I love Columbus; it has the greatest reservoir of untapped potential of any metropolis in America. After washing ashore on the muddied banks of the Olentangy in 2008 with only a tortoiseshell cat named "Betsy Ross" and bottle of Lady Bligh in my possession, I have never contemplated leaving the Capital City. Outside of the abomination that is Power 107.5, however, one thing has truly driven me insane about Columbus:
Only 25% of the people who drive cars should be allowed on the open roads.
I don't know if this is a by-product of America's car culture, or yet another wanton failure of our government, but I'm only here to point my bony, pasty finger at the Neanderthals who can only be described in the words of Bill Burr as "In-the-Way People." Seriously, spend a day driving aimlessly around Columbus and you will be left with such questions as: "How do these people operate a blender, let alone a 2,500 lbs. vehicle capable of instantly dealing death to other human beings?"
Most people in Columbus aren't aware of this hidden trick discovered by a stay-at-home mom, so allow me to illuminate: in your car, usually on the left of your steering wheel, is a lever called a "turn signal." Now, as the phrase may suggest, this can be used to signal which way you attend to turn your vehicle. Before you engage in a sudden turn across three lanes of traffic (because you've failed to grasp the numerically named streets originally set up for your convenience), it might be best to hit your turn-signal to save somebody from t-boning you... because chances are you're driving without insurance.
If you're making a left hand-turn, PULL UP INTO THE INTERSECTION. That way, the cars immediately behind you won't have to wait a whole light cycle to make the same turn you just did.
This next one may be too big of a concept for the feeble mind of the average Columbus Driver, but I'm going to roll with it anyway. If you're approaching a red light/stopped traffic, always stop before side-streets. This allows other people to turn on/off that side-street and not congest traffic any further than it already is. Driving is all about give-and-take (another concept lost on Columbus Drivers), and it's the best drivers who defer to others.
On that same vein, if you're at, let's just say a 4-way stop intersection, and somebody waves you on, GO. They have offered you their turn, SO TAKE IT. DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT, sit there like a clown and wave them on instead. YOU HAVE JUST WASTED EVERYONE'S TIME AND SQUANDERED THE CHARITY.
Speaking of four way intersections, wow. I'm not going to even go there because given the antics I've seen by Columbus Drivers, it'd be like trying to teach calculus to people who still write with crayons. The same goes with the merging, which is something that has probably baffled Columbus drivers since the days of the Model-T. We're too far down our hellacious path to attempt Enlightment now.
The best piece of advice I can offer to Columbus drivers is REMOVE YOURSELF FROM THE SIX-INCH BUBBLE OF SELF-AWARENESS you have swaddled yourself in and PAY ATTENTION. It might be earth-shattering for most of Columbus' drivers, but there is an entire world outside of the six inches in front of your face. Driving is really not that difficult, as evidenced by the government allowing dipshit 16 year-olds to do it.
This is all without exploring another concept which Columbus drivers fail to grasp: street-parking. In short:
- You're supposed to line your front-bumper up with the meter, not the middle of your car. You should be able to deduce this from simply looking at the placement of the meters, yet here we are.
- You don't need six yards between you and the next car parked on the street. Obnoxious parking like that just screws other people out of precious parking spaces in Central Columbus, which is the purpose of this exercise: to expand your worldview past the six-inches of your gaping, oxygen-sucking maw.
- If you're bad at parallel parking, it's because you want to be. It's not a quirky part of your personality that you get to laugh at with your friends, and you should be stripped of your license immediately because you're a terrible human being.
Columbus is a dragon who is only now being awoken. By 2020, the sky is literally the limit for this great city. Do you want to be a thoughtful, functioning denizen of the Capital City? Or do you want to be another short-sighted, self-absorbed sieve on what we're trying to accomplish?
Believe it or not, your driving goes along way towards answering that question.