What is it with Left Turns?
A cranky rant
There is an intersection in my little town where the traffic light is all or nothing. That is, there is no left turn only green delay. In one direction there is at almost any time of the day a string of cars wanting to go straight across the intersection, and one, maybe two cars waiting to turn left.
If, when the light turns green, the left turn cars do not go first they will be stranded in the intersection until the light goes amber and even then, often will not be allowed to turn except against the red. If, in this situation you are the second car waiting to turn left, and the car in front does not creep into the intersection, you will miss the light altogether. Two-hundred-and-seventy cars will have crossed and you have to WAIT FOR ONE MORE FRIGGIN LIGHT TO JUST TURN LEFT!
I am one of the cars that has to make this turn several times a day. You may have guessed this is a pet peeve of mine.
Yes, they should have a left turn only for 15 seconds, but they don’t.
What is it that cars do not want anyone to turn left in front of them? Allowing the one or maybe two cars to turn before they cross will cause them a delay of approximately ZERO point ZERO seconds!
I have been the lead left waiting car, and I swear the car directly across from me will be eyeing the opposing light. When it goes to amber they start to inch forward and they rev their engine. They are intent to not let me make that turn and delay their trip by ZERO point ZERO seconds.
Yesterday I was faced with just such a situation. I was watching the opposing light for the amber and so was this a-hole across from me in a BMW. I inched, he inched. Behind me was NO ONE. Behind him was a string of cars as far as the eye could see, with more to come. If he won this battle I would be forced to wait three minutes, cross on the red, and hope the Nazi traffic light camera does not sent me a ticket.
I inched, he inched and the light turned green. The BMW slammed on the gas, I jumped in front of him with my Wrangler.
The a-hole honked his horn at me.
You will never guess my response. It may not have been the mature thing to do.
I hope he missed his appointment by at least ZERO point ZERO seconds.
I heard of someone years ago that based all their traveling on not making left turns. Personally, since I drive so little these days, I'm not fond of making left hand turns. However, I do still have the aggressive Southern Californian in me so I'm out in the intersection waiting for my opportunity to turn, even if it is on the red and usually there is a car behind me taking advantage of the fact I was so far out in the intersection. Conversely, there are lots of accidents in people running left hand turns and people eager to go on red. In the perfect world, they would allow left hand dedicated turn lanes and for more than 15 seconds or 3-4 cars.ReplyDelete
You need to petition your local council and get that left turn allowance, it's ridiculous that you don't have one. We drive on the left here and if a person wants to turn right they get into the far right lane of the left side of the road and at the intersection, in its turn there is a green arrow allowing right turns to be made, before the through traffic goes across. This allows right turns from both sides of the intersection, city bound or outward bound, then the straight through traffic, then traffic waiting to go crossways (let's say east west as opposed to the north south)gets their turn, with right turns being made first then the through traffic again. It's a very sensible system.ReplyDelete
River has explained our system much better than I could. However, my main problem is turning right at lights and being stuck in the middle because drivers now firmly believe red means go!ReplyDelete
I do everything in my power to avoid left turns BUT I like to think I am safely aggressive when I do have to make one.ReplyDelete
I often would wondered (back when I had to drive toward everyday) what wonderful jobs other drivers must have had that they were in such a huge yank to there.ReplyDelete
Who said city council? River...... I would agree there.ReplyDelete
How do they set up the traffic changes, I have often wondered.
I guess it's by engineers who know a lot more than I do. But it's
just one more thing I really don't HAVE to know. LOL
I used to avoid left hand signal lights. I'd go one more block, make a right, then another right, and then one more right to be on the right street. Less stress and about the same amount of time as waiting ...ReplyDelete
I had my one and only accident making a left hand turn. I swear to this day that the guy sped up to hit me.ReplyDelete
I was T-boned making a left turn; the guy said he SPED up to miss me!!Delete
Oh I love this post. I'm convinced that you have to take a A$$H... test to buy a BMW. They are the biggest bunch of A$$H.... on the road. This post made me laugh out loud. I'm glad you beat him.ReplyDelete
Have a fabulous day, Joe. My best to Mrs. Cranky. ☺
Did you give this fellow driver an uncooperative finger gesture? I bet you did!ReplyDelete
Hey Joe, there are so many problems with left turns our boys were nailed by a pickup truck that ran the light while they had the left turn arrow...not a good deal.ReplyDelete
Glad you beat the BMW, I bet you told him he was #1
It is particularly unpleasant when the left-turner has an old lady passenger who puts down her window, laughs out loud, and POINTS at you when you are trying to take your rightful right turn while SHE and her driver have made a left on red. My boys still won't let me live that one down.ReplyDelete
I hate left turns with a passion. I avoid them at all costs. Unfortunately, half of the world is over there.ReplyDelete
The lady who pulled out in front of Sweetie and creamed Humphrey the Honda was pulling out from a stop sign to take a left. There's no reason not to let the car across from you turn, and i do that when i can.ReplyDelete
Omg. One of my many driving pet peeves. I had people turning in front of me - no light just from the center lane - so close if I had glanced over to change the radio or glance at my phone I would've t-boned 4 vehicles. It's ridiculous.ReplyDelete
I struggle to tell my left from right under pressure - just as well I don't drive I guess ...ReplyDelete