Stay out of the left lane!

The Extreme Left: A Few Words About Driving in DC

It's no secret that traffic is horrible in this city; a recent article in The Washington Post confirmed that DC “has again risen to the top as the most congested metropolitan area in the United States.”  I'm confident that we all have more than enough anecdotal evidence to confirm this, if it doesn't give us stress ulcers first.  But what can be done about it, when all signs show that this is only going to get worse?

Now I know what you're thinking, but put away your business plan for that worker-owned, green, recycled material, bicycle factory powered by 100% renewable energy and keep your day job. This is a car town and it's going to stay that way because everyone in this city has somewhere to be. Whether or not it's the place they should be going is another matter, but they're going and a lot of them are driving cars to get there.

Here's a simple rule that would help, if only the right people would listen: if you're in the left lane, and you're not making a turn or passing the cars in the right lane, get out of the left lane!

Let that sink in for a second. Think about all the times you've wished someone else would follow this rule... and all the times you've broken it.

It's a really easy rule to follow. We're taught it in driver's ed; it works just as well on the streets of the city as it does on highways and interstates. If you're not passing someone, and you're not making a turn, get out of the left lane.

Say it to yourself a few times.  Yes, out loud. Sing it in the shower.  Chant it under your breath when you go into Warrior Pose at yoga class, or whatever gets you to remember it, because there's no reason not to do it. Lingering over there, clogging up the lane and slowing down the whole flow of traffic, just ruins everyone's day.