I am Seattle Traffic
Welcome to IamSeattleTraffic.org. Personal Responsibility is the Cure to the Commute.
Spread the word by printing up a FREE poster or purchasing an attractive and informative bumper sticker. It will lead to more enlightenment.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Thursday is "Dump the Pump" day. As the APTA says:
The day is dedicated to raising awareness that public transportation helps improve the environment and conserve fuel. It also offers the opportunity for people to beat the high price of gasoline and support public transportation as an important travel option that helps reduce our dependence on foreign oil.
On June 21, public transportation agencies from coast to coast will join together to ask the public to park their cars and ride public transportation instead.
Make sure to dump the pump Thursday and don't you dare drive!
Today in the Seattle TImes there's an article about the 10 commandments for drivers from the Vatican.
1. You shall not kill.
2. The road shall be for you a means of communion between people and not of mortal harm.
3. Courtesy, uprightness and prudence will help you deal with unforeseen events.
4. Be charitable and help your neighbor in need, especially victims of accidents.
5. Cars shall not be for you an expression of power and domination, and an occasion of sin.
6. Charitably convince the young and not so young not to drive when they are not in a fitting condition to do so.
7. Support the families of accident victims.
8. Bring guilty motorists and their victims together, at the appropriate time, so that they can undergo the liberating experience of forgiveness.
9. On the road, protect the more vulnerable party.
10. Feel responsible toward others.
What do you think of these commandments? Does it make you want to go to confession for your driving sins?
Monday, June 11, 2007
I drove across 520 on Saturday in heavy rain, and the experience inspired me to make this post:
- As soon as you turn on your wipers, turn on your headlights. Day or Night! This will ensure that on-coming traffic can see you, and that you can see traffic ahead of you. It's actually the law here that if you have 500 feet or less visibility, you have to have your headlights on.
- In all sorts of rain, you can prevent skids by driving slowly and carefully, especially on curves. Steer and brake with a light touch. When you need to stop or slow, do not brake hard or lock the wheels and risk a skid. Maintain mild pressure on the brake pedal.
- Give extra space to the car infront of you. Tailgating is always bad, but it's even worse in the rain when braking is more difficult.
- Hydroplaning happens when water in front of your tires builds up faster than your car's weight can push it out of the way. The water pressure causes your car to rise up and slide on a thin layer of water between your tires and the road. If you find yourself hydroplaning, do not slam on the breaks! You will lose control of the vehicle! Step off the gas and apply mild pressure.
- Make turns more slowly to avoid skidding.
- Most roads are sloped so that rain falls off to the sides. So if you stay in the center of the road and the center of your lane within the road, that is the most dry position.
- Never use cruise control in the rain. Many cruise controls, even modern ones, don't take loss of traction into account when computing cruise control, so if you start slipping, the cruise control will start to accelerate!
- Wet roads are most dangerous the first rain after a dry period. All of the dirt and grease accumulated will combine with the water to make an extremely slick surface.
Do you have any rain driving tips of your own?
Wednesday, June 6, 2007
We all have stories about bad drivers talking on the phone, eating food, picking their noses, and generally not paying attention. What's the worst driver you've personally witnessed?
Extra points if you tell about a particular situation where you were a bad driver and regretted it later.
And how about nice driver stories (if any exist)? It's a lot harder to notice good drivers, but if you've got a story, please share!
NOTE: Please don't post names or license plates, and keep it clean.
Tuesday, June 5, 2007
Something occured to me the other day and that may or may not be obvious to everyone else: Each day's traffic is new.
Think about it. Traffic isn't something that just exists and we join and leave it each day. It actually stops existing every night, and then the next morning it begins fresh again. We create repetitive traffic with our routines and jobs, so it gives the illusion of a constant problem.
We choose every day to create traffic. It is a decision we make to get into our cars (usually alone) and search for a somewhat-less-congested route to work. We are actively contributing to traffic simply by being on the road. Even if you are riding the bus to work, you are still creating traffic, albeit less than if you were driving.
Now, don't get me wrong, I believe that commuting is a necessary part of our current economoy (until we develop the technology and ethic to do our work from remote locations). But I don't believe that traffic has to be as bad as it is, even with the current infrastructure.
You can choose to be victimized by what traffic appears to be; a necessary evil of the economy that can't be avoided which some research group is "thinking about" and some government agency is spending your money to "do something about it".
Or you can see it for what it is. Traffic is the result of collective decisions people make to drive at similar times to get to places they want to go, and they try to get there as fast as possible.
Does this realization change the decisions you're going to make about how you commute?
Changing the traffic system takes time and money, and there are things you can do today to change your commute. Whether you decide to take transit, start a carpool, drive at different hours, telecommute, motorcycle, bike, walk, move closer to work, or just drive better alone doesn't matter to us. What does matter is that you think about these choices and make the most of what we've got today.
Because ultimately, it is you that decides to get up in the morning and drive to work and create traffic every day.
Friday, June 1, 2007
This Times Opinion piece from Nicole Brodeur about Ride Share and how she made friends and saved gas by ride sharing is wonderful.
The bonding truly came, though, on the way home, at the intersection of Jackson and 23rd: the state liquor store.
"Mind if I stop in here?" I asked, somewhat sheepishly.
"You know, I always drive past here, meaning to stop in... " she said.
We really didn't need to; we were both buzzing with the sense that Doing Our Part was not at all like a term paper, or back-country dentistry, or hell.
What took us so long?
What's taking you?