Driving a car is hard. Who knew? For FoCo drivers the two hardest aspects of piloting an automobile are:
- Having to acknowledge the existence of people who are not you.
- Having to not look at your smart phone – sometimes for as long as 5 or even 10 seconds.
Everyone in the United States claims they live in the city that has “the worst drivers I’ve ever seen” and we all know this is an exaggeration.
Out of every place I’ve ever lived in my life Fort Collins has the worst drivers. I’ve never seen idiots of this magnitude.
When I lived in Houston I use to ride my bicycle from way up north side to downtown. I’d bike on interstate feeder roads with cars going 60 mph. I was almost hit by a car once. Ever. In over a year. And it was my fault.
In Fort Collins I’ve been hit twice by cars while biking. Once intentionally. I’ve also almost been hit about 20 times, once twice within three blocks on Laurel. The number of times I’ve been almost hit by cars while on foot are beyond counting but would be close to the same number of times I’ve gone outside.
Here is some advice to help you with your driving skills. I use the word “skill” very loosely.
Red Lights and Pedestrian Crossings
Fort Collins Traffic Light Rules:
- Green mean go.
- Yellow means go faster.
- Red means the other person will stop for you.
While you may think that’s the correct way for a stop light to work, it isn’t. The red light means you are suppose to stop. A full stop. Not slowing down a little bit while making a right hand turn. Not driving through the red light because you are too important to stop.
You need to yield to pedestrians. If you have a red light you need to stop and wait for them to cross.
When you get a green light the pedestrians crossing in the same direction as you also have a green light. Wait for them to cross before making your right turn.
I can’t count the number of times I’ve been crossing the street with a girl and had to yank her out of the way of a car. I don’t know why girls will not look before walking out into the street but I suspect it’s related to the same gene that causes them to sit down on toilets and chairs without first looking to see if the seat is down or if the chair is clean.
Try This Experiment
- Go stand by a red light.
- Close your eyes.
- Listen to the sound of the engines.
- You can predict when the light turns yellow because everyone will hit the gas.
Don’t believe me? Try it.
When the Max Transhit Boondoggle was being constructed I got endless hours of entertainment. I would watch cars drive right past the “Road Closed” sign on Mulberry, right up to the railroad track, where the nice man or woman with the orange vest would inform them that no, they really can’t cross the track right there. Because, you see . . .
The. Fucking. Road. Is. Closed.
That’s why the big fucking sign in the fucking middle of the fucking road fucking says “Road Closed.”
Oh but wait, you have a degree in liberal arts.
One idiot, in an SUV of course, actually drove into the construction zone, off the paved road and onto the gravel where Mason has been ripped out. He was driving around the construction vehicles in a desperate attempt to locate his head (which he had forgotten was up his ass). A nice man in an orange vest had to explain to him to get out of the construction zone.
Driving A Car Does Not Mean You Get To Kill People
A girl I use to associate with said to me:
“It says in the Colorado Drivers Handbook that if two people are riding their bicycles next to each other on the road you can hit them with your car. So if I see anyone doing that I’m going to run over them.”
I’m not making this up. She has a degree from CSU. Naturally.
Speaking of bicycles . . .
Four Way Stop Signs
I know four ways are really complicated. What do you do with that many tongues. Oh wait, different kinda four way.
I hear drivers whining about bike riders blowing through stop signs. Yet countless times I will be approaching a four way stop on my bike, a car will get to the stop first and stop, I’ll get to the stop and stop. The idiot driving the car will then wave me to go first.
You are not “helping” me you fucking moron. You are only pissing me off. I stopped. I’ve lost all my momentum (I know that’s a big word for you college graduates, Google it) so will you just fucking drive. You are not doing me any kind of favour.
Look Both Ways Before You Pull Out
This sounds like another sex joke. I’m on a roll today.
When pulling your car out of a driveway or parking lot onto the road not only should you look to the left and the right but you should also look at the side walk for pedestrians.
Right turns are more complex than you realize. Or maybe you are just stupider than I realize.
Countless are the times I have stood on a street corner selling my body and seen someone with a CSU sticker on their car pull up to the intersection to make a right hand turn. She will look to the left, wait until the traffic is clear, and take the right hand turn. Never once looking to the right to see if a pedestrian is crossing the road in front of her.
While I was at the DMV being degraded by people too stupid to get a job in the public sector a man came in to renew his driver’s license. He was about 593 years old, wheezing and looked like he was about to pass out. I heard the DMV employees talking to each other saying they needed to rush him through processing and get him out before he died in the building. Yes, driving down the road is where he should be. Better to die there.
While biking on Mountain through Old Town in the right hand lane (the lane with the big bike painted in it) some small cocked redneck in a pickup drives up my ass, guns his engine, blows his horn and yells at me. The left lane was totally empty.
Mason has one lane for bikes, cars and buses. Hang out and watch the drivers behind bike riders get pissed off. This was designed by someone with a college degree who couldn’t get a job in the private sector.
Every Tour de Fat people in cars get pissed off because there are people riding bikes on the road. Because you didn’t know about Tour de Fat. It’s a big secret and you had no idea this was going to happen. If you can’t plan sufficiently to avoid having to drive across the Tour de Fat route this might be why you can’t get a job that pays well. Despite your college diploma.
I’m writing this post at C.B. & Potts – home of good beer and sexy delicious waitresses. As I was biking here on Shields there was an idiot driving slower than all the surrounding traffic, in the bike lane, talking on his cell phone.