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  • Eileen Wittig

On Kansas City Drivers


First of all, let me just say that I learned to drive in a suburb of Boston. It wasn’t Boston per se, but if you didn’t drive like you were actually there, you probably wouldn’t live to see Boston again. You’ve heard of how insane New York City drivers are? New York drivers are scared of Boston drivers. No joke. The general philosophy of Boston drivers is, “Just go for it. They have to let you in if you’re already in.” That is how I learned to drive. And just for the record, I have never been in an accident or pulled over for any reason anywhere ever.

That being said, I do not understand Kansas City drivers. I’ve been living and driving here for two whole months, and I can’t figure them out. There’s no philosophy at all. No rhyme, no reason, no method to the madness. They all either drive ten over the speed limit, or ten under. Usually ten under. Or, like the other day, when we were all going 30 in a 45-zone. That was wicked fun. But on any given road on any given day there will be one lane of traffic going ten over, and one lane, right next to it, going ten under. I asked a couple of KC natives about this phenomenon to see if it was just me imagining it, but they told me it was real and that they didn’t know why it happened either. So there you are.

Then there’s the whole stay-in-your-lane thing. Boston driving works because we stay in our lanes. We decide what lane we want, we merge into it, we see the dotted lines, and we stay between them. Like you’re supposed to. Not so in Kansas City. Can’t decide what lane you want? Totally fine. You can choose both. Just hug one side of the lane you like more at that particular moment, or better yet, keep switching between them. Don’t forget to do this at five under the speed limit. And definitely go ahead and ignore lanes when you’re turning a corner. Those aren’t even guidelines. They’re just accidental paint splatters spilled from the paint trucks.

Finally—pickup trucks. I understand that down here there is more of a need for pickups than up where I’m from. I don’t quite know why so many city people need them, but hey. Maybe they all actually have farms and they’re all just coming into town to pick up equipment. Although the trucks are all awfully shiny. But whatever the reason, if you have a pickup truck and you’re in the city, please learn how to park. Putting the car into Park in a parking lot does not suffice. I realize that a pickup is bigger than a Prius and therefore harder to maneuver, but if I can center a Flex in a parking space, you can center your F-250. Unless you’re ok with being shown up by a city-slicker girl.

And to the guys in the beat-up pickup who were trying to show off to me by making sure they got one wheel on the curb as they parked: better luck next time yo.

#Driving #KansasCity #Complaining #Cities

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