My suspicions confirmed: Madison drivers = terrible!

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So, not only are the roads awful around Madison (I still dare anyone to drive down University Avenue with a hot cup of coffee near their lap), but the driver's are quite honestly some of the worst I've ever experienced. I've made mention of this in the past, and most have dismissed my observations as "heresy" and due to "grumpiness," but now I have hard evidence that my claims are well-founded, reasonable, and substantiated.

Study shows that Madison, WI is the 16th most dangerous city to drive in.

I saw the story on the news last night, and boy howdy - I couldn't agree more. I'm most surprised that Madison ranked so low - I'd put it in the top 5 for worst cities to drive, ride, run, or walk in. To further validate my claims that I "know" my bad drivers when I see them, Austin ranked 4th - and you'll recall how much I disliked Texas drivers...

But back to Madison... Common driving events include:

  • Drivers speed and tailgate like crazy, regardless of surroundings: it's not uncommon for me to have people pass me on University Avenue or Parmenter Street at speeds in excess of 50mph (the speed limit is 30-35 on either street).
  • Drivers "block the box" when turning left: this incredibly stupid maneuver involves left-turn traffic pulling well into the middle of an intersection while waiting for traffic to clear so they can complete their left-hand turn. I've seen at least 2 accidents because of this.
  • Drivers do not yield to pedestrians or bicyclists, even when in "protected" zones like crosswalks or bike lanes. You have a real death wish if you commute by foot or bike in this city.
  • Drivers cannot comprehend the notion of a "round-about," yet we keep adding them... I can't tell you how many times I've seen people go the wrong way in a round-about. It's not that hard to figure out, folks! Yield to traffic from the left, and you're good.
  • They love to run yellow/red lights here. Holy cats - I've never seen so many people run yellow/red lights as I have since moving back to Wisconsin. It happens at least 2-3 times on every single trip I take, including my short, < 3 mile commute to work each day.
  • School zones? Why should I slow down for them?!
  • Drunk/distracted/out-of-control drivers are everywhere. I always get the feeling as if no one is ever in control of their vehicles here - it's as if they get in, start the car, and just "hang on" for dear life as they drive. Truly scary to see people trying to navigate parking lots, entry/exits, and so on - I just shake my head when I see a car/truck come bounding into a parking lot, the driver perched way back, arms outstretched as if they had Tyrannosaurus Rex-arm syndrome, with a complete lack of sense for their surroundings... they usually go squealing into a parking stall, narrowly missing any adjacent vehicles, and then bounce to a stop, the car rocking back-and-forth as they jam the shifter into park.

So, here's to you, Madison - congrats on the ranking... now do us all a favor and try to learn how to drive with some courtesy and awareness of those around you. As I've mentioned before, I've narrowly missed being run over by people while I'm running - it happens so often that I've stopped counting the incidents.


And speaking of drivers, I had a chance to play golf yesterday afternoon - my friend John called and asked if I'd like to join him for 18 holes at the Foxboro club in Oregon, WI, and I said "Absolutely!"

clubhouse.jpg

The weather was gorgeous - low 80s, sunny, but a tad on the humid side. Oh well, who can complain when you have an opportunity to sneak out of work for a few hours on a Tuesday afternoon to hack away at the golf course?

And hack away I did. I haven't golfed since 2007 - my clubs were covered in dust, in fact! My first swing was a shot from the 1st tee... and things went downhill from there. I think I shot a 55-56 on the front 9, and we stopped counting on the back 9... :-D

Here's me at one of the tee boxes - folks, this is how NOT to tee-off:

tee.jpg

I say that only because nearly every one of my tee shots ended-up in the rough - I have this amazing tendency to slice each and every tee-off. So, I spend the majority of my remaining shots working my way back to the fairway. It's still fun, though. I need to get out and golf more than I have been - it's pretty enjoyable, and there are definitely worse ways to spend an afternoon.

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This page contains a single entry by Steve published on May 26, 2010 6:42 PM.

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Madison Marathon: 13.1 miles - done! is the next entry in this blog.

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