Tim Chitwood: The lanes we change are not an open plain

February 8, 2014 

They wander lonely as a cloud, across turn lanes and roundabouts, aimlessly meandering, as though the road's an open plain. ...

Unlike lines of bad poetry, traffic lanes are not hard to delineate -- they're painted right there on the pavement.

Sometimes they're marked also with signs, reflectors and their very own traffic lights, with arrows for the turn lanes.

So you would think some dude driving through town would know he can't just weave between two lanes in front of you before abruptly cutting across them to the left turn lane you signaled you're going to.

You must recognize this driver does not know you exist, nor that your automobile would smack his like a bumper car were you to maintain your course into his oblivion.

Similarly oblivious are motorists who skip stopping at red lights before they turn right.

They at least should look left to see if anyone's coming, as they risk being T-boned by a cross-street driver who with a green light has the right of way.

In downtown Columbus at Second Avenue and 10th Street, some drivers hitting a red light on 10th don't stop or look to see if anyone's coming before turning north on Second.

So watch out when you're down there by the Government Center, because people will pull right out in front of you.

Don't think you can cruise through a green light just because you have the right of way. That does not mean other drivers acknowledge you exist.

Also be aware that drivers ahead of you here may stop right in front of you and block the road while they talk on their cell phones.

Like you might be driving up an avenue where a guy in a red sports car with a dealer tag stops dead in the road at a street crossing, though he faces no red light or stop sign.

He just sits there while you wait, and then leisurely turns right, without signaling, with his cocked head still stuck to his cell.

Do not honk your horn, lest you interrupt his lordship's conversing with his peers. You never know whether his lordship's packing a 9 mm.

Perhaps the irony is drivers here stop wherever nothing signals them not to, and go wherever something signals them not to -- and never signal where they're going, because they don't know.

Tim Chitwood, tchitwood@ledger-enquirer.com, 706-571-8508.

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