Friday, October 05, 2007

Driving Frustrations

I try not to be a complainer, to go with the flow, to accept and embrace change in my life.....but whomever redesigned the speghetti bowl (how long ago, 6 years? and I'm still griping about this?) I'm upset with.

Basically the problem is we lived on the southwest side of town for over 15 years. That meant for years I drove north on I-15 and the vast majority of the time I went west on: 1. The Expressway, then it was called 2. 95 westbound, now it's referred to as 3. 515 (already see my confusion on this?). Sometimes I needed to go downtown or towards Henderson so I would take the east exit. Life was so simple - wanted to go downtown or Henderson and you're going north on I-15 - those areas are to your right, and so was the exit, far right lane. Want to go to the west, which was your left, be in the 2nd right hand land. No brainer.

This was great until someone decided the speghetti bowl couldn't handle our traffic and needed to be redesigned and obviously this important task was turned over to an engineer in some office on the east coast who doesn't even say 'Nevada' correctly. His/her bright idea was to reverse the ramps. And take one lane and expand it to two.

Now, switching freeways comes with a lot of brain power on my part. What once used to be done in my sleep, becomes a private conversation of lightening fast silent questions all asked to myself while I'm wizzing down the freeway trying to merge. Where am I going? Oh, yeah, I need to go left -- but the sign doesn't say 95 Left or 95 Right, it says West or East. So then my brain has to picture a map to so I can visualize left is .....west. O.k. I'm going west, which lane is that....geez I can't see around that truck.....holla hannah, if you're going to live in the United States, you should drive the speed limit on the freeway....o.k. Here I am ready to go left-uh, west. wait - does this lane go west, does it expand for two lane for the other direction?

From Charleston in the space of 3/4 of a mile my brain is going crazy trying to figure out where I need to be. I can't answer my phone, listen to the radio....good thing I don't cart kids around anymore to distract me.

So then it happened yesterday. I was at LVBS between Sahara and Flamingo. Needed to go to Henderson city complex, stop off at the printers on Sunset. A no brainer drive, get on I-15 at Flaming-O, north on I-15, loop around the city on 95 exit Sunset, printers, then follow Boulder Hwy to Lake Mead. Fun drive, start some good music.

But at Flamingo on-ramp my phone rang, another no brainer - I've entered at this point for the same above-mentioned two decades. I'm driving along trying to answer Jenn's questions about how to blog, how to make a new post, "click on the B at the top, you're looking for the dashboard, you know, I haven't done this in two years, if I could look at the screen I could answer these questions and help you better....can this wait until I get home...?" Then it happened, I came back into driving reality just as I was in the far-right lane, which my brain on auto-pilot still thinks will take me to Henderson, only to find myself on the flyover heading left...uh, west.

Dang engineers, why did they have to mess with tradition?

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