California Road Rules

When I moved to California one of the hardest things for me to get used to was the freeways.Seriously, in Alaska, we did not have the plethora of choices. Freeways and highways that intersect, merge and divide sending the populace to wherever they want to go.

Those kind of choices were not available where I was from. Dizzying choices that had to be made at 65 miles an hour! It was terrifying.

I enjoyed taking the bus when I could.

After a short time I realized that the highways were not always moving at 65 miles an hour. In fact, just when you needed to use them they were most likely to be going 5 miles an hour.

Or even completely stopped.

So the choices didn’t have to be made so fast. In fact, the choices–which lane, which route–could be re examined at length while staring at the dozen or so surrounding cars.

I quickly found a reason to be on the freeways a lot. I got a job. And I’ve had jobs that take me to the streets ever since.

There was this magic place on the freeways:

The HOV lane

HIgh Occupancy vehicle lane

You have to have another person in the car with you to use it. And in California that separate lane on the freeway was achingly wide open, with no one using it.

So many questions. So long to ponder this phenomenon. Why don’t people ride together? Are all the hundreds of cars in front and behind me really only one person to car?

For more than a decade I would spend hours every week longing for that lane.

Then a law was passed: Low emission vehicles could also ride in this exclusive lane. You could get a sticker and be set free!

Of  course, the low emission vehicles (varying degrees of electric cars) were too expensive. Should I really give myself such an extravagance?

My new job is the furthest I’ve ever driven. I got an electric car in March.

In the fashion typical of governments, the paperwork to get my stickers took a very long time to get to me.

Last week they arrived. My commute is now enhanced. I get to use the HOV lane.

I have never felt so priviledged. As soon as I got to use it, I renamed it the VIP lane. I can’t imagine a better gift to myself. I immediately thought about the things typically called VIP-bottle service at a bar, box seats. Sure, those are nice.

But THIS! THIS IS WHERE I LIVE. This takes my whole life to a new level.

What I love most?I love most that I don’t sit in the car questioning “did I make the right choice?”

Yes, sometimes the HOV lane is slow traffic. BUt it’s the BEST you are going to get on that lane.

And knowing that I’ve done the UTMOST to optimize this travel is like a warm blanket of assurance. This is it. I can let this be the right choice and think about something else.

Letting that worry go is a weight lifted. A weight I didn’t know I was carrying.

I love my new car.

I’ve never felt so *VIP* in my life

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