Driving In New York: A Kiwi's Guide to Staying Alive  

rm_LilBlondeNZ 42F
1259 posts
5/3/2006 10:45 pm
Driving In New York: A Kiwi's Guide to Staying Alive

I was driving home from class tonight, and I was thinking about how I can't wait for bulging_boy Bulge to get here.

For the *obvious* reasons of course (love, kisses, wine, shagging, cuddling up, sleeping, more shagging, more love, more kisses, graduation, hugs, wine, more love, more shagging and maybe dinner thrown in there someplace....)

but also so I can watch *him* try to drive here!!!!

I can't wait.

I was thinking that I'll have a lot of explaining to do before we head out on the road though.

So here's the first draft of my

Long Island Driving Guide!

Chapter 1 - Lanes

We drive on the RIGHT (opposite of left, and also meaning "correct") side of the road. When there is more than one lane, slowpokes stay in the right lane, speedsters on the left. Always turn off the road from the right lane. The right lane, however, is annoying to drive in for long periods of time because people are always turning in and out of that lane. My advice is to stick to the middle lane as long as you're not being a slowpoke.

You are free to drive in the left lane, but there better not be more than 3 cars worth of space in front of you, otherwise people get pissed off, then they will pass you on the right, and flip you the bird as they do. Long Islanders are *very* impatient people. When in doubt, just get the fuck out of the way.

Chapter 2- Traffic Lights

Traffic circles (translation: roundabouts) are rare here in Long Island. Instead we have tons and tons of traffic lights. They are usually vertically oriented, and they go red, yellow, green from top to bottom.

Green means "Go".

Yellow mean "Go Faster".

Red technically means "Stop". However, to some people here, this is merely a suggestion. Just because your light is green, doesn't guarantee the person that has the red will really stop. You need to always make sure before you go.

Sometimes if it's a busy intersection, they will also have arrows (translation: filters). If there's a green arrow, you go, and usually the arrow will go off, but the actual green light will still be green, which means you can still go whenever you get a chance to turn.

However, sometimes after a green arrow, it will be replaced by a yellow arrow, which means "floor it, so that you take the turn on two wheels." Then it will turn to a red arrow. Red arrow means your chance is over, you need to wait till the next green arrow and you can't go through even though the light may be green for all other thru traffic. (i.e. Get Comfy)

Right on Red: On Long Island, if there's a "No Turn On Red" sign, you have to wait for the light to change to green. If there's not, you may make a right turn on red after coming to a stop at the corner. NOTE: You CANNOT do this in New York City, only Nassau and Suffolk County. You will get a ticket for running the light in NYC if you do this.

Chapter 3 - Crosswalks

The blinking white man means "Walk".

The blinking orange man means "Hurry the fuck up!"

The orange man means "Don't walk otherwise your ass will get runned over."

We don't really usually yield to pedestrians, only maybe if it's kids across from a school or something. Or if it's a big 'ole crosswalk with all the white lines and crap. Or if there's a cop sitting there at the corner. All other pedestrians are probably poor people who can't afford cars or annoying jogging healthy people... and nobody really cares if you run over any of them. Just make sure they aren't lying in the road dying. Because if we have to wait for them to die in the road, that causes traffic and everyone gets annoyed.

Chapter 4 - Speeds

Speeds are usually just recommendations about how fast you should drive.

55 Mph (is like about 90kph) This is the default highway speed in Long Island. It means you should go about 75. You can go 55 but only if you're in the right lane. If you go 55 in the left lane, you are begging for an asskicking.

40 Mph is the speed on most bigger non-highway roads, sometimes it's 45 Mph. This means you go 50 Mph.

30 Mph is the speed for most sidestreets. You can get away with 40.

20 Mph is the speed right around schools (there will be yellow blinking school signs usually). Don't speed around schools because the fines are *huge* if you get caught. (Well, there's a small chance you might hit a kid, and you'd feel really bad if you did that. Plus your insurance premiums will go through the roof!)

Chapter 5- Things You Should Really Stop For

Trains. (Ours go really fast, you'll definitely get smooshed)

Deer. (Even if you hit one at low speed, it will *wreck* your car)

Drawbridges (Our aren't really any good for Turboboosting like Knightrider)

Crossing Guards (They are usually fat old broads that will definitely dent your car. Plus, then they'll sue your ass and retire on the profits. Also, where there are crossing guards there are sometimes kids.)

Road Work Flag Guys (There's usually a cop on the other side of where the work is and they always bust you)

Chapter 6- Things You Don't Have To Stop For (But You Can If You're Feeling Nice)

Stop signs.



Old people on Rascal scooters.

A Rellow Light (Rellow =the end of a yellow light when it's almost red) Beware: the person in back of you *will* be cursing at you.

Chapter 7 - Random Long Island Driving Rules

Tailgating is encouraged. Make sure there is no more than 3 feet (1 meter) of space between you and the car in front of you at all times. This is especially important in "rush hour" (6am-10am, 2pm-8pm) on the Long Island Expressway. If you have more than 3 feet in front of you, the annoying guy who switches lanes every 4 minutes will somehow squeeze his car in front of you. But if this happens don't worry; he will be out of your lane 4 minutes from now (wishing he had stayed in your lane, of course.)

Don't signal. Everyone love surprises!

Talk on your cell phone (Translation: mobile) constantly. In fact, talk on two cell phones if you can... while smoking a cigarette, reading a book, switching radio stations to check the baseball score, putting on some mascara and eating breakfast. If you can't do all the above at the same time while driving, you obviously
aren't from here.

It takes 45 minutes to get anywhere.

Pass someone on the right, and floor it right up till you get to the red light that is 1000 feet in front of you. Then brake to a screeching halt. Then sit at the light filled with the satisfaction that you really got ahead.

Leave your signal on. Because really, you never know when you might want to make a turn in the future, and then that way you already have your signal on. Make sure when you *do* decide to make a turn after driving with it on for 6 miles that you slam on your brakes to do so.

Dress your blow up doll and sit her in the passenger seat so that you can go in the HOV (High Occupancy Vehicle) Lane between 6-10am and 3pm-7pm. Then write her off on your taxes as a job- related commuting expense.

Sometimes on the highway there will be right lanes marked (Whatever Street) "Exit Only" meaning everyone in that lane must exit. Use that lane to pass about 25 slow cars in the right lane, then jump out of the Exit Only lane and into the right lane at the last minute. Make sure you cut someone off in the process.

Edge halfway into a lane before you put your signal on.

Merge means "I'm going, and you can fucking wait."

"No U Turn" means "You can turn around here as long as a cop's not around"

"Yield"... Ummmm, I never figured out what that one meant, but it's not important anyway.

"Duck Xing" I don't even know why they have those signs anyway;I never saw any ducks that paid attention to them. Ducks can't even read FFS... But it does remind me of some kind of Chinese food I once had that I think was called the same thing. Mmmmm.... crispy.

"Moose Xing" Haha, just kidding. We don't have those here. But if I saw one of those Canadian bastid things I'd tell it to fuck off back north.

"Goose Xing" Means "Gun it. (Translation: Go really fast.) Here's a good place to run over an annoying animal (that's probably also Canadian) that craps all over the place and ruins your lawn"

"Flood Zone" Means "If it rains, there's *really* cool puddles here. Try to tear through them with your car. (Best enjoyed with a Hyundai Elantra)."

"No Shoulder" Means "It's OK to drive on the grass here."


If the driver advisory notice board on the LIE says "Traffic Moving Smoothly, No Delays through Exit 68"??

Those transit bastards are totally fucking with you; there's probably an accident 2 exits ahead. Make sure you take the next exit off to avoid it.


bulging_boy 50M

5/3/2006 11:13 pm

If I were you... I'd stay out of the car while I'm doing all this.

I'd *hate* for you to get caught in the inevitable pileup too!

rm_1hotwahine 64F
21091 posts
5/4/2006 12:35 am

If she stays out of the car, she might want to find a deer to hang out with.

Yeah, I'm still [blog 1hotwahine]

meerkittykat 43F

5/4/2006 12:43 am

just be lucky you're not sending him into Manhattan. That's a WNYC traffic story waiting to happen

tillerbabe 57F

5/4/2006 1:52 am

Keep him the hell outta Seattle!!! LOL!

digdug41 50M

5/4/2006 4:37 am

uh...maybe you should drive eh blonde

roaming the cyber streets of blogland

GoddessOfTheDawn 106F
11240 posts
5/4/2006 5:06 am

I agree with several of the comments made before this one


Peche85 32F

5/4/2006 5:10 am

I think Bulge should be the one staying out of the car But if he does, don't forget to take pictures hehehe.

I don't think I would be able to drive or walk there! I hate people that go through red lights, I hate tailgaters, I hate people passing in the wrong lane, and I hate drivers who aren't courteous and considerate of other drivers! So I wouldn't last a second on those roads lol, I would either cause a major crash, would get pulled out of my car and beaten to a pulp or would just stop in the middle of the road to cry cos everyone was so mean

At least the traffic lights are the same colours

And is it true that at intersections it is the first one that gets there that gets to go first? That makes no sense lol. At least hear all you have to remember is to always give way to the right

Seriously_Real 49M

5/4/2006 5:49 am

This is damn fine driving advice for everyone. Problem is, the Americans who need to know this can't read it because they are STUPID!

(And the people who stop on Rellow fucking piss me off so badly. And what's great in the summertime is my window is down, and I'm shouting (usually) "WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING, GODDAMMIT! WHAT THE FUCK! STUPID FUCKING....AAARRGH."

Because my window is down, and because theirs is, too, and because the stoppage is the whole reason for the tirade....they can hear me.

I hate confrontation....


rm_DaphneR 59F
8023 posts
5/4/2006 11:27 am

I think you meant dress your blowup sheep...

YOu know, it's probably a good thing that your car is on it's last legs. You won't feel so bad when he kills it.

Have tongue, will use it. Repeatedly.

romeoMEETSjuliet 53M/53F
162 posts
5/6/2006 4:13 pm

She says - I'm thinking that the best solution would be a rental car, with all the insurance coverage they'll offer.

Of course, a tank might be a better idea still. But with gas prices and all, that might not be practical.

What about the double yellow lines versus the striped ones? Or did they already figure that one out in Sheepville? Bicycle lanes? Tailgating any vehicle with flashing red or blue lights? Stopping in mid lane to read a map?

So much to learn, so little film.

FeistySyn 53F

5/7/2006 1:25 pm

There is no such thing as a "fast lane" in Arizona... I have never been anywhere were the drivers are as bad as they are here... EVERYONE has to pass on the right, while having to seriously watch their ass for the nitwits merging into traffic from the onramps who are on their cell phones and not signalling or even looking, because it's their god given right to merge, FFS ... it took me almost an hour and a half to go the 15 miles from my office to home on Friday... my mood was a bit dark by then... can you say winnnne please?

Apparently the depth of depravity here is bottomless... don't you feel right at home?

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