10 Of The Most Annoying (And Dangerous) Things People Do In Lafayette Traffic
Lafayette is a unique place that is literally oozing with culture. We work hard, we party harder, and there always seems to be a reason to celebrate. We have great food, and beautiful people who can make strangers feel like family. Often times I tell people that per capita, Lafayette has some of the MOST beautiful people who are actually 'from' the area. But sadly, being beautiful doesn't have anything to do with being a good driver.
Lafayette isn't exactly at the top of the list when it comes to our driving skills. With the help of Hot 107.9 listeners via our Facebook page, I have come up with a list of the most annoying driving habits in the Hub City and I have a feeling you may share my frustration on at least one of the following examples of Lafayette's bad driving behavior. Heck, maybe we can get them to put this up on one of those fancy digital billboards.
10. The Operation Of A 4-Way Stop (and Round-a-Bouts!)
Some call it the 4-way stop. Others refer to it as an all-way stop. When street lights go out, we are required to treat the intersection as if it was a 4-way stop. I'm 100% sure that everyone learned about the operation of a 4-way stop in Driver's Ed, but in a recent poll on my show, over 85% of our listeners had NO idea how a 4-way-stop operated! In South LA, bad weather is pretty common, and sometimes during bad weather, streetlights in major intersections go bad. Imagine the 85% figure I just gave you paired with 5 o'clock traffic at Johnston St. & S. College. In case you fall in that 85%, I won't hate. I will only educate. You can find out how a 4-way stop works here. (Oh, and this goes for Round-a-Bouts too!)
9. Hanging Out of Drive-Thru Lines Into The Street
When I was putting this list together, I hit up Rouse's for a quick lunch break. I ran into my good friend Liz Webb from the Cajundome. I told her what I was working on and immediately she expressed what annoyed her the most about Lafayette traffic. What drove Liz crazy was when people let fast food drive-thru lines extend into the streets, therefore blocking traffic. I instantly thought of 2 places. One particular place on Ambassador past the mall, and another on Congress near the Rouse's Market that we were standing in. You can't fault these restaurants for being tasty, and they have even taken precautions to prevent this from happening, but sometimes our thirst for their delicious offerings is too much to resist. During holiday season, the right lane of Ambassador Caffery is basically nonexistent from Robley Dr. down to Johnston St. past the mall. With literally hundreds of other food joints in Lafayette, (including multiple locations of the aforementioned) there is no need to block traffic to prevent starvation.
8. Speeding Impatiently From Red Light To Red Light
We have all experienced the driver who is in SUCH a hurry, that they switch from lane to lane. Zoom forward. Slam on their brakes. Zoom forward again. Only to stop at the next red light 300 yards down the road with everyone else. I always say that these people are "in a hurry to wait." These people also end up causing accidents with their impatient driving. We understand you have somewhere to be, but so does every other car on the road. Calm the hell down.
7. Texting While Driving
This is another no-no that I've witnessed firsthand. People so preoccupied with their smartphones, they don't even realize the light has turned green, causing everyone behind them to lay on their horn and ultimately have to endure an extra round of the red light. I guess the silver lining in all of this, is that at least people are texting while at a complete stop rather than texting while their 2-ton vehicle is hurling down the road at speeds of 40 mph or more. Far too often, the latter does take place though, which leads to tons of rear-end collisions, or sometimes, even worse. This actually goes for make-up, food and anything else while driving that doesn't involve paying attention to the road.
6. Not Using Turn Signals
The reason that all cars come equipped with turn signals is because the average human being doesn't come equipped with ESP. Turn signals, for anyone who may be wondering, are used to let others in traffic know what your next intended move will be. No one likes surprises in life, and in traffic it's no different. Sometimes I find myself using my turn signal to turn into parking spots. Better safe than sorry, right? If you're turning. Let us know. If you plan on getting over into a specific lane. Let us know. Lafayette is just an all around better place when people use their turn signals. Trust me on this one.
5. Following The 'Train' And Blocking An Entire Intersection
We've all seen this one before, and it happens at the intersection of Johnston and Ambassador more than it happens anywhere else in town. People get the green arrow and follow the flow of traffic through the intersection turning left onto Ambassador from Johnston Street. Even though they are aware of the light being yellow and they can't possibly make their turn, they still proceed to follow the 'train' of traffic, thus blocking the ENTIRE intersection for the cross flow of traffic when THEIR light turns green! I have seen severe Lafayette road rage as a result of this particular traffic behavior. If you see that the flow of traffic isn't moving, don't stick yourself in an intersection like a sitting duck and obstruct traffic.
4. Cutting People Off Sharply And Slamming On The Brakes
Previously, I mentioned how the lack of turn signals in Lafayette traffic is severely annoying. If that had a first cousin, it would be when people cut you off sharply, then SLAM on their brakes to make an erratic turn directly in front of you. Instead of making the block, or safely turning around further up ahead on the road, they go into drastic operation mode and drive across 3 lanes to get where they need to be. Johnston St. is notorious for this behavior. Which brings me to my next entry.
3. Sticking The Nose Of Their Vehicle Into Stopped Traffic To Force Themselves In
This ALWAYS happens in bumper to bumper traffic, (especially on 1-10 or 1-49). When there is either an accident or construction that has traffic down to one lane, instead of waiting in line (like everyone else) there is always that one person who decides to ride the closed lane as far down as possible, and at the last minute, they dip in and cut at the front of the line. As if the fact that they deliberately did this wasn't enough of an a**hole move, they slowly ease their vehicle in front of yours in stopped traffic and literally force themselves in! What's crazier is that if you don't let them in, some folks have the nerve to give YOU the dirty look, as if YOU are the bad person for not letting them cut in line. Really?
2. Waving Someone On To Make A Turn
Unless you are in a Lafayette PD uniform, you should never be directing traffic. I can't tell you how many times I have seen traffic line up on Ambassador, Kaliste Saloom or [insert backed-up Lafayette street here] and someone waves another vehicle to turn while stopping the flow of traffic behind them. Whats worse is when those people wave cars to turn directly into another vehicle that may be flying in the opposite lane. Unless you are comfortable with being the cause of someone getting broadsided, just hold back on the 'Lafayette Traffic Wave.'
1. Ride The Turning Lane
Of course that lane that divides traffic isn't for turning, (how silly would that be?) it's an EXTRA lane, just for you! It's there so you can zoom past all the other cars for a half-mile instead of waiting like everyone else. What's even worse is when people hop into a turning lane (i.e. Johnston St.) and use it as if it's as a merging lane, or as one friend describes it, "an on ramp." Clearly, we saved the worst for last. Oh, and when you ride the turning lane, make sure you speed so that it's easier to smash into any cars that may decide to use it for its original purpose - TURNING.
Have you experienced any of these? What annoys you the most about Lafayette traffic?