Learn to drive

Letter to the editor

Posted: Monday, August 15, 2005

I realize that this is almost like beating a dead horse ... it just doesn't seem to do any good, but when are the drivers in Juneau going to pull their heads out of their butts and learn how to drive?

On my way in to work recently I got behind a driver at the McDonald's intersection headed into town. We were in the left lane, which is often referred to as the "fast" lane. She reached a top speed of 45 mph by the time we hit the Fred Meyer turnoff. Did she turn left? Of course not. I honked my horn at her. Did she speed up? No, of course not. She continued on in the fast lane, at her well-below-speed-limit pace, all the way past the hospital turnoff. When I finally had a chance to pass her she was looking down at stuff on her seat or on the floor, anything but paying attention to her driving. There was a line of cars behind her still when I made my turn at Old Glacier Highway.

I realize that the pace of living is somewhat slower here in Juneau than down south and that's great. It'd just be nice if people here would follow the rules of the road and remember that slower vehicles are required to drive in the slow (right-hand) lane. If you are going to be turning left somewhere, then merge into that lane shortly before approaching your turn. Turning left somewhere downtown does not require you to be in the left lane from the valley all the way in. This isn't an isolated incident either. I constantly see people driving slow in the left lane on the way back out to the valley, even when they eventually turn right at Mendenhall Loop Road. The shuttle buses and tour buses are major contributors to this problem.

For the rest of you who did learn how to drive somewhere other than Juneau, or you were actually paying attention in your driver's education classes, thank you. Thank you for using your blinkers, thank you for moving into the right lane when you see faster traffic coming up behind you, and thank you for at least driving the speed limit.

Now if we can just get the other 90 percent of the population in Juneau to obey the rules of the road.

J. Marc Mulkey


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