ONE-WAYS

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.

2 comments:

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).