Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Utah County Driving

Well what can I say? I live in Utah County. I was born and raised in Salt Lake County, but moved over the mountain last fall in order to attend BYU. If you are from Salt Lake County you know that when you cross over point of the mountain pretty much everything changes. The culture, the people, the food, the Mormons, the air, the lifestyle, the politics, AND perhaps the worst change is the driving. I recently quit a job that required me to commute from 900 East in Provo to Thanksgiving pointe and I didn't have one commute in which someone didn't do something ridiculous while driving. I consider myself lucky that my car horn doesn't work because if it did, it would get used all too often and perhaps caused a fight between me and other drivers. The following are things that I noticed on my last commute to work a few weeks ago. These are things that I think Utah County needs to know and improve upon.

1. Utah County needs to get a grid system similar to Salt Lake County. Do you know how difficult it is to find an address when the grid changes with every city you enter? Have any of you ever got an address, gone to Provo, called where you are suppose to be going, and found out it is in Orem? Besides the fact that I think Orem and Provo should combine and become one city, the least they could do is make an address system that makes sense.

2. Utah County drivers need to follow general freeway speed rules. Going 75 MPH on the freeway does not give you an exclusive pass to be in the Fast lane (For any Utah County drivers reading this, the fast lane is the farthest lane to the left not including the carpool lane). That said, going 1 MPH faster than the car next to you doesn't make sense either. Go 1 MPH slower and get out of my way! Yes, going 10 MPH over the speed limit is breaking the law, but so is sitting in the far left lane. If you are not passing someone at a decent rate get over to the right lane! The signs that you are not reading say "slow traffic keep right." I wonder if those drivers realize the traffic jam they cause behind them. And please don't shake your fist at me as I ride you and then pass you on the right. Really, if I can pass you on the right I should be the one shaking my fist at you!

3. Off the freeway, Utah County drivers need to at least go the speed limit. Contrary to popular belief, the speed limit on most of University Parkway is not 35 MPH. Please start going faster on University. I am not even asking that you speed on this road, my only plea is that you start going the speed limit!

4. While turning, Utah County drivers need to learn that there a turn lane or extra space for a reason. The right and left turn lanes provide adequate space in which to stop your car. There is no need to slow down in the lane of traffic. Please get over and then slow down. When you push your brake and go 25 MPH before getting over that means that everyone behind you has to go 25 until you get over too.

5. Utah County should make all the turn lights function in a way that makes sense, or at least install sensors. Why do all of the turn lights turn on AFTER the light has already turned red? Perhaps a better question, why does it turn green when there is not even anybody waiting to turn?I really do not understand the logic behind that. Utah County is the only place that I have ever been that has the green turn arrow come on after the light has already changed red.

6. Utah County drivers should learn that if you are going to take extreme measures to be the first car at a red light, that usually means that you want to go faster than the car you would have otherwise been behind. If you are going to shoot right in front of me to be the first in line at the red light, that usually means that you want to go faster than the car you were just behind. If you plan on going the same speed or slower, please do not shoot over right in front of someone else.

7. Utah County drivers should learn that the freeway on-ramp is to be used in order to reach freeway speeds before merging onto the freeway. When you are getting on the freeway, it is appropriate to be going at least 60 before attempting to merge. The first thing my drivers ED teacher taught me was to floor it when getting on the freeway.

Though my list is far from finished I feel like those cover the more severe crimes that Utah County and its drivers have committed. In my opinion, please change!

1 comment:

  1. Well said sir. Some counterpoints:
    1.) I'm afraid you're suffereing from a little cultural myopia. These problems apply to all of Utah. In fact, the most dangerous things I've ever seen done on the freeway occurred in SL county.
    2.) If you're going over 75 mph on the freeway (i.e. breaking the law in ludicrous fashion, since unless you're driving an ambulance with a dying person inside, there's really nothing you're doing that arriving 3 minutes earlier will make better) you should be a little more flexible towards those who value their lives.
    3.) Strangely enough, most people drive more slowly or slow down earlier than the turn lanes because they're trying to make the driving experience as little like a roller coaster as possible for their passengers. The first thing my driver's ed teacher told me is that passengers feel the force of a turn twice as much as the driver.

    As for left turn signals and University Pkwy, I wholeheartedly agree :)