Pet peeves result from previous columns
In May, a couple of these columns, about positioning your vehicle correctly for right or left turns and traffic laws that are frequently violated, generated more feedback, but mainly about pet peeves.
A driver in Malone doesn’t like it when the driver in front of him refuses to turn right on a red light when there is no traffic to prevent the turn safely. Remember, you are normally allowed to turn right on red, but there is no mandate to do so.
A Saranac Lake reader describes several of his pet peeves, and they are good ones. He references drivers who cut their turn too sharply when making a left turn, often crossing the white stop line for the traffic in the street they are turning onto. He says, “Often when I come to a stop light (or stop sign) at an intersection, drivers turning left onto the road I am on cut way into the lane I am in, preventing me from reaching the white stop line because car after car cuts the corner and actually drives into my lane.”
I have heard the same complaint from a Malone driver mentioning the intersection of Finney Boulevard and Woodward Street as an intersection where this problem often occurs.
Another pet peeve, one that I have written on several times, is drivers who stop in the middle of their lane to let other traffic turn in front of them. Their intent is a nice gesture, but it disrupts the traffic flow. As the person’s email to me in describing this gesture states, “It often actually slows my effort to make a turn or pull out of a driveway or whatever. When I’m in a traffic lane and waiting to make a safe left turn, I’m often looking ahead to when there will be a break in the oncoming traffic so that I will be ready to make my turn. Then, suddenly, I realize a car that is coming at me has stopped, for what appears to be no apparent reason. Then I realize they want me to turn in front of them.
“If they had just kept going and let me make my turn when it was safe and legal, I would have actually made the turn more quickly.” He continues, “I get that they think they are being nice, but in fact, it messes up the whole flow of traffic for me, for the other cars on the road and actually can create a dangerous situation because that driver has done something completely unpredictable and outside of the proper traffic laws.”
Continuing with another example, he says, “I was turning left from a quiet side street onto a busy 2 lane road (Duprey St. onto Rte. 86 in Saranac Lake). While I’m looking to the right, a car coming from the left was making a left turn onto the street that was opposite my street. After a bit, I realized that the driver was holding up traffic to let me pull out. I decided not to take advantage of this opportunity as it was way too busy and confusing (to add to the confusion, during all this another car came up on the opposite side and was also looking to pull out into the intersection). Eventually, that ‘nice’ driver made their left turn and I then made a proper left turn out of Duprey onto Rte. 86. There was quite a line of traffic that had built up while that driver waited for me. If that driver had just made their left turn as they were supposed to, traffic would have flowed through and I would have been able to make my turn even sooner than I did.”
As the reader states: “There is a reason for traffic laws and it is not always just safety; it is often for smoother traffic flow. Following the traffic laws actually allows for traffic to move much more quickly and smoothly than ‘being nice’ and stopping everyone to let one car turn.” Very good advice for everyone.