Wednesday, July 11, 2012

a lesson on driving

Good afternoon, everyone. Given a recent ticket we received in the mail, I thought I'd give you all a short lesson on driving in Louisiana.

First and foremost. We just got a ticket in the mail. Actually, my parents got a ticket in the mail, which they then forwarded on to us. I shall draw you a picture. It's that important. (Forgive my amateur Paint skills.)

On big roads, there are two stoplights in a row, with space for about three cars before you get in the way of perpendicular traffic (because of the one-way freaky roads, which I will talk about later). This is new to us Utah/Idaho drivers. Depending on the intersection, these lights turn yellow at approximately the same time.

As Utah/Idaho drivers, we want to make it through that yellow light. So we speed up. We have successfully made it through the first yellow light. But now we have a second yellow light that is like unto a ticking time bomb. Instincts tell us Utah/Idaho drivers that stopping in the middle of an intersection is deadly. So we continue to speed up. And consequently run that second red light. Specifically, a red light that had a camera watching it. Which landed us with a big, fat ticket. Shoot.

Second. I mentioned this earlier. Most roads are one-way streets. The big ones have canals running between the lanes of oncoming traffic. Watch for those one-way street signs. They will save your life. Or make you have a heart attack as you realize you have turned into oncoming traffic. One of the two.

Third. Because of the above, be prepared to make many u-turns. In Old Metairie where we stayed for the first week of our adventures, there are rarely left turns. You go through the intersection and make a u-turn, then turn right.

Fourth.There are eight-way stops. Like a four-way stop, but with two lanes coming from each direction. If everyone's going straight, usually everything's fine. Blinkers are a must, however, if you are not going straight.

Fifth. The roads are horrible awful. Potholes, bumpy, random bumps that I'm sure will one day pop my tire. Pretty much like that one road in American Fork that everybody tries to avoid. But all over the place. However, I have found with the recent torrential downpour that bad roads make for pretty awesome puddles. Careful, though. Going through large puddles at decent speeds may cause some problems with sight. We learned that the first day we were here.

Sixth. Road names are interesting. I was going to say unique, but that's actually the issue here. There are variations of names, i.e. Cleveland Place and Cleveland Lane. And names of cities as names of roads, like Metairie Drive and Houma Boulevard. Make sure you get the right one. Also many roads are named after universities, such as Ole Miss, or states, like Alabama. My most favorite road to drive past is Incarnate Word Drive. I want to live there someday just so I can put that address on letters.

That is all for now, class. Thank you for your attention.


  1. Oh Aly! Isn't it crazy?? When we first moved here I tried to mapquest my way to church but the instructions involved 3 U-turns in what should have pretty much been a straight shot. That was the beginning of my struggles with the whole Louisiana road system. It's a mess! Also, mind if I add your cute blog to my list of blogs on my own? You can check out mine if you like too!

    1. Haha seriously!! And we'd love to be on your list of blogs :) I need to get one of those up here... That'll be next on my to do list.