Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Right Turn on Red?

Okay, so I drive in lots of different places.  I figured I'd better get a grip on which states allow you to turn right at a red light after stopping.  (Little known fact: in California, "stop" is an acronym.  It stands for "softly touch other pedal.")

The Wikipedia article on the subject is, well, a festival of "citation needed" requests.  So I wandered around a little to try to sort it out.

It looks like it's a Federal guideline.  Maybe.  It actually might be just a recommendation of the National Committee on Uniform Traffic Laws and Ordinances.  Their idea was that you should be able to expect similar driving laws in all the states of the union.  (Think base speed limit, dui, dwb, &c.)  If you collect antiques, you're in luck, their website says "Copyright 1997."  Take that, time travel naysayers!

Ostensibly, it's for fuel economy, and seems to've been promoted in the late seventies when the US was enjoying an early beta-test of the Manufactured Fuel Shortage(tm) system.  You don't want cars idling at a red light if they can safely proceed through the intersection and down to a nearby gas station.  Feed the beast.

The exception?  The five boroughs of New York.  Which means New Jersey wishes they had the same thing, but just can't manage to pull it off in a cheap-but-still-classy way.  Anywhere else though, you're probably fine unless otherwise posted.  Clever tip from a site's comments: stay stopped at the red light, and if the person behind you honks, it's legal to turn there.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Polyglot Shoe Money

I run in so many interesting cities now, and my intended routes don't always match up with reality.  So, I keep a twenty dollar bill under the insole of one of my shoes.  If I get completely lost, I'm hailing a cab.  I've done the math; my running distance is within twenty bucks, including tip.

But here's what happens when I go running through three nations.  I've got twenty dollar bills from the US, New Zealand, and Australia all in there.  I won't remember to swap them around each time I cross a border, so I figure I'd better keep all three for these two months in the southern hemisphere.

True story; funny story.  This is actually a brand new pair of shoes.    I left my old pair on top of a recycling bin in San Francisco.  They've still got some life as normal shoes, even if all the spring has gone out of them for running.  Well, as I was stuffing the stack of twenties into my new pair, I realized I left the twenty in my old pair.

I wonder if the next wearer will ever find it.