Every once in awhile, people need someone to vent to – someone who’ll just listen. I asked readers to tell me their road-related peeves. Boy, did I get an earful. Below is a snippet of some reader rants received by email, phone, blog and the Sentinel’s online reader forum.
"Agreed, some of the most annoying are the jerks who, on Highway 17 between Santa Cruz and Scotts Valley, plug along in the left lane at 50 mph and never get up to freeway speed. They just keep on trucking along at 45 mph to 50 mph, paying no attention to the long line of cars backed up behind them. I’d love to see, even just once, the CHP write a ticket for that. It’s rude and unsafe."
"My pet peeve involves people failing to make a complete stop at a four way stop. I’ll stop and someone else will assume that because I have stopped, that they can just blow through the stop sign. Wait your turn. I am not stopping so you can blaze through. In addition to people failing to stop, often those that do stop fail to observe whose turn it is. Either drivers linger or they neglect other motorists’ turn. Pay attention people, because that is a key tenet for driving."
"Mine is the cheaters. The ones that cut through parking lots or corner businesses to cut in front of everyone else waiting for their turn."
"I’d like to vent about drivers who force their way into an intersection when there is no room to complete their turn, and end up clogging it up."
"People who have the right of way but don’t take it. It causes confusion among everyone else on the road."
"People turning right at an intersection, but they only look left. If something, such as a pedestrian or bike comes up on the right, they’re going to hit it. On mountain roads, dimming headlights to oncoming traffic at the last minute, after they’ve already blinded everyone."
"When you signal from the left lane to get over to right to make your exit, and the person in the right lane 100 yards behind you speeds up to close the gap so you can’t get over. Jay walkers, when the next closest cross walk is 10 yards away. Cyclist-parents not wearing helmets with children in tow and the parents are breaking all laws and teaching that behavior to kids."
"I’ve been riding my bike daily for over a year around here now and I’ve come to notice a few bad habits: People who insist on riding their bicycle in the bike lane, opposite the direction of traffic. Drivers who wait until 10 feet before a right turn to signal their intentions. People with cell phones crudely integrated to their head via old school hand-held style. Get with the times and get a freaking hands free. They only look straight ahead. Ever heard of a blind spot? Check it, because if there’s a bicycle there when you decide to make your unsignaled right hand turn — ka-ching."
"My peeve is that the confounded roads and purposeful ‘traffic moderators’ cause more gridlock. One-ways, round abouts, speed bumps, and those little island thingies. Oh, boy. It is like they have engineered the streets to be less flowing than ever. Another thing, is long traffic signals. Then, by the time you get to the light, because of the backup, you sit through another five minutes of the cycle."
"This is for the non-courteous drivers that are first time drivers on Highway 9: Pull over and use the turnouts to let the drivers pass who drive the road hundreds of times a year. Yes, we do know the road better — every turn and pothole."
"What bugs me are drivers who pull out in front of me and then drive well below the speed limit, particularly when there is no car in back of me."
"Motorcycles that swerve back and forth over the yellow line on Highway 9 on blind corners to pass every car. How many motorcyclists have to die each year on Highway 9 until your ego will use one little bit of common sense?"
"How about the people who are at an intersection and decide at the last minute that they’re in the wrong lane? While several lanes of traffic are stopped or stopping at the light, they try to eke their way through. They end up blocking everyone as they are wedged at an angle across several lanes, when all they had to do was just stay in their lane and drive up the street, turn around and re-do."
"People out ‘enjoying the scenery’ on Highway 1 who travel below the speed limit, then speed up to 75 mph in the passing zones."
"As a cyclist, my peeves mostly concern other cyclists who make no attempt whatsoever to slow down and look, much less stop, at stop signs. Then there are the "bike lanes" that run along the driver’s side of a row of parked vehicles. Dudes, there is a great danger from being ‘doored’ there, particularly because SUVs and high seat rests make it difficult to see from behind whether there is someone in the driver’s seat. Since the ‘bike lane’ has moving traffic at the left, it is hard to avoid a sudden door. As for cars, the biggest problem are the ones that emerge from driveways and stop so as to block the bike lane."
"I would like to add that those who have pet peeves are exhibiting an impatience themselves. We should be focused on our driving habits and not let other’s behavior upset us."