1. Driving: an enjoyable way to clear the mind? a means to an end? a chance to be quiet with one's thoughts? a necessary evil? the downfall of our planet and its fossil fuels? Discuss. I am not a happy driver. I get nervous in unfamiliar neighborhoods. I hate left turns, particularly without lights, but I also hate turning left on green across multiply lanes of dense traffic with someone sitting on my back bumper. Where I live it is a necessary evil. If there’s public transit somewhere (and there is a bus shelter in front of our apartment complex), I’ve never seen it. There has been talk of a rail line, but people grouse about their property values. In other words, please don’t give any of the THOSE _____people access to our neighborhoods.
2. Do you drive the speed limit? A little faster? Slower? Have you ever gotten a ticket? I generally drive about 5 to 10 miles faster than the speed limit except in rain. I’ve had two tickets in my life, both for speeding.
3. Do you take public transportation? When? What's your opinion of the experience? There’s no public transit here. When we go downtown we often drop our car at the nearest MARTA station (which is a good distance from where we live) and take the train into downtown. No parking issues. I loved the subway and buses in New York City. Getting around was so easy, and if you had a long commute you could at least read.
4. Complete this sentence: _____________ has the worst drivers I've ever experienced. Phoenix, Arizona, has the worst drivers I’ve ever experienced. First, everyone’s a cowboy. Yee haw. Second, the folks who were born and raised there sort of forget that the city grew by about 400% and so you can’t just drive 85 mph, even if that is the speed limit. Oh, and the speed limit IS 85 mph on the highway, so of course everyone is driving 90 to 100 mph. Third, no one there is used to rain, so they either freak out and slow to a crawl or are oblivious and keep barrelling at their regular speed (80 mph). Or, because everyone’s a cowboy, they try to do something dumb, like cross a wash during a storm. Then you see them on the evening news, standing on the roof of their pickup, waiting to be rescued. Fourth, for some unknown reason Phoenix started putting in roundabouts in some areas. Needless to say, no one out West knows how to handle a roundabout. Good luck getting in. Fifth, people are just jerks—they tailgate, they honk, they are impatient, they weave, they run red lights, they sit on train tracks, they refuse to use signals, they speed through school zones, they use intimidation tactics. If you don’t turn fast enough they’ll go around you and turn in front of you.
5. According to the Census Bureau, reverendmother's fair city has the 6th longest average commute in the United States at 29 minutes each way. How does your personal commute rate? My commute is a jolly 15 minutes (except that I have to drop the kids). Dear Husband’s is more like an hour to an hour and half. I just refuse to work in Atlanta. In Phoenix I had an hour commute, and I promised myself I would never do that again.
Bonus for the brutally honest: It has been said, and the MythBusters have confirmed, that cell phones can impede driving ability almost as much as drinking. Do you talk on a cell phone while driving? I’ll call on my cellphone if I’m running late or I’m lost, and I’ll take calls from Dear Husband, because I never know when an emergency will strike. I don’t like to do it unless I’m in steady to slow traffic going straight ahead—no lights or turns. And I like to keep it short.