Thanks to some truly inspired bad driving we're going to debut a new feature on Velodramatic. The Wacky Move of the Day will celebrate the most outrageous examples of driver stupidity. Tonight's episode... The U-turn Twit.
The Scene: Monroe Avenue between Los Padres and Scott. Both lanes of Eastbound traffic are moving rapidly at the height of the evening commute. Monroe curves left and compresses slightly for about 150 metres. Twenty yards ahead of me in the right lane a car slows abruptly as if to make the right into an apartment driveway. Front wheels are angled RIGHT and touching the gutter strip BUT the vehicle's LEFT indicator is flashing as they come to a complete stop adjacent to the driveway.
I'm doing about 22-23 mph to get through the compression quickly (at times I'll even take the lane here). I brake hard when I realize the driver is stopping in the lane (and may still turn RIGHT). There's no car behind me in the right lane, but one or two cars are sliding by me in the left lane. They flash by the stationary vehicle.
I've scrubbed off some speed but might lock up if I stay hard on the brakes. Instant decision. I'm not going left... with that indicator flashing. I thread the needle in the gutter between the wheel and the curb while screaming something like "What the Hell are you doing?" I'm through the gap and look back over my shoulder as the car makes a U-turn into the Twilight Zone.
What's wrong with the picture, let me count the ways...
- Stopping abruptly in fast moving traffic on a compressed section of street
- Stopping immediately adjacent to a driveway
- Indicating LEFT with the car angled RIGHT
- Making a U-turn from the curb lane, when a left turn lane was provided and the Westbound lanes are wide enough to let any passenger vehicle make the turn easily
- AND as is often the case, passing a cyclist and instantly forgetting they are there
I'm really hoping this doesn't become a regular feature. This is why so many people who'd like to commute won't go near the road on a bicycle.