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Old 11-09-2009, 04:29 PM
 
102 posts, read 279,599 times
Reputation: 23

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Driving downtown NYC and in Boston is a breeze because you know that an accident won't kill you.

 
Old 11-09-2009, 07:27 PM
 
Location: Metro Washington DC
13,673 posts, read 20,889,618 times
Reputation: 8388
The other day someone driving a Smart car (the car was smarter than the driver apparently) was riding right beside me, in the 3rd lane from the right, on 495. He decided that he wanted to exit on Rt 1 in College Park (outer loop). So he steps on the gas and at the last possible second, cuts in front of me and heads straight for the exit, which we are almost about to pass. I dont know how he knew no one was in the right lane on the other side of me. He barely makes it. I look in my mirrors and see no other cars behind me for quite a distance. I looked at my wife and said, "Maryland driver." She was petrified, but me, I didn't even touch my brake. I just knew he was going to do that before he did it.
 
Old 11-10-2009, 01:42 PM
 
Location: Pikesville, MD
5,229 posts, read 12,329,808 times
Reputation: 4846
Not scared of the speeds here. I spent the first 35 years of my life living in the Seattle area, but have driven all over the country. Speed here is not much different than anywhere else. I don't mind it at all, and I can understand it, as speed limits are not set using mandated engineering principles and traffic reality. If they'd just content themselves with driving rapidly, it'd be so much easier to deal with.

It's more the wierd stuff that happens here outside of that. New Jersey has its "jughandles" so you make your left turns from the right lane by going around a little circle to come across the intersection. Maryland drivers seem to have avoided that bit of traffic engineering altogther simply by making their left turns from the right lane. And vice versa. Watched a driver in the front of the line in a left turn lane change their mind and decide to turn right instead, and then treated it like a "free right turn" from the right lane. Yes, turning right on the red light FROM the left turn lane. In front of a Baltimore county cop. Who did nothing, so I'm assuming it must be in the MD driver's handbook...

It's part of a weird sense of entitlement that seems to be around here.

Evidence of that sense of entitlement is another scenario I see constantly. When on a two lane surface street (one lane in each direction) is wide enough for parked cars on the sides of the street, people tend to treat it as a multi-lane road with two lanes in each direction, and will pass you on the right. This is especially prevalent at intersections where they pull up next to you at the stop light and then race across the intersection to cut back in before getting to the parked cars on the other side of the intersection. Amazing.

And of course the near total inability to merge on on-ramps...
 
Old 11-10-2009, 02:19 PM
 
Location: Pikesville, MD
5,229 posts, read 12,329,808 times
Reputation: 4846
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vickivail View Post
Am I the only one who cares about the speed limit? It seems that no one cares about whether the posted limit is 35mph or 55mph, they drive at whatever speed they choose. What a society that we live in where the drives that obey the law are bad and the ones that don't are good. From tailgaters, to speeders, to weavers, they all make me sick. The worst thing is driving in residential areas that post 30mph and you have people driving 60mph. If it was your neighborhood, would you want people driving through there like a bat out of hell with your children on the street, your pets, hell you? Sad, sad, sad!
When traffic laws are made and enforced as revenue streams, instead of set using sound engineering principles, people tend to disobey them. Elected officials and lawmakers are there to be our voices, not our keepers. And when laws are created and passed with litle to no input from the people, by the people, for the people, they tend to be suspect. hell, teh lawmakers themselves disobey the laws in teh first place, as the law states that speed limits should be set using engineering studys and the 85% percentile rule (the speed where 85% of the prevailing traffic flows has been proven to be safe an most roads. School zones and other dense pedestrian use areas are excepted)

Speed limits overall have been antiquated for decades, and have not kept up with the realities of roadway and automobile engineering, AND are designed to work only for the lowest common denominator: poor drivers in badly maintained old cars, or heavily laden trucks. Why should a 35 year old professional driver in a modern car with 4 wheel anti-lock disk brakes, well designed suspension, and modern performance tires be considered to have the same limitations as Grandma in her '67 Dart with drum brakes and bias ply tires? Or the new driver in their first economy car? Most speed limits were set when the average sedan was a large, drum brake and bias ply tire equipped '50s or '60s sedan.

What is driving rapidly for you may simply be comfortable for someone else, especially someone else with training and experience either at track days or in European high speed highways. It's not necessarily agressive unless there's a lot of bumper riding, or weaving in and out of other cars at close quarters. (I've ridden with people who actually drive agressively: punching the throttle and then slamming the brakes, speeding up and slowing down, riding up on people's bumpers then changing lanes at tle last moment after hitting the brakes hard, then slamming the throttle again to get around. That's agressive, and dangerous. Simply driving at a comfortable speed in a well equipped car is neither aggressive, nor dangerous)

Yes, most definitely keep speeds very low in quiet residential areas, schools, and the like. But really, we are no longer in an era where the average sedan takes 200-300 ft to stop from 60 mph. I've had cars that can stop faster from 40-50 mph than your car can from 30 mph. Yet if we were in a 35 mph zone, you'd be of the opinion that you doing 30 was safer than me doing 40 because you assume all cars and drivers are of your caliber or worse. Or that doing 40 was somehow being aggressive.

Until these laws stop being used as ways for municipalities to make money (and don't be fooled: it's a multi billion dollar industry) and treat otherwise normal citizens as mobile ATMs, then a large percentage of the population will disobey the laws. And when the majority of citizens are disobeying a law, it probably means that the lawmakers are NOT representing the people or being the voice of the people, but instead are trying to be their keepers, and the laws should be seriously looked at and revised to represent reality.

"but Mr. Merc63, it's unsafe and dangerous to drive fast! We've been told so over an over by the police! Look at how many crashes there are every year!"

There are a couple hundred million drivers in the US. Less than 3% get into crashes. Considering most drivers drive over the speed limit, then most seem to be able to handle it pretty well, even without being trained in it! And it's not hard to discern that a good portion of the 97% of drivers that don't get into accidents each year are staying out of crashes because they and their cars are much more competent and skilled than people like you give them credit for. I, for one (and as that 97% statistic shows, I'm not that special) have been driving for 30+ years, in all sorts of cars, including cars designed to be driven at Autobahn speeds all day long. At 60% of the car's ability, I'm not driving agressively, and am simply calm and comfortable. And, in those 30+ years have never crashed a car on the street or the track. I am nowhere near alone in this. The safetycrats and nannies will never understand this.

It would be easier and cheaper overall to have proper driver's education and reduce/eliminate that 3% that can't seem to handle driving, than to treat the other 97% as though they are identical to that 3%. But that's just wishful thinking, I guess.
 
Old 11-10-2009, 05:08 PM
 
102 posts, read 279,599 times
Reputation: 23
Quote:
It would be easier and cheaper overall to have proper driver's education and reduce/eliminate that 3% that can't seem to handle driving, than to treat the other 97% as though they are identical to that 3%.
Absolutely! You should be the governor of MD.
 
Old 11-10-2009, 07:40 PM
 
1,030 posts, read 3,069,942 times
Reputation: 968
Quote:
Originally Posted by Merc63 View Post
When traffic laws are made and enforced as revenue streams, instead of set using sound engineering principles, people tend to disobey them. Elected officials and lawmakers are there to be our voices, not our keepers. And when laws are created and passed with litle to no input from the people, by the people, for the people, they tend to be suspect. hell, teh lawmakers themselves disobey the laws in teh first place, as the law states that speed limits should be set using engineering studys and the 85% percentile rule (the speed where 85% of the prevailing traffic flows has been proven to be safe an most roads. School zones and other dense pedestrian use areas are excepted)

Speed limits overall have been antiquated for decades, and have not kept up with the realities of roadway and automobile engineering, AND are designed to work only for the lowest common denominator: poor drivers in badly maintained old cars, or heavily laden trucks. Why should a 35 year old professional driver in a modern car with 4 wheel anti-lock disk brakes, well designed suspension, and modern performance tires be considered to have the same limitations as Grandma in her '67 Dart with drum brakes and bias ply tires? Or the new driver in their first economy car? Most speed limits were set when the average sedan was a large, drum brake and bias ply tire equipped '50s or '60s sedan.

What is driving rapidly for you may simply be comfortable for someone else, especially someone else with training and experience either at track days or in European high speed highways. It's not necessarily agressive unless there's a lot of bumper riding, or weaving in and out of other cars at close quarters. (I've ridden with people who actually drive agressively: punching the throttle and then slamming the brakes, speeding up and slowing down, riding up on people's bumpers then changing lanes at tle last moment after hitting the brakes hard, then slamming the throttle again to get around. That's agressive, and dangerous. Simply driving at a comfortable speed in a well equipped car is neither aggressive, nor dangerous)

Yes, most definitely keep speeds very low in quiet residential areas, schools, and the like. But really, we are no longer in an era where the average sedan takes 200-300 ft to stop from 60 mph. I've had cars that can stop faster from 40-50 mph than your car can from 30 mph. Yet if we were in a 35 mph zone, you'd be of the opinion that you doing 30 was safer than me doing 40 because you assume all cars and drivers are of your caliber or worse. Or that doing 40 was somehow being aggressive.

Until these laws stop being used as ways for municipalities to make money (and don't be fooled: it's a multi billion dollar industry) and treat otherwise normal citizens as mobile ATMs, then a large percentage of the population will disobey the laws. And when the majority of citizens are disobeying a law, it probably means that the lawmakers are NOT representing the people or being the voice of the people, but instead are trying to be their keepers, and the laws should be seriously looked at and revised to represent reality.

"but Mr. Merc63, it's unsafe and dangerous to drive fast! We've been told so over an over by the police! Look at how many crashes there are every year!"

There are a couple hundred million drivers in the US. Less than 3% get into crashes. Considering most drivers drive over the speed limit, then most seem to be able to handle it pretty well, even without being trained in it! And it's not hard to discern that a good portion of the 97% of drivers that don't get into accidents each year are staying out of crashes because they and their cars are much more competent and skilled than people like you give them credit for. I, for one (and as that 97% statistic shows, I'm not that special) have been driving for 30+ years, in all sorts of cars, including cars designed to be driven at Autobahn speeds all day long. At 60% of the car's ability, I'm not driving agressively, and am simply calm and comfortable. And, in those 30+ years have never crashed a car on the street or the track. I am nowhere near alone in this. The safetycrats and nannies will never understand this.

It would be easier and cheaper overall to have proper driver's education and reduce/eliminate that 3% that can't seem to handle driving, than to treat the other 97% as though they are identical to that 3%. But that's just wishful thinking, I guess.
You're exactly right. The speed limits are set for the older, worse drivers, but also the rainiest night.

I rented a brand new Toyota the other day. I have a 10 year-old Acura. When the Acura was new, it handled speed better than the other cars on the road. Only 10 years later, the Acura is now lagging behind the new cars in handling and suspension. This Toyota could still handle just fine at more than 90 MPH. My first car, from the 80s, would have flown off the road and exploded.
 
Old 11-10-2009, 09:44 PM
 
Location: Germantown, MD
1,359 posts, read 3,358,458 times
Reputation: 569
Usually the aggresive drivers in MD don't bother me since I'm used to it, and I have an, er, penchant for the left lane myself at speeds of up to...too high.

Anyway two or so weeks ago, there was this nutjob on I-270 in a Scion xD (no that's no an emoticon). I was driving Sbound in the second to left lane approaching the exit for Mont. Village Ave (MD 124) in G'burg and this guy was driving beside me at the same speed. Now I can't remember if he put his indicator on or not, but he tried to change lanes...right into my car. Initially he swerved back, then he did it again this time without stopping. I honked my horn about 5 times, but he continued to come over, and the only thing that saved my car was me slamming on the brakes. He then proceeded to go over the next 3-4 lanes to exit at MD124. The thing that made it even worse is that he could have easily speeded up to pass in front of me or slowed down to pass behind me, since there was space (thankfully, or I would have gotten rear-ended) and I was driving at a constant speed. Plus the exit lane for MD124 is at least .5 miles long so he had plenty of time. I'm starting to think that the guy must have just been drunk, since even in Maryland the drivers won't normally do things that idiotic.
 
Old 11-11-2009, 03:24 PM
 
130 posts, read 330,696 times
Reputation: 81
"When traffic laws are made and enforced as revenue streams, instead of set using sound engineering principles, people tend to disobey them. Elected officials and lawmakers are there to be our voices, not our keepers. And when laws are created and passed with litle to no input from the people, by the people, for the people, they tend to be suspect. hell, teh lawmakers themselves disobey the laws in teh first place, as the law states that speed limits should be set using engineering studys and the 85% percentile rule (the speed where 85% of the prevailing traffic flows has been proven to be safe an most roads. School zones and other dense pedestrian use areas are excepted)"


MErc: concur absolutely. Unfortunately, people are sheep, and will listen to the gubmint ...."for our safety". Perhaps we should go back to the old days, when it was required, by law, to have an automobile proceeded by a pedestrian, carrying a warning lantern.
 
Old 11-13-2009, 09:43 PM
 
371 posts, read 347,404 times
Reputation: 134
You should be. People here cant drive and all the speed limit signs are horrible indicators of what the speed limit should be. So people just disregard and go as fast/slow as they want. Why is New Hampsuire ave 40mph FROM OLNEY ALL THE WAY INTO DC.
 
Old 11-14-2009, 01:49 AM
 
Location: Germantown, MD
1,359 posts, read 3,358,458 times
Reputation: 569
Quote:
Originally Posted by diallomacedo View Post
You should be. People here cant drive and all the speed limit signs are horrible indicators of what the speed limit should be. So people just disregard and go as fast/slow as they want. Why is New Hampsuire ave 40mph FROM OLNEY ALL THE WAY INTO DC.
Probably some regulation due to congestion/dense population. That's the reason the speed limit on 270 is 55mph all the way to Frederick County, but yeah speed limits are generally ignored. Look at the bright side, if people actually obeyed them congestion would likely be worse.
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