A long overdue rant

I've been meaning to add a short post on this for a long time.  Now is as good as a time as any, so here goes.

I think almost any Seattle-ite would agree that the car pool lane on SR520 is awful.  It's a "right lane" carpool, so it share's space with the on/off ramps.  A lot of non-car pool drivers use this to their advantage, and use the "merging" portions of the carpool lane to semi-legally gain a few car lengths on their commute.  This doesn't bug me - I guess some see it as a bit rude, but as long as traffic is moving, I don't really mind if someone manages to bend a minor traffic law and get home 30 seconds before me.

What annoys me, however, is when these drivers wait too long to merge back into the non-carpool lanes, and leave no room for the legal travellers in that lane to continue their commute.  As a motorcyclist, I make a small bet putting my life or bodily injury on the line in order to enjoy the benefits of using the carpool lane.  I honestly don't care if a single occupant vehicle is in the carpool lane, but I do ask that you either attempt to merge when there's still room for me to squeeze around you, or just go for it and drive.  Just about every day, I get stuck behind a moron driving 5-10 mph in the carpool lane with his blinker on (apparently it's ok to drive illegally if you intend to merge at some point).  If no one is letting you in, you've probably encountered a pack of cars that think you're a jerk for trying to merge so late.  At this point, you lose.  Just drive and pretend your car is full.  The police only check for hov violators once every few weeks, so the odds are with you.  Just stop slowing down people who wan to use the dang lane.

whew - back to testing tomorrow.

Comments (3)

  1. ejarvi says:

    I think your rant is too polite. One of my coworkers in the hospital right now barely survived being sideswiped by an inattentive, cell-phone talking, carpool cheating, suburban assault vehicle driver who didn’t even realize she had just pegged a moving motorcyclist until he started yelling right at her and kicking the side of her vehicle while moving so she wouldn’t wedge him into the concrete barrier.

  2. Keith Farmer says:

    See it every day in Mountain View. Makes me wish I had missile launchers mounted in my saddlebags.

    For some reason, California highway designers thought it clever to put the onramp before the offramp. In this way, you have to fight people getting on the freeway when you’re trying to get off, while also trying to merge with people who were in that lane to begin with.

    I unscrewed my pegs trying to break when someone managed to not see this insanity.

    And then there was the time last week with idiots playing chicken in the carpool lane.. cutting each other off, forcing each other off the road, swerving across 4 lanes of traffic to pursue each other on residential streets.

    No, we’re not taking our lives in our hands. No more so than pedestrians using the crosswalk, when people are out there ignoring the lights.

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