Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee
kevin_standlee

Wishing for a Police Car to Appear

The route to and from my doctor's office leads over University Avenue in Palo Alto/East Palo Alto. This is a slow street, with lots of uncoordinated traffic lights, low speed limits, and lots of traffic working their way into and out of Palo Alto. For me, the alternative routes are higher speed but longer because they are so roundabout, so I just remember to allow an hour to travel the twenty or so miles between my apartment and the Palo Alto Medical Clinic and try not to get too impatient.

Leaving the clinic yesterday, I was drifting along in the slow traffic on University when I noticed a white car behind me riding really close to my bumper, or so it seemed. He was clearly in a big hurry. You could tell how unhappy he was when I choose to obey the law and not pull into an intersection with no room to exit it due to backed-up traffic on the other side. And when I stopped to let pedestrians cross in a marked crosswalk, he leaned on his horn.

If I could have got out of his way legally, I would have done so. I don't like having impatient drivers behind me. Turnouts are my friend (and theirs, unless they have a heart attack from the shock of seeing someone drive considerately). But there is precious little room to do that on University Avenue, which is deliberately designed to slow down traffic as a public policy decision by the city of Palo Alto.

When we got clear of the worst of downtown, we got on to a stretch of relatively open street, where I ended up rolling up to just over the posted speed limit of 25 mph. Palo Alto has cameras and radar on that street, and I don't like driving fast there anyway. That wasn't good enough for Little White Car. He passed me, crossing the double yellow line and tearing off at probably twice my speed. But this is University Avenue, and about a minute later, I coasted right up behind him at the next traffic light. the light turned green and he rabbited off again as best he could, weaving back and forth as the road widened to add an additional lane as we entered East Palo Alto.

This hare-and-tortoise act continued for around half a mile or so, with me trying to hold as steady a speed as I could and spending a lot of time coasting up to traffic lights while Little White Car tore off and then had to slam on the brakes. About midway through East Palo Alto, Little White Car turned left at an unsignaled intersection. I ended up passing him just as he made his turn, right in front of ongoing traffic. I heard the horns of the cars that nearly hit him as he tore off down a side street.

I was glad to be rid of that maniac. I only hope he doesn't hurt anyone else when he self-destructs, which he will if he keeps driving like that.
Tags: traffic
Subscribe
  • Post a new comment

    Error

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.
  • 5 comments