Monday, July 13, 2009
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Friday, July 10, 2009
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Monday, July 6, 2009
"The following are reasons for immediate failure of a driving test:
• Leaving the designated roadway (driving on the sidewalk . . . "
So don't ride your bicycle on the sidewalk, people like the kid I yelled at on Thayer Street on Saturday! If you're scared to ride your bicycle on a busy street in Rhode Island (as I am, for if you haven't guessed, I don't trust R.I. drivers), then WALK!
Back to Page 48, Section E.:
"• No more than two (2) bicycles may ride side by side."
Now this DOES NOT mean that you SHOULD ALWAYS ride side by side. It means that if you have keen cycling skills, and keen senses, you "MAY" ride alongside your biking buddy at times. You should infer that, should a vehicle approach from behind, you and your biking buddy should change your formation to single file, especially if a garbage truck is approaching from the opposite direction at the same time. You know what? Just always ride as if garbage trucks are simultaneously approaching you from opposite directions, and you won't hear me yelling at you as I pass by.
Enjoy the peace.
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
On page 23, find item "J. Passing Another Vehicle":
"• Passing a vehicle on the left:
On multiple lane highways, the law requires you to use the left lane to pass and the right lane for normal driving."
"But, Johnny, you're only doing half the job. You need to floss too, every day. Er, I mean, what about the next section: Passing a vehicle on the right?"
"Gosh, mister, my teeth feel cleaner!" I say. Er, uh, yeah let's talk about that next section (at the top of page 24).
"A driver may pass on the right of another vehicle only as follows:
1. When the motor vehicle ahead is making or about to make a left turn.
2. On a street or highway that is wide enough for two or more lanes of traffic with no obstructions and not occupied by parked vehicles.
3. On a one-way street or roadway wide enough for two or more lanes of traffic and free of obstructions or parked vehicles."
Finally! Some good ol' fashioned Rhode Island legal ambiguity!
Please debate this in the comments section, but I read the section to mean that condition 1 MUST be met as a basis for any pass on the right. Beyond the necessary motor vehicle ahead that is making or about to make a left turn, you MUST have enough room to the right of said vehicle to safely fit. I.E., You must be able to realistically imagine (there's a wonderful oxymoron), or should I say "conservatively imagine," a lane wide enough to accommodate your vehicle's passing of the car making the left turn. Furthermore, you can't use your imagination to rid reality of that huge f-ing orange pylon (A.K.A. "Snirk" or "Snoil" in my family), baby carriage, or broken-down Hummer that blocks your path past the car making the left turn. Condition 3 is redundant to condition 2, so just ignore it.
Although technically arguable, condition 2 does not intend to give you permission to pass cars on the right on a multiple-lane road, highway, or freeway, as Section J already told you not to do so. Let's compromise with this: It's ok to pass left lane travellers on the right ONLY after giving those travellers reasonable time to move over to the right and allow you to pass properly on the left. Let them know you're behind them. Give them a headlight flash, and wait 3 seconds. Make sure they're not in the process of passing. All I ask is that you at least encourage people to drive correctly before you yourself bend the rules. Be an activist driver, and, above all, DON'T WEAVE RECKLESSLY BETWEEN VEHICLES. You're not impressing anyone, douche nozzle.
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Given: All contracts for parking lot design in Rhode Island are given to the children of local, well-connected gentlemen who think their sons and daughters are the next Frederick Law Olmsted, or Guo Pu, just because those sons and daughters can navigate through the complex scenery of Grand Theft Auto. "Yeah, Mr. Mayor, Rocco Jr. here has a real knack for transportation. I'll give you $50,000 for your reelection campaign if you give my company the contract to build Rocco Jr.'s design for the Smithfield Commons parking lot. Just look at the wonderful work he did on devising the traffic patterns in the Providence Place Mall parking garage."
For those loyal readers outside of Rhode Island, go ahead and infer that those two parking scenarios are the biggest clusterf-s in a state notorious for transportation clusterf-s.
Yes, the baseline is very low for an ideal parking lot experience in Rhode Island, so please salvage what you can. For starters, please don't travel THROUGH open parking spaces like you're in a g-damn demolition derby. Stick to the traveling lanes while navigating to your desired parking spot. I can't tell you how many times I've nearly been clipped by drivers cutting across rows of parking spaces on their way to a spot.
Second, when leaving a spot, go ahead and pretend that you're on a two-way street. Back out far enough so you can drive past me on my left. This isn't merry ol' England. We don't have nationalized health care that will take great care of me after you ram into me head-on. I'm not given a month of paid recovery time, so just pretend that you're on a regular road when driving down parking lanes, and I won't have to burden my crappy health insurance company with claims inflicted by your stupid, limey-wannabe ass.
Third, there is a time and a place to stop and hover in anticipation of a departing shopper's parking space, and that time and place is NOT on the one-way, up-ramp of a busy parking garage when 50 cars are behind you at Christmas time. Just keep going. That space will go to the lucky person who's approaching AS the departing shopper starts to back out of his/her space. While you sit there for 3 minutes as the departing shopper opens her trunk, puts her bags away, straps the lad into the car seat, and adjusts her bra, you could have parked in an equally decent space somewhere upward. Beyond that, you wouldn't have infuriated the 50 (and counting) drivers behind you. Let's agree on this rule: while traveling upward on a one-way ramp in a busy parking garage, a departing shopper's space goes to the upward traveller who arrives at the space as the departing shopper starts to back out of his/her space.
Finally, if for some reason you can't take the extra 20 seconds out of your life to push your empty cart into the parking lot's empty cart repository, or if there is no empty cart repository, then park your empty cart in the following manner: place it PARALLEL to your car directly on top of the four-corner cross of the adjacent parking spaces. Then, after placing it, wait 3 seconds to make sure that it does not roll out of that position. Do not place it haphazardly in the middle of the empty parking space next to you. In fact, if you can't place it parallel to your car directly on top of the four-corner cross of the adjacent parking spaces, then burn off some of that Big Mac and return the cart to the front of the store.
Your non-nepotistic, conscientious fellow motorists thank you in advance.
Oh, and one more thing. Why on Earth did the state and/or city of Smithfield and/or Rocco Sr. pay to have the Route 44 East exit ramp off 295 Southbound pulled back one hundred lousy feet? It did not make the intersection at the entrance of Smithfield Commons any easier. You still have through-drivers crossing desperately to get to the left lane on 44, and you still have shoppers crossing madly into the right lane to get to the Commons. They should have constructed an on/off ramp that would have flowed traffic directly between 295 and the parking lot – bypassing 44 completely. "I think the audience would agree with me on that one."
I hope, as it is the state motto.
Monday, June 29, 2009
Friday, June 26, 2009
Follow these procedures when at an intersection with a four-way stop:
• Once stopped, you must yield to all other vehicles that were stopped prior to your arrival at the stop sign.
• Once having stopped, all other vehicles arriving at the intersection after you must yield the right of way to you.
• If two vehicles arrive at the intersection at the same time, you must yield the right of way to the vehicle on your right.
• As always, being courteous and respectful will help prevent dangerous situations and make the roadways safer for all drivers.
(Whew!) That was surprisingly concise and precise. Of course, to paraphrase Seinfeld: You know how to read the procedures, you just don't know how to follow the procedures. And that's really the most important part of the procedures: the following. Anybody can just read 'em.
What's sad is that you DON'T read the procedures, Rhode Islanders, for if you READ the procedures, you would know that in order to expedite your trip, you wouldn't race through a four-way stop, you would race to the four-way stop. And by "race to," I don't mean you should speed up to the intersection and stop short, I mean that you should strive to be the first vehicle to come to a complete stop (yes, at your stop line) at the intersection. Then, the world would be your oyster, especially if someone then fails to yield to you, crashes into you, and gives you a mild concussion that prevents you from getting to the big meeting, at which you would have closed the Johnson account and made the company 4.6 million dollars.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Monday, June 22, 2009
Friday, June 19, 2009
Pay attention now, Rhode Islanders, the proper way to make a left turn from the right lane of two left turn lanes is to proceed straight for what might feel like an uncomfortably long time, then proceed into a WIDE, rounded left turn into the right lane of the road you're turning on to. Your goal is to return your steering wheel back to straight position AS you reach the threshold of your destination lane.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Contrary to the beliefs of some, there is no room for "style" in motoring habits. You're either driving correctly, or you're not. Here's an idiotic, Rhode Island example: "I don't know why everyone is always pushing me or riding my ass when I'm driving in the left lane on I-95. I always drive in the left lane. It's my style." Oh? I'd say your style is ignorance! All together now: THE LEFT LANE IS FOR PASSING, NOT TRAVELING! Only use the left lane when you MUST (e.g., within a half mile of a left exit).