Thursday, July 1, 2010

LA Highway to Heaven

I have to confess I'm still freaked out by the LA highways.  It's such a huge, convoluted mess, with lanes constantly breaking off into opposite directions with almost no warning.  Sometimes with no warning.  One moment you're happily driving along, the next, you realize you're five seconds away from missing your exit.  And you're not the only one who's had this sudden epiphany — so have several of the other drivers around you and you're all now part of an ugly scrum to make this rapidly-approaching exit, which just happens to be three or four lanes away.  And if you're in the carpool lane, God help you.

I'll never forget my first time.  I was in Studio City trying to get to Eagle Rock.  I get on the highway and I see the guy ahead of me merge past three lanes of traffic in less than a second and I shout, "Did you see what that Nut Job just did!"  Five seconds later, I realize I should have done exactly what the Nut Job had done because I had thirty seconds to get to the right lane.

That's what makes LA highway driving so fantastically scary — everyone is merging this way and that, the exit lane the exact same lane as the merge-onto-freeway lane.  I've been on highways all over Europe and the US — this merging thing is really uniquely Californian.  I can see why so many pileups happen.  You want to merge — there's the perfect spot — you start to slide in — and then you see him — the guy from the opposite lane who saw the exact same cute little spot you did, wanting to do exactly the same thing you are — disaster.

1 comment:

Cafe Pasadena said...

Xplore greater LA too besides the city limits.