I don't know the origin or actual purpose of one-way streets. I assume, and know this would be a quick google search, that they are for making traffic more efficient and/or safe by eliminating left-hand turns (meaning some turns because right-hand turns to the left, if you will). What I do know is that they are frustrating when you end up circling your destination in an unfamiliar city. I can't even think of any one-way streets in orem/provo, so other than other big city driving, I've not had too much experience with one-ways. So for any of you who are or who may be new to a city and must learn to incorporate one-ways into your city driving, have hope. There are simple steps to becoming a pro at using one-ways:

.5 (optional) go down a one-way street the wrong way. vow to never drive again. I don't think this has happened to me, but I was in a car where that happened once. 

1. drive to a destination and find that every street you would like to turn on is a one-way going in the opposite direction.

2. learn how to tell if it's a one-way with out signs (you know, just in case) by looking at the direction of parked cars.

3. predict where the one-ways are (using patterns such as every other street) and realize you know the names of a few streets that are one-ways

4. find routes to your destinations that incorporate, and are not frustrated by, one-ways. you learn which streets go which direction AND where specific streets turn into one-ways or two-ways

5. use them normally in your commute and, unless you're going somewhere totally new, come to terms with the fact that one-ways are a part of life. And, with sufficient warning, it doubles the amount of parking spaces available to you as you just need to change lanes.

Anyone have any other advice/stories/experience with one-ways? Thankfully we have gotten used to them, but those first few weeks in Portland had their frustrating moments as we tried to get somewhere new in a new city only to be, so it seemed, thwarted at every turn.


Katya said...

0.5 has happened to me, twice on the same day. Luckily on two deserted streets, but still...

Bruce said...

Pro tip: most people know that you can turn left on red from a one way street to a one way street, but there's also a similar rule that almost no one knows: you can also turn left on red (after stopping, of course) from a two-way street onto a one-way street. (See page 40 of the Oregon Driver Manual).