Driving in Portland, OR
Tuesday, as I was inching my way home on SE 82nd Ave, my mind wandered onto the fact of how really nice drivers are in Portland. I have driven all over the country, in many large cities and, have to say, I’ve never experienced the civility that Portland offers. The drivers for the most part are considerate of everyone around them. Merging is never an issue because everyone takes turns. I smile every time I am coming back from the West side on the Ross Island bridge. three very heavily traveled roads become one right at the start of the bridge and could be an incredible bottle neck at rush hour. Yet the people just all take turns, even stopping so that the next car from the other road gets in on their “turn”. Very nice!
I have yet to be honked at by another driver, and very seldom hear a car horn. This is especially true downtown. The typical city traffic noise is barley noticeable.
As a teenager I honed my driving skills on the streets of Chicago. The first rule of driving in Chicago is you are going to encounter honking and hand gestures, if you have done anything wrong or not. It doesn’t take long driving around Philadelphia to understand how the City of Brotherly Love has one of the highest homicide rates in America. Driving there raised my anxiety to near homicidal levels. I think that the only thing I can say about driving in either New York or Washington, DC, is just believe everything you have ever heard. It is as bad as they say.
So Tuesday evening, when I sat down to read the news the first headline that caught I eye was “Road rage survey: Portland drivers nation’s ‘most courteous'”. WOW! Not earth moving, but serendipitous, none the less.