lanes so the edge of the asphalt ends a few inches past the white line. I’m still slowly adjusting to it as I’m used to having a few feet of asphalt between the travel lane and the curb. I keep thinking “I’m driving where cars park!” when I’m driving so close to the sidewalk. It’s also troublesome to make a RH turn when I’m on a 55 MPH “highway” (which used to not have stops before the area became populated and traffic lights were installed instead of lowering the speed limit). Sometimes I really wonder when I’ll be rear-ended by an inattentive driver. I usually end up squealing my tires taking a sharp 90 degree turn while slowing down from 55 and hoping I don’t plow into something from the understeer.