Nobody Walks in LA… But All The Crazies Are In San Francisco
I think we have all heard the song with the lines “Walking in LA, nobody walks in LA” and that is pretty much true. Cars, driving, sitting in traffic and hour+ commutes are the norm there. However I know people that drive in The City are crazy. WAY more crazy than the strange bag lady with the 50 cats or the goat man on Hollywood Blvd.
How do I know this? I tried to get out of The City (San Francisco, that is what we call it, NOT Frisco thankyouverymuch) on Friday and ran into the 9th Ring of Hell. There are a number of reasons that converge to make this the Perfect Storm.
* Space. San Francisco proper is not very large. The city itself sits on 46 miles square of land. That is not very much so instead of spreading out like LA, San Francisco went up.
* Water. Unless you are coming from WAY South on the 101, you need to cross a bridge to get to The City. Bridges are notorious congestion points since the main arteries out of The City itself are few.
* Arrogant Asshat Drivers. This goes without saying but I am saying it anyway just to reiterate the point.
So Friday I was trying to get out of The City to drive to LA. As I made my way through the streets, I realized that driving with a purpose is a must if you want to get anywhere. You must be assertive or you will be sitting in traffic FOREVER. I was getting ready to turn left onto First Street so I could get on the bridge and realized I could not turn. The traffic was at a standstill. As I passed it, hoping to get on the bridge by way of Bryant (a straight shot so to speak) when I saw traffic was solid with little movement for 4 blocks at least. I knew if I joined that que it was going to take me at least 1 1/2 hours to get on the bridge, cross it and get past the toll plaza.
I thought “Screw this” and opted for 280 – 101, through San Jose and over to Casa, through the freaky, haunted Pacheco Pass and onto I-5 from there. It was longer but my only hope. As I drove through The City on Howard, on my way to the 280 on-ramp, I was (a) nearly run down by a Muni bus (big surprise), (b) near side swiped by two asshats, one in a Prius and one in an Audi, (c) near hit an entitled bike messenger who swerved into my lane (I know, no great loss but think of the paperwork) and (d) was nearly hit by a flying orange. I have no idea where it came from. I will guess a crazy homeless person or a stoned hippie.
LA may have more cars and more traffic in general but I am telling you San Francisco grows them crazier. I’ve lived in both places. I should know.