Friday, May 16, 2008

Driving on the Wrong Side of the Country

I learned to drive in CA, and had never driven on the east coast at all until this past fall. At that point, after driving Toyb’s car the first few times, I quickly came to the realization that in order to survive I will need to learn two things: rotaries, and parallel parking. Neither of which I know to do. Because after all, neither is necessary in So Cal.

I also noticed something else about East Coast driving which struck me as quite peculiar: there are no painted curbs. This makes it so much harder to know exactly where to park. In CA we have painted curbs in many colors:
red for absolutely no parking (on corners, by fire hydrants, etc)
white for quick drop off / pick up of passengers or mail
yellow for slightly longer loading/drop off and pick up of passengers and freight
green for limited time parking (e.g. 30 minutes only – it will be painted on the curb)
blue for handicapped only.

My latest observations from my road trip have added some new aspects to east coast driving:
• In MA, and ME you aren’t allowed to drive in the left lane on the highway, it’s for passing only. Say what?! Yeah, so very weird. (*Trivia: It turns out this is also the rule in PA, NJ, IL, KY, and WA.) I'm having a really hard time understanding this one, despite Toyb's valiant efforts to explain its supposed merits.

• There are signs with a lower speed limit (i.e. minimum as well as maximum). This actually does make sense to me…but I have never seen such a thing before!

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