The Rules of the Road

Inspired by a friend of mine off-lj who was summarizing the things she needs to know by now to successfully survive driving in her town.

The Rules For Getting Around In Columbus

  • Red means “One more can go through.”
  • Yellow means “Hurry up!”
  • Green means the guy behind you is already halfway up your exhaust pipe. If you are not at the head of the line when the light turns green, green means “Go ahead and finish (your phone call|putting on your lipstick|screwing around with the radio|etc.).”
  • Interstates 70 and 71 conveniently have the same interstate number as their minimum acceptable speed.
  • If you don’t see orange construction cones, you have gotten lost and are no longer in Franklin County. You might not even be in Ohio anymore.
  • The Ohio State University is populated by students from all over the world. Regardless of where they are from, OSU students will at best drive like Bostonians and may even be training to be French cabbies, whom even Columbusites are rightly scared of.
  • Crosswalks are the one place you will not see pedestrians. If you see one there, you are permitted to accelerate.
  • If you find a parking space downtown, the place you are going is closed.
  • Do not attempt to drive in the campus area during the Ohio State Fair, the OSU/Michigan game (regardless of whether it’s here or in Ann Arbor) or the Heritage Festival. Do not attempt to drive the Short North during the Gallery Hop (first Saturday of the month). Do not attempt to drive in Dublin during the Memorial Tournament (unless you’re going to it, and it’s 6am) or the Irish Festival. Wherever you are in town, and wherever you are going, it will be faster to walk.
  • If you attempt to circumvent driving by using the bus, be advised that while the bus goes everywhere, they will arrive at your stop two minutes before or five minutes after the posted time.
  • Everything is just off High Street, I-71, 315, or the Outerbelt. Anywhere else in Columbus is a mass hallucination.
  • If someone gives you directions that include “71 and the Outerbelt” or “70 and the Outerbelt”, it is assumed that you automatically know which side of town they mean. If someone gives directions stating “71 and the North Outerbelt” or “70 and the East Outerbelt”, they are new in town.
  • Bexley, New Albany and Dublin police do not have a sense of humor. Driving in Dublin with any liberal/progressive bumper stickers on your car constitutes an agreement to be pulled over for just existing.
  • If you are on a cell phone, you have more rights-of-way than an ambulance with all its lights and sirens going.
  • Merging into another lane can only be done immediately ahead of another car, and use of the turn signal is forbidden.
  • The interstates should be protected by cutting off people trying to merge from an on-ramp. If the interstate was so important to them, they should have been on it by now.
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9 comments so far

  1. ataniell93 on

    Oh lord! So true!!!!

    • And you never actually drove here yourself. ‘Course, that meant you could really watch the other drivers instead of just hope to catch a glimpse as they shot by. :)

      • ataniell93 on

        Yes. And I spent a LOT of time in cars that had been pulled over because they displayed inappropriate political attitudes on the back bumper.

  2. dakota_angie on

    Forgot one, though.

    If you see one snowflake fall from the sky…. PANIC!!

    • Actually, that’s “Regardless of how much snow is on the road, or the fact that the rain is coming down so hard you can’t see your hood ornament, be sure to drive like it’s a perfect, clear spring day.” :)

  3. avon_deer on

    Sounds like the rules of the road in Liverpool.

  4. surakofb5 on

    Thanks, I needed a laugh today. Of course, it’s funny precisely because it’s 100% accurate. I just printed out the list and posted it in the break room at work, so we’ll see what the others think. :)


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