Plates, Drivers, and Driving Styles...
Washington DC is home of transplants and visitors from all over the country and all over the world. This can make for especially interesting driving conditions. Each and every driver tries to take the driving sensibilities of their home state or country and apply it to the streets of Washington DC. At times it can be havoc, while at most other times it offers danger or death to pedestrians and more specific to me danger or death to cyclists.
So as I travel through the city I try to anticipate the behavior of the drivers around me. Expect the unexpected while anticipating the predictable. The winding and weaving of a cyclist through traffic may seem like chaos, when actually it is alert defensive manuevering. There are spots in the city where you can expect especially foolish behaviors....gapping drivers stare at the big granite pencil on The Mall (the Washington Monument,) while you can expect cars to stop on the traffic circle in front of the Capitol Building to snap a photo. These are places to anticipate such behavior, and not only two, there are many; TOO MANY! Not only must the cyclist be alert to these little Bermuda Triangles of danger, but makes and models of cars, different plates denoting the driving style of different states or countries. Diplomatic plates and Paper Tags are clearly the most important tags to be alert for. Although each Diplomatic tag has a system for letting you know what country the driver is from, that is not important. What is important is that they have DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY and you have to get out of their way! While paper tags on a new car may mean a driver unfamiliar with their new car, if those paper tags are on an old car one would assume that it is an uninsured vehicle driven by an unliscenced driver out on a drug run (usually a rusty caprice classice or similar type car that you would expect a grandma in Florida driving, not some wirey kid aspiring to be R. Kelly or Allen Iverson.) Move out of their way! Less menacing but equally as dangerous are the drivers who would unintentionally run you down in the same manner.
There are a great number of variables to watch for when riding a bicycle on the city streets. Attention must be paid to the make or model of the car, the age and sex of the driver, and the plates. Now that we know that Paper Tags and Diplomat Plates are tied for first as public enemy number one we now need to take a look at the individual states and how they rank on this scale of possible fatality...
(taxi cabs are not mentioned, it is known that these drivers all lack one vertebrae in their neck that makes it impossible for them to turn their head and look around for obstacles, so each and every cyclist knows to watch for cabs and anticipate that they may stop, make a u-turn, or pull over at any time....and there need not be anyone hailing them to cause such an action)
New Jersey is pretty high up there for obnoxious and dangerous drivers. It could be that they are trying to drive like they are from New York as they always lie and say that they are from New York, or it could be brain damage from either using too much hair spray in the 80's or being a child of a mother who used too much hair spray during pregnancy. Not far behind the Jersey drivers and their poor driving habits come the drivers with Massachusetts plate, MASS-HOLES. The Masshole drives in an obnoxious fashion, why? I have never gotten close enough to find out...they are a bunch of chouder heads and I do not want to pedal close enough to hear that wacky Cliff Claven's mom accent. The Illinois driver is especially dangersous...but lucky for us very few of them ever leave their home town, much less travel as far as Washington DC. But, the Illinois driver is known as a F.I.S.H. Fucking Illinois Shit Head. I am not sure if their self tinting persciption glasses have gone too dark or if they are not use to people actually riding their bikes, but we are lucky there are not more of these drivers in our city, if there were, we would have more pedestrian and cyclist injuries each day. The sidewalks are not safe with the FISH on the roads. Other states have their personalities. Locally we deal with a great number of commuters that rush in our city and then rush out. Virginia drivers are worse then the Maryland drivers, but the commuter mentality is bad all around. These people race to and from not thinking of the distance that they are crossing in between. Head tilted, stereo blarring, and cell phone glued to the ear, foot pressing the gas, and more prone to hit the horn than to hit the brake. Short cutting through neighborhoods, but not realizing that they are putting lives at risk and when they lean on their horns their noise polution does not aid to speed traffic but is disruptive to the tranquility of the residences lives. It is a
more on this
boss man is here
and a 10:30 release should be coming in
waiting to download that
no time to proof read
let me make a guess and try and pick up on a similar thought
WATCH FOR ZIP CARS and FLEX CARS! These are people out driving when they usually walk or take a bus. They are enjoying the experice too much and tend not to be alert or considerate, watch and you will see....you will agree they are dangerous to you and me.
BMWs The Camero of the modern age. Dubbed the Ultimate Driving Machine, should be the Obnoxious Driver's Machine. Stay out of their way!
Soccer Moms! If you drove through their neighborhood the way they drive through yours....you would get a cup cake from the last bake sale tossed right on your hood. They are fast and furious.....the phone is strapped to the ear....and the pedal is pushed all the way down.
another rant gone no where fast
maybe I will be more focused after I pick up some lunch