Driving / Traffic, San Diego
I don't know if it's a California thing, but at most intersections, it's legal to make a U-turn in San Diego! The signs are very clear whether you can or not (not allowed in this photo), and the U-Turners always get the advanced light too! Maybe its not a big thing to you, but in Toronto, most U-turns are taboo, so you have to turn right, and go around the block, and try not to get more lost than you were before you missed the turn that put you in this predicament in the first place!!!
But, pedestrians beware - there may be somebody pulling a U-ee when you're trying to cross!
Let me first start by say the people here are great, you will never meet a nicer bunch.
Lots of dry brush everywhere.Please never throw anything like a lit cigarette out the window here, that one butt can cause a horrible firestorm..
When driving, especially on the freeways, stay alert at all times, be aware of every driver around you. Don't distract yourself with smoking, eating, CDs. DVDs, cellphone etc. Freeways tend to dip and turn alot,it is easy for you and anyone else, to drift over into another lane.
I have lived here for 7 yrs and still can't understand why people drive the way they do here. I have never seen anything like it and I have lived in San Francisco and LA.
It's either too fast or too slow, there is no type of syncronization, like in N California or even Rome Italy!. I avoid the freeways at all costs, especially rush hour which starts at 3:30 until around 7pm.
Best advice if you are going to drive here: Get a map and study it, so you can be in the right lanes for your turnoffs and freeway changes way before it comes up. Study the surface streets, also a good alternative to the freeways.
Example: If you decide to go to East County, Julian, or the Casinos, when coming back into the city from the 8 freeway, turn off in El Cajon on Magnolia exit, follow it up to Mission Gorge Rd, turn left, Follow this road all the way back to the beach, the road ends at Sea World.
It's a nice relaxing drive, you will go through some nice mountains for a little while,
M. Gorge rd. turns into Friars Rd, then you are near some of the best shopping malls and Hotel Circle, just make a left near Fashion Valley Mall to get to Hotel circle, and you are near Old Town, have a map or ask a few directions. It's better to be lost for 20 minutes on surface streets than be on the freeway.
This is a warning to motorists who use the new toll Southbay Express 125 freeway that is accesed off the 54 freeway. Please be aware that the Ca. Highway Patrol is extremely vigilant and spends alot of time monitoring this highway. While the maximum speed limit is 65mph PLEASE be cautious and observe the 55mph limit WHILE crossing the big bridge. The speed sign is posted prior to the bridge, however the road goes downhill and one can easily exceed the limit creating a speed trap. CHP likes to hide off to the side of the hill (northbound and southbound) and cite drivers. CHP also stalks drivers at the first toll area on the northbound side.
Save yourself some money, OBSERVE the posted limits at all times! Drive safely!
Politeness has gone with the SUV. Watch out when you cross any intersection whether you are walking or driving. Redlight running is epidemic; stop signs are for slowing down (maybe). Traffic is bad at lunch time. People who live and work here drive to lunch!!
When you drive on a freeway choose an appropriate lane.
Remember that the most left hand lane (seperated from the rest of lanes by a yellow/orange lines) is usually either carpool lane or "an emergency lane" for ambulances, police, fire trucks etc.
I have never seen any car on this lane. And in Europe I have never seen such lane on the left (it's always on right and it's for cars with mechanical problems only) but (if) I suspect to see many VIP cars (numerous EU officials, presidents, ambassadors etc. etc.) escorted by police on that lane hehe.
From CHRIS (balfor):
The left hand lane on the interstates that you said were emergency lanes were just that. They are there so if you have a mechanical problem with your car, you can pull over there and be out of the way of other motorists.
You do occassionally see emergency vehicles (ambulances, police and fire trucks) using them but most times unless the traffic is absolutely stopped, the traffic in front of them will do everything they can to get out of their way.
Thank you Chris for your explanations!
Driving on a freeway in San Diego area watch a car ahead on your lane - not so easy, there are a lot of interesting things to see around (especially skyline when you enter San Diego driving from Los Angeles).
But although drivers never touch a brake on a freeway but in an emergency they have to brake. So, be careful.
And have a good road!
Exceeding the posted speed limit can get you a ticket and create an inconvenience.
The top speed limit on freeways in town areas is 65mph, out on the "open-road," like in areas past the cities, the speed limit goes up to 70 mph.
From Chris (balfor):
Driving over the speed limit - How fast you can go depends on the area. When I lived in Virginia you could do 4 miles per hour over the speed limit with no problem and it was pretty much up to the mood of the policeman between 5 and 10 miles over. More than that and you were getting a ticket no matter who was on duty. Here in Atlanta, if you aren't doing at LEAST 10 miles an hour over the speed limit, you are blocking traffic because you are going too slow. In the 55 MPH zones, the normal speed is between 65 and 70 with the police not looking at you twice if you are driving 70. It makes me wonder how fast some of these people are going to get pulled over!
Thank you Chris!
Freeways in Southern California are well signed but when you drive 70-75 mph on 4-8 lane freeway (especially on left lane) you need some time to get to the right lane.
So, watch signs. They always sign 3 next exits - enough time to change lanes, no worry.
They sign name of an exit (name of Avenue, Street, Road, Blvd, Dr = drive etc., sometimes number of road) and how far is to the exit (in miles + 1/4 or 1/2 or 3/4 of a mile)
In any emergency on a freeway use "call box" - (look at my picture how does it look like) or call 911 from your cell phone - in real EMERGENCY only. People who call 911 and haven’t an Emergency will get into trouble and
can be charged a "Fine," because it ties up the lines for people with real
Freeway call boxes are spaced one half mile apart and are programmed to identify your location.
If your car breaks down, turn on your flashers and raise the hood. If you must abandon your car, park safely and keep all passengers together.
Keep the eyes in the back of your head open as you drive. I mean no disrespect but Southern Californian drivers are by far the most discourteous, at times insanely dangerous drivers I have ever encountered in my life. Do not expect them to know what a turn signal is, let alone use it, before they cut you off at 80 mph. Don't be surprised if the guy who practically pushes you into the other lane as he bullies his way into yours (did I mention they also never heard of shoulder checking?) then suddenly slams on his brakes, practicall causing a deadly pile-up.
We passed a dead body on the road one day. Later on the internet we read it was a woman thrown from her vehicle as it rolled over and over. I wasn't there to observe the accident, only the aftermath, but I am certain it was some other driver who caused her to roll. In her last moments she was probably trying her very best to avoid colliding with someone. Please drive extremely defensively in Southern California.
Make sure to have a really good city map or you can get lost in a city the size of San Diego! You don't want to spend a lot of time trying to find your way back to the freeway from the maze of the sprawling suburbs. It also helps you keep from straying into areas that could be dangerous at night.
(SAN DIEGO, CALIF. July 17, 2012) – The low prices at the gasoline pump are keeping Americans on the road this summer. The American Automotive Association estimates around 34.8 million Americans will be traveling by car 50 miles or more away from home between now and the Labor Day holiday. This is 1.2 percent increase in traffic from last year.
BUT DRIVERS BEWARE!!! Police and Highway Patrol are also out in full force and under pressure to issue 30% more tickets than last year in an attempt to raise revenue to offset severe budget shortfalls.
TicketBust.com CEO Steve Miller highlights some of the best rules to remember this summer to keep you stress-free, happy and ticket-free:
-Don’t Hit the Snooze Button
Easier said than done. But by allowing yourself extra time in the morning to travel the route to school or work, you can obey the speed limits and avoid the feeling to rush through rush hour.
-Turn on the tunes
According to a study done by research cardiologist, Dr. Mike Miller from the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, listening to your favorite music is one of the best de-stressors available. So crank up the stereo and rock your way to a road-rage free drive.
-Kick the cell phone to the curb
Ok, maybe not literally. But if you are an avid texter or talker, who let’s face it, hasn’t always abided by the driving laws for cell phones, maybe it’s time to leave that phone in the trunk for the commute. If you absolutely can’t quit cold-turkey, have your blue tooth handy and fight the urge to check those texts, e-mails and other distracted driving traps.
-Catch up on your ZZZ’s
This may sound simple, but when playing the juggling act in today’s fast-paced culture, the one thing we generally cut back on is our sleep. Research shows that this can be a dangerous habit, especially for drivers.
-Entertain the little ones
Kids are a joy, but any parent knows that they can be hell-on-wheels while in the car which can lead to dangerously distracted driving. Be sure and pack snacks and plenty of entertainment for the little ones. Books or hand-held gaming devices are a lifesaver even for a short trip across town.
Today’s multi-technological world offers up to the minute traffic information available everywhere you turn. Check out www.traffic.com before you leave or tune into your local traffic station on the radio for up-to-the minute traffic info while on the road. One more way to avoid the jam and stay road-rage-free!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Steve Miller is author of Traffic Tickets. Don’t get mad. Get them and CEO of TicketBust.com. Miller and his team have assisted more than 40,000 Californians with filing the necessary paperwork to contest and dismiss their traffic tickets. The TicketBust service helps drivers contested light tickets, speeding tickets, cell phone tickets, and all traffic infractions. In 2004 the company was started with one goal in mind, to help drivers contest and dismiss their traffic tickets. Visit us at www.ticketbust.com today.
Hmmm... chains were not so high :-)
Do you like such old trucks? Hmmm... could I drive this truck to my work? Hehehe.