Here is where DC is entered. It's the end of the 14th street bridge. It can be painful.
Vice versa, however has (as we say in the army) an alibi. Not only is it people that aren't paying attention, but it's also people with what has been called (by me, or an old acquaintance long forgotten about) "One More Car Syndrome"... which means that when you are driving in a lane that you need to turn from, that you have to get past one more car before you get in that lane. The left lane in this case is plagued with victims of this syndrome and subsequently it backs up traffic right where it shouldn't back up traffic. It's four lanes turning into five FFS.
Here is a left lane of cars coming onto I-395 from the express lane, usually at an unreasonably slow pace. Perhaps this slow pace happens because sometimes, they need to get all the way into the right lane (crossing 2 complete lanes of traffic) in less than 400 feet. Of course, this is where traffic is finally starting to pick up to to counter the faster speeds of the traffic in the right lanes, the cars in the left lanes go slower so that they cause people to wreck behind them trying to avoid them... and wrecks make traffic go slower, thus they can get over easier.
I find it easier to get in the left lane behind these cars (crossing the solid white line) so that I have less chance of getting tangled with them (and the plethora of cars avoiding them) while they try to figure out what they are going to do.
My apologies for the below picture being remarkably similar to the one above. It is slightly different, and still another part of my drive so I must include it. In fact, I spent a lot of time perfecting how I wanted the lanes to look and I'd hate to not be able to use the picture.
So here it is.
I don't know why DC insists on having so many ramps and exits on I-395... Instead of being a freeway it becomes a huge intersection without traffic lights (...huge intersection without traffic lights... what a great description... sometimes I surprise myself with my genius).
I shouldn't need to type an explanation on what's going on in the picture, but I will anyway. The first thing that strikes me as completely odd is the "merging" lane on the left. Two lanes coming in, but the right merging lane melts into the left lane of the interstate. What is amazing is not the fact that this is the most idiotic street configuration ever designed, but instead the fact that people know how to use it! Unbelievable! When two cars are meeting up at the same time at the (nonexistent) point of death one will always decide to give the right of way by slowing down or speeding up without causing a backup in traffic. Why can this not be done with normal merging lanes, where you have thousands of feet to find a hole and get in it?
After that point you have the typical cars trying to get in front of as many other cars as possible, even though they know damn well they are going to make someone slam on their brakes because of their syndrome. Also, after the idiotic left merging lane comes another merging lane on the left, where roughly 75% of the vehicles appear there are dumptrucks that need to get to the South Capitol Street exit, which happens to be a right exit not too far further up from where the picture cuts off.
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