Arboretum Way on Ramp – a Rant

You never slow down whilst turning left onto Arboretum way from Madison, as any fool knows.

Disclaimer: you should not use this post as a guide to safe or even correct driving practices.

Every person who slows down taking this corner means one more commuter stuck at the light behind them. All the regulars know this. So those brake lights at Madison and Arboretum way can only mean one thing: dangerous newbie.

In truth, I don’t mind that they drive slowly. It’s OK that they slow on every curve. I did the same thing the first time I drove on Arboretum way. I don’t even mind when they stop to let a family of five and their dog cross the arterial. It’s when they make that fateful left turn onto the 520 ramp that I feel the sinking in the pit of my stomach.

The Arboretum Way on ramp is a particularly treacherous way to get onto 520 (a friend of mine used to commute in Boston, and even he says this is a bad on ramp). One who is prone to palpitations of fear ought not use it. When you see the driver in front of you brake for every curve on the Arboretum, take my advice. Slow down. Stop if you must. Wait five minutes.

Every time I’ve entered 520 behind one of these drivers, I’ve seen the same thing. As they begin to merge, and they see the end of the ramp looming up, they panic, weave, and brake. I’ve even seen them stop in the middle of the on ramp. There’s nothing more terrifying than stomping on the gas, looking over my shoulder, jockeying for position, then turning forward and seeing a car stopped on the on-ramp 25 feet in front of you. After a couple of close calls, I always give the newbies lots and lots of room.

1 Comment so far

  1. TonyD (unregistered) on October 23rd, 2005 @ 1:04 pm

    This story was reprinted in the Seattle PI in the Life in the city column. Here’s the link:

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