I agree people don't drive well. I have never encountered so much road rage as I have in Oregon and I've lived and driven in New Jersey, New York City, and Seattle.
Does it need to be pointed out that not everyone driving in Portland is from Portland or lives in Portland or that in general driving in Portland fucking sucks?!?!
We go there twice a year so I can go to OHSU and receive medical care. Every time we go there, traffic patterns have changed, construction has streets blocked off, roads have been changed from one way to two way or vice versa, and driving downtown in general is absolutely ridiculous (ex: why can't you turn right onto Burnside when coming down SW 6th Ave?).
Even with a planned route, a GPS, a Thomas Guide Portland road Atlas, memory of the route we took the time before, EVERYTHING seems to change all of the time and it is extremely stressful and confusing. I can't drive, I am physically disabled and unable to do so anymore due to my illness and the medications I take. So my mother has to drive and I have to navigate. She does not drive like an old woman, but FFS people get SO ANGRY AND AGGRESSIVE if we get to a street and realize we can't turn where we thought we could or the street is blocked off and we have to try to figure out where to go next when we don't drive the streets of Portland every day.
Driving like an asshole, nearly running people off the road, honking at them and screaming at them and in an especially scary road rage case where we thought one guy was going to kill us (because he wanted to get around us when the POLICE had traffic stopped ahead of us and he was in such a goddamn hurry he couldn't be bothered to give a fuck why traffic was at a standstill, it was apparently all our fault and he screamed and gave us the middle finger salute and looked so psychotic and enraged we were truly taken aback) does not help people drive better, EVER. And it doesn't help that just like Seattle, whoever designed the traffic patterns in Portland was fucking drunk when they did it.
Being from the east coast my mother knows how to drive, probably better than anyone on the west coast, especially in any kind of weather, especially winter weather. Driving in Portland is a cluster fuck from hell lately (last 3 years at least, probably longer) and some basic decency while driving would be nice. I mean we put up with the fact that drivers here are so incapable of comprehending alternate merge that you need traffic lights at online ramps to every highway. People who drive in Portland on a daily basis and hate everyone else in the so-called Idiot Parade aren't perfect either. Everyone has their challenges when it comes to driving. I mean, there are these amazing things in cars called turn signals, yet the more expensive the car it seems the driver is absolutely incapable of using them. It's such a strange phenomena. /s
A little more kindness all around, in addition to a lot more common sense, would be appreciated by all. We do our best, but when a just updated GPS is telling us to turn (the wrong way) down a one way street, it's going to take more than one second for us (the human beings in the car) to recalculate and on some streets in Portland that are narrow and people are parked on both sides of the street, it's not possible to pull over and figure shit out. So get a grip and take a moathefucking chill pill because your road rage is going to get someone killed.
@2 Yeah. It's a sore spot for me. I swear I have PTSD from too many fucked up and insane incidents. And I really don't understand why it's such a problem every single time we are there.
My experience? Local drivers -- regardless of origin -- are impatient, self-referential fools who don't understand basic rules of the road, rules such as: Do not block driveways and intersections; do not tailgate. Please recall that we stop for pedestrians and that a pedestrian crosswalk is ANY INTERSECTION-- IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE STRIPED. Bottom line: a robust distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you allows YOU, a DRIVER of a ONE AND A HALF-TON FORD TAHOE, to think critically before being your foolish and repugnant self.
Don't go blaming out-of-towners. What most places offer in driver aggression, Oregon offers in pure obliviousness. Oregonians straight-up don't know how to navigate a zipper merge, to the point that "choke points" at 26 and 217 or I-5 and 84 would simply be merges anywhere else. Instead, we have to halt traffic to figure out this simple process.
Also, Oregon has the lowest per-capita turn signal usage outside of Florida. Lane drifting is considered part of the process here, and people will totally continue that practice both in tunnels and in areas with solid lines.
Finally, there's the small matter of the "passing" lane. Oregon is convinced it doesn't exist.
I live in Portland and I’ve noticed the farther away from Portland I get, the more sane and predictable the driving is. Ergo, I can move away and live in a place where people aren’t fueled by anger and impatience, OR I can become a defensive driver. I can’t change how others drive, but I can become aware and patient. Every time I get behind the wheel, someone is going to do something goofy and dangerous. The sooner I accept that, the sooner I can capture my own integrity and calmness.
"aren’t fueled by anger and impatience," Oh, if only. This is a city that still doesn't honk and where most driving calamity is a result of ignorance or absentmindedness, not haste and rage. The farther away from Portland you get, the more people are simply accustomed to drifting drivers, last-minute three-lane exits and 50-miles-per-hour left-lane driving. You don't have to be a defensive driver out there because that's the expected behavior. That such behavior doesn't change when Ho-Bob takes the rusty F-250 into town for antiquin' is an unfortunate side effect of the Urban Growth Boundary.
@6 is correct. Oregon drivers are great a queueing but terrible ever other way. If you could zipper that would be great, but alas the entails letting someone in ahead of you, which is totally not PNW. In the PNW its me first, me first, me first always. We aren't a liberal area we are a libertarian area, it is all personal before community. It has been the outsiders who have started to change this, to more community focused. Just look at all the people who park on the streets. One house, eight cars in various state of repairs, plus a boat (cause who wants to pay for slip fees when I park on the sidewalk), an RV, a trailer (full or scrap metal), perhaps a bike and of course a truck.
Also, learn to fucking turn. stop this cutting into on coming traffic cause you are lazy and cant do a 90 degree turn.
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PO Box 86208, Portland, OR 97286