How to Drive Chicago: Jumping the Line at a Stoplight

45.  Drive.  Jumping the line at a stoplight. If you live in the city you know what I’m talkin’ ’bout. I’m not going to go into why one would pull this maneuver, but it comes in handy from time to time (or at every traffic light you come to if you’re S.R.)

Here’s the best technique: 

1. Hang back a few yards out of peripheral vision from the first car in line as you pull adjacent to it on it’s right so as to not raise his “not going to let you in front of me” antenna. 

2. Monitor the electronic countdown for the cross traffic crosswalk. When it hits 0 you know cross traffic is about to get their yellow.

3. Begin advancing during the cross traffic yellow. Your light is about to go green. You have already left yourself some extra runway. 

It’s near impossible for the lead car on your left to accelerate from a dead stop faster than you with your rolling start to keep you from merging in front of him. You’ll get so far out in front so quickly that it will eliminate their attempt to race you and keep you out. 

First car at the light….. let the jumper go. It doesn’t affect you. 

How to Drive Chicago: dominate the expressway, brah

37. Drive. Commuting on the expressway through or around downtown during rush hour (which is every hour) can be nauseating. Expressways are very much like flowing rivers with slow pockets and fast-moving channels. These correspond directly to which side cars are entering and exiting the highway from. Move to the lanes that lead to highway exits. Less cars mean faster speeds. Avoid the side of the highway that has entrance ramps. More cars equals….. you get the point. The difference in how quickly you zip through traffic can be drastic. That stretch of exits and entrances can go on for several miles and then unexpectedly flip sides.  Know where those changes occur and move to that side accordingly.  

How to Two: Come on Already. ALERT. MUST READ. 

 36.5. Drive. Let’s make today a two-fer. This will also be the first time I’ve revisited a previous post. This one harkens back to Month 1 of this blog and I feel like none of you are listening.

THERE IS NO NEED TO EVER SLOW DOWN WHEN DRIVING OVER A SEGMENT OF ROAD AS  SEEN ABOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   

Never ever ever bether nether clever pleather smether heather ever ever. 

If I had a nickel for every time I’ve seen a mile long back up because people hit the brakes and creep over a patch like this I would…… fuck off. Just stop doing it please. 

How to Drive Chicago: “Shitgun!”


36. Drive. And Survive. And Thrive. We were pulling out of a parking lot recently after our ten thousandth little league game and we drove past another family. I watched 2 siblings fighting for the front seat. What started as a verbal argument ended with Homer on Bart style choking. Parents in tears. Human sacrifice. Dogs and cats living together. Mass hysteria. 

But you . . . you’re better than that. You’ve figured this out already. Or, maybe you’re one of those families who’s flatulence has no odor and your clones never argue. If that is NOT the case, allow me to help.  

Child “A” in the front seat on the way to all destinations. Child “B” in the front seat anytime you are on the way home. Done. That’s it. Doesn’t matter if it’s a one-way trip. Doesn’t matter if you’re dropping one off at an orphanage and he will never ride with you again.  “A” in front on the way there. “B” in front on the way back. 

Doesn’t matter if the getaway trip takes 5 hours and then we find a worm hole and the return is 6 minutes. “A” on the way there. “B” on the way back. 

Accordion your car killing your family? Does not matter. Corpse “A” in front. Corpse “B” in back. 

Now, I’m quite aware of the math issues if you own a third child. In that case, keep it simple. The baby stays in back until your oldest stops riding with you. Good to keep her confidence down anyways. Make it up to her in some other way. Let her lead prayers or something 

How to Drive Chicago: One Way Streets

35. Drive. Chi-town is brimming with one-way streets. Busy one-way streets. Populous cities come with loads of crime. This means police chases. Always look in both directions when crossing a one-way street in your vehicle. Peering only in the direction traffic is supposed to be coming from won’t get it done. Drivers fleeing the po po will take any route possible which means all bets are off on one-way streets. They could blow you up in an instant if you’re not looking for them.

How to Drive Chicago: Get Right

34. Drive. There is no standard street width in Chicago. Some side streets are as wide as the Ole Mississip. Others seem to defy the laws of 2 way street physics. Many are so narrow that you and oncoming cars must take turns advancing. You drive a half block then pull over into the gap that leads to the ally. They drive half a block then pull into a gap on there side. Repeat. I have no rules for those types of streets other than just try and be fair. Don’t be the boob that never pulls over and takes his turn waiting. I think as a rule most people are good at this. 

This post is more about the side street that is narrow, yet still wide enough to accommodate fluid 2 way traffic at the same time. It is on these streets that I get a bit perturbed. Scientific studies reveals that 9 out of 10 people are so fearful of clipping their right side mirror with that of a parked car that they would rather drive over the midline of the road and risk colliding with an oncoming car. 

Yeah. No. 

34. Move as far right as possible on narrow, two-way side streets. Better to rub a parked car than one moving towards you in the opposite direction. Refer to the laws of deceleration.

#leaveanote

How to Drive Chicago: Fender Benders 

29. Drive. You’re inching along in traffic. You’re on the text machine. You get into a fender bender while on the expressway. Use your mirrors to acknowledge each other and then… MOVE YOUR CARS TO THE SHOULDER !!!  Do not, I repeat, do not sit in the center lane waiting for the police to arrive and determine who’s at fault. There is no forensic science in this. Police do not need to see the exact position and location of the cars. You are ruining everyone’s morning by causing a huge back up. People are going to be late for work because of you. They are going to miss their flight because of you. Children will die…because of you. 

Be smart. Use your brain.  And yeah, don’t text while driving blah blah blah. 

How to Drive Chicago: Merge Guilt

27. Drive. When merging into thick expressway traffic from an on-ramp, pick out a car in front of you that’s trying to do the same thing. Let them do your dirty work for you. Once she’s fought her car into traffic pull in front of her and do the same thing. She just did it so chances are she’ll let you in no problem and you don’t need to deal with all the angry drivers behind you. Let’s call it merge guilt. 

How to Drive Chicago: No Texting in Turn Lane

14. Drive.   Ok. We are all going to check our phones when stopped at a red light. Better than doing it while moving. Listen for the honk behind you to let you know the when light goes greeen again. 

There is, of course, one exception. Waiting in the turn lane for the green, left arrow. There is no texting allowed in this lane EVER. 

EVER! 

The Chicago, left, green arrow is fleeting and like soldiers kicking in a door and entering homes in Kabul, we need to get as many troops through it as possible. Go. Go. Go. Any delay will result in several cars not making it through the light and I just can’t bear the thought of that. 

Do not grab your phone when stopped in the turn lane. 

How to Drive Chicago: Road Rage

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Rendering by Owen

13. Survive.   All of this city driving can be exasperating.  Emotions can run high. I’ll admit I have been prone to verbal altercations in the past. Maybe even some road rage. I’ve changed. I’ve watched enough “First 48” to know that innumerable murders occur during heat of the moment exchanges. Last December in Arkansas, 3 year old Acen King was shot and killed when a man fired into a car that he thought had been following him too closely. Holy shit !

Throw a bird to someone and they could absolutely get out and shoot you in the head. It happens. Holler at somebody for tossing trash out the window and you never know if they’re packing a Glock and having a bad day. Just let it go. It’s not worth it. Meditate or something.

Nevertheless, if you absolutely must express yourself physically and/or verbally to a moronic motorist, pedestrian or elected official, instead of the trite “fuck you” and tired middle finger try blowing them a kiss. Get creative. “Jesus loves you” is way more weird and amusing and usually gets under your foe’s skin just the right amount. You’ve been warned, however. You may be shot in the head.