Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Why do Coloradans drive on the left!?

Today I am writing to reveal the answer to that eternal mystery.

Like you, I have been frustrated by this enigma for most of my years of driving in this state (except when I am using the right lane to pass all the traffic.) But I recently have begun travelling in the older parts of Colorado, and I have discovered the reason behind this cultural norm.

Or should I say reasons - because there are a few.

1)The right lane is for loading and unloading
How does traffic merge on? The right lane.
How does traffic exit? The right lane.
Whether you're on a highway or a main street, the right lane is the lane from which one turns right. Sometimes there is a small lane carved out of the bike lane. Sometimes there is not. And sometimes the right lane suddenly becomes the turn lane, as signaled by the discreet white sign was saying "This lane MUST turn right."

2)The right lane disappears
Yes, I said what I meant. The right lane disappears.
Many is the driver who is caught by surprise when she finds herself heading toward the sidewalk because the two-lane street merged, for no discernible reason, into one lane.

It's actually pretty logical - though, since I avoid driving in snow, the husband had to tell me this one. The snowplow plows the left lane first - much more efficient, than plowing the right lane first, since the snow (and or slush) that is being plowed gushes to the right.
 And driving next to a snowplow is NOT fun. Exciting - yup. As in "WTF!" But not fun. (Yes. This is personal experience talking.)

4)The right lane dips like a ballroom dancer
And I don't mean this in an attractive, graceful way.
Denver loves to boast of it's status as a Mile High City at the base of some beautiful foothills.
What this really means is we DRIVE on hills. Our roads are carved on hills. Which means the right lane might have a tendency to lean to the right - which means, you're driving at an angle. Not comfortable when you're trying to look over your shoulder to see if you can merge before the lane ends!

So if you see a Colorado plate cruising sedately in the left lane, just smile and nod. Cause now you know a few of the reasons why. And yes, you could ask us to change, once we're on the Interstate. But if you've ever tried to break a habit, you know how easy it is to consciously switch years of daily behavior. (Ie - Not) We thank you for your tolerance and understanding.

Safe driving, dear one!

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