And, they're off!

This isn't just a Boston-area thing, but it's bothersome nonetheless. Who hates those people who sneak up in an open lane at a red light just to get by the line of traffic? I wish I knew how to post a poll. I bet there's a ton of people out there who would agree that this practice is annoying. But, I must confess, I used to do it a lot when I was younger, and still do it sometimes in certain cases. Though rare, in the case where there are two straight-ahead lanes on both sides of the intersection and one of the lanes on my side is open. I'm thinking about two-lane divided roads like any of the roads in the Parkway system, the Fells system, McGrath-O'Brien Hwys, etc.

What I never do, however, is use a dedicated turning lane to drive straight. Those lanes are marked as turning lanes for a reason. I have made the mistake in unfamiliar territory, and I can be gracious to others in a similar situation depending on how much they cock up traffic once they realize their error. But I have no patience for people who use turning lanes to get to the stop line ahead of the line of cars, or to cut in just before the light, you know, "to make time." I have news, unless you're behind a front-end loader a hay ride, you're not going to make much more time by sneaking a few cars ahead.

Then there are those intersections that have two lanes going straight usually to give drivers the option to change lanes if one is blocked by another driver's turning operation. There's one such intersection near my house like this. There were three lanes before the markings faded. One was for the bus stop, and two were for traffic. The left lane often gets blocked by a left-turning car and we all use the right lane to go around. When it works, it works like a charm. It doesn't work when the right lane is open and someone has sneaked up alongside traffic to try and be first through the intersection. That's because all the cars behind the car turning left are trying now to get into the right lane, but can't because it's being used by the driver trying to get by everyone. Or, in another instance, cars in both lanes are going straight, and the people on the right are trying to beat the people on the left. Trouble is, there's only one lane to receive the cars on the other side, especially when there's cars parked on the curb.

I think it goes without saying that this is dangerous. I have been nearly sideswiped, rear-ended or I've nearly rear-ended someone thanks to these selfish drivers. I would be curious to hear from people who do this what their thinking is. I say it's just to get a few cars ahead in line for sundry reasons. If I'm wrong, I'd love to know.


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