Tuesday, April 11, 2006

On The Road Again: Fast Lane

So, from my morning commute, I can only assume that we won the war. I mean, is there any reason for the fact I don't see any of those magnetic yellow ribbons anymore?

OK, OK, I'm not here to talk about that, but rather about another interesting phenomenon.

Since taking the new gig my driving habits have changed radically. Last time I had to make the Bellevue commute, I would be up before dawn and take surface streets as much as I could to avoid I-405, the main artery north. Now that I arrive at a more . . . leisurely hour, I tend to just take 405 North. And its pretty smooth - a couple slowdowns, some dead stops, but easier than navigating through the stoplights of downtown Renton.

Now the thing that I've noticed that's interesting is this: the right lane moves faster. It seems counter-intuitive - the right lane should be the slowest lane, but from non-scientific analysis, it gets you there faster.

And by non-scientific analysis, I mean the following: I get on 405 and pick a distinctive vehicle in the middle lane (the far left lane is HOV). A strange color car, a pickup hauling stuff, a particular truck. Then you hang in the right lane pace it, and see which one reaches the I-90 intersection first.

And lo and behold, more often than not its the right lane that moves faster. With the trucks, and continual merging from the entrance ramps. As a former civil engineer, it feels wrong, but so far the commute has been a breeze.

Now, there is one exception to the above rule - when someone suddenly switches from the middle lane to the right lane (usually right in front of you, because your lane is moving and theirs is not), THEN the right lane will suddenly stop completely. Because thats just the way Car Karma works.

More later,