The Road Of Road Rage

Hey guys! Happy “winter season” to all of us from Southern California. It is currently 86 degrees outside. As much as everyone is complaining about it, truth is we’re probably a lot better off than the other half of the nation.

Anyways, if you have lived in Irvine, or Southern California, for at least a year, you probably understand the frustrations of not having a car here. Or if you do have a car, you know how aggravating the driving habits of others down here can be. With all the driving I have been doing around the area lately, I’ve seen a few consistently horrible things that SoCal drivers do, and I think you will all relate with me on how it can completely ruin the day.

First of all, as stated earlier, one cannot get anywhere without a car. And such is the case with about 75% of the population here. Don’t even think about taking OCTA, Metro, or any other sort of public transportation. Their time tables are unreliable. Also, if you miss a bus, don’t expect another one to come around for another hour. This unreliability leads us to either beg others for rides, or simply get a car and deal with the 3,000+ cars just like us on all the freeways –

The 101. The 5. The 10. The 210. The 605. The 91. The 57.

You get what I mean. And those are all actual freeways, not just spurts of numbers. And trust me, there’s plenty more where that came from.

Also, if you want to get anywhere at the time that is designated on your GPS, you must drive between 11AM-2PM, or 8 PM and on, to get the full results. However, if you drive on Fridays, the above rules become void!

There are plenty of rules like these that one picks up eventually after driving around here. It’s yet another obstacle in the maze of aggressive drivers in Southern California.

A pretty universal driving irk that many can relate to is the lack of a turn signal at times. It’s understandable if nobody is around, but when they are it’s incredibly frustrating and dangerous! Brake slamming has become such a regular thing for me to do because of all the drivers who decide to cut into a lane last minute without notifying anyone via turn signal. I’m just waiting for an accident to happen. What’s worse is when cars DO use their turn signals and the lane they are trying to change into becomes filled by cars who won’t let them in! All common courtesy leaves the roads and people miss their freeway exits.

I’m not an environmentalist or anything but there are some incidents of planet burning that make my stomach churn a little, and those incidents certainly take place on the road. Whenever a car or bus in front of me takes off after a red light, I feel a slight sense of pain watching a huge cloud of yellow and gray smoke enter my vision and my nostrils (despite the fact that all my windows are closed). And for those of you who still drive Hummers – now you’re actually killing the planet. They stopped making those for a reason, you know.

Of course, with the wonderfully overwhelming amount of bike lanes on our roads comes the obnoxious amount of bikers who don’t use them; instead they decide to act as cars and use the car lanes instead. However, they must realize that the speed limits in Irvine are 50 mph. I don’t believe that the majority of bikes have the ability to go that fast. They also must realize that their hands do not suffice for turning signals. They have the ability to make all drivers on the road terrified and angry at the same time. If they could stay in the many designated bike lanes painted for them, everyone around will be a lot happier!

Lastly, I must, of course, include the parking fees that are thrust upon students who park literally anywhere on campus. Parking at Vista Del Campo for one quarter is $255 a quarter. One day parking is $10, and commuter parking is $66 a month (which limits you to mainly the highest two floors of selected parking lots). We all are too familiar with the goal of “let’s see how long I can attend UCI before I end up getting a parking ticket.” And the University Town Center most certainly utilizes their tow service on an hourly basis.

As a concluding piece of advice, be weary of what happens on and around the roads if you get a car while attending. It can be a huge plus to your experience but it also comes with a lot of precautions.