Posts concerning driving

“Rain Bridge”

22:55 31 Mar 2013

The rhythm of the drive over the bridge was different. The tempo was similar to that of any slow day, but torrential rain an hour earlier had added a new beat.

Now each segment of the bridge imposed its full three dimensions on those crossing: road hiding the bay below and ceiling hiding the sky above, struts and emptiness and landscapes to the left and right, and curtains of water to the front and back.

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One Intersection in New York

22:58 07 Jun 2011

This is a rather cool video:

3-Way Street from ronconcocacola on Vimeo.

I gotta say, cyclists in NYC seem to be significantly crazier than cyclists here. It’s probably necessary given New York traffic, but still.

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Cycling: Not Strange, Not Unsafe

21:52 06 Oct 2009

But rather, a very safe and rather normal, indeed innocuous and beneficial, activity. Via MetaFilter I came across a series of sociological essays on attitudes towards cycling, most of them concerned with the idea that cycling is a dangerous activity. The series, by Dave Horton, is titled “Fear of Cycling”:


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Sides of the Road/Path

22:00 14 Aug 2009
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Rolling Poorly on the Random Bad Driving Encounter Table

23:08 24 Feb 2009. Updated: 21:12 18 Mar 2009

This isn’t about something that happened to me, just something I happened to witness. It centered on a BMW driver, but contrary to stereotype, he wasn’t at fault in any of it. It wasn’t too serious, either, but struck me as quite ridiculous.

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Hummer On the Way Out?

23:35 04 Dec 2008. Updated: 23:58 28 Jan 2009

I think that Katharine Mieszkowski is being overly optimistic predicting the demise of the Hummer, but I’d really love to see that damn thing disappear. Being utterly obnoxious and ugly (which it is) is one thing, but the sheer deliberate wastefulness is simply appalling. I know that’s part of the point for many owners, but that doesn’t make it any better.

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Animosity Towards Cyclists

23:46 17 Sep 2007. Updated: 21:51 06 Oct 2009

There’s some of this in other automobile-centric countries too, but somehow it seems worse in America. A significant proportion of drivers here seem to really hate cyclists. I have a hard time understanding it, but I’ve encountred a lot of articles recently where commentary is virulently anti-cyclist, to the point of advocating violence against people on bicycles.

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Driving, Cellphones, Teenagers

19:53 13 Sep 2007

This is all anecdotal, and hence statistically useless, but I’ve noticed far more bad driving correlated with cellphone use recently. Some of it was in Dublin, where I think cellphone use is still higher per capita, but I’ve seen a lot of it around San Francisco also. I think every case of notably bad driving that I’ve encountered in the last month turned out to involve a driver using a cellphone.

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Cycling Issues

17:39 08 Jul 2007

I’ve been thinking more about biking recently, perhaps as a result of going mountain biking for the first time, perhaps because of some of the anti-cyclist vitriol I’ve seen online. I’ve never been particularly political about my cycling, it’s just an efficient, non-polluting, mostly-enjoyable, convenient and cheap way to get from A to B. Another reason I haven’t been political about it is because I haven’t had particularly bad experiences, and my employers have always been bike-friendly.

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Irish Signage Complaints

19:38 01 Jun 2007. Updated: 12:48 05 Jul 2007

Road signs. This is something that irritates me as a pedestrian, and a cyclist, and a driver. But it’s worst when driving. By “road signs” here I specifically mean the signs that let you know what the name of a street is. It’s truly amazing how much better the San Francisco infrastructure is for that than the Irish equivalent.

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Anti-Jam Driving

06:11 23 May 2007
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Friday Night Driving Map

23:26 12 May 2007. Updated: 02:31 13 May 2007

I’m a big fan of Google Maps, but haven’t played around with it too much until recently. As far as I know it’s still prohibitively difficult to use waypoints for driving directions, but the the “My Maps” function lets you draw lines and set “placemarks”, which are useful for illustrative purposes. So I decided to map out the driving I did last night.

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Critical Mass Incident: A Study in Biased Reporting

15:26 05 Apr 2007

The San Francisco Chronicle‘s Matier & Ross discussed an ugly incident that happened during the Critical Mass bike ride last month, in which some cyclists ended up attacking the minivan of a family visiting from Redwood City. Critical Mass is already controversial, and Matier & Ross do a great job of axe-grind reporting to add fuel to the fire. Bike/car politics aside, I think it’s a highly instructive example of how to slant a story.

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Tiptronic transmissions

23:27 16 Nov 2006. Updated: 16:37 21 Nov 2006

I’ve had a chance to drive a few of these recently, and I consider it a good thing that they exist.

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Driving in Los Angeles

22:25 02 Nov 2006. Updated: 19:50 04 Nov 2006

I was only there for four days, so I don’t really have a large sample size, but driving in Los Angeles did seem somewhat less pleasant than in the Bay Area. This might be simply because there’s more of it, but it might also be because of incidents like this one:

I was on the interchange between Highway 101 and Highway 110 South, which requires a very quick shift from the extreme right of the highway to the left, crossing about four lanes in a short amount of time (and space). I made this lane shift without any problems and was in the rightmost lane of the three lanes for my exit. In front of me, I saw a car try to change into my lane very late—not going over the the unbroken white dividing line that means “don’t change lanes”, not going over the wedge of unused asphalt after that, but actually driving/sliding down the raised and slanted grass verge separating what were at that point essentially two different highways. I do have to give them this, though: at least they were indicating.

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Types of Driving

17:13 27 Aug 2006

In the few years that I’ve been driving, I’ve noted a number of distinct driving environments, or types of driving. I’m not including weather-based types, but rather those based essentially on the kinds of road involved.

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Driving in Ireland

16:42 17 Aug 2006

I did some driving here today, having managed to get myself added temporarily to my father’s car insurance policy. This meant dealing with the whole “other side of the road” thing.

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11:29 02 Aug 2006

I started using Zipcar a few months ago, and I love it.

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