Last weekend I was in NYC and I’m always jealous of their public transportation system. The reason I don’t just move there is that I am not too jealous of their weather. Well, I have ALMOST sworn off driving in LA all together. While few and far between, there are still times when I need to drive. This is because LA is set up like a bunch of suburbs and then suburbs of suburbs. The suburb I happen to live in is very walkable, close to major bike lanes/paths as the beach is close by and the nearby bus routes run frequently and are far reaching. This makes it possible to leave the car at home most of the time. If you have no choice but to drive regularly in LA or other city, do yourself a favor and hop on a bus to see a demonstration of how to drive in your city with fuel efficiency in mind.
Anticipate traffic lights. Many traffic lights now have count-downs for pedestrians, use those to figure out if you are going to make it through the green or yellow in time or you should just lay off the gas and coast in to the red light. Some people may want to rush around you to the red light, don’t be that guy, you will consume more fuel while idling than coasting.
Driving Ms. Everyone Else. That means you need to drive everyone eles’s car. Figure out what other drivers are going to do before they do it. That way you will know if you need to slow down, speed up or get out of the lane in a hurry because this driver changing lanes failed to look over their shoulder to see your shiny new car.
Merging is like a zipper, don’t be the (four letter word) caught in the middle. Look at how a zipper zips and this is how traffic should merge, first come first served. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case, so we have some work to do spreading the word.
Don’t block the path most taken. Do not block intersections. In some cities it is illegal and could be fined $450 or more for blocking intersections. When you block intersections, especially cross-walks, it is embarrassing and I might make a snyde comment to you about how this State still allows you to have a license. Okay, I don’t actually do that, but I have been tempted many, many, many, many, many times.
Hypermile but don’t slow others down. Hypermiling is a “pheonomenon” of getting the best possible fuel economy, most of the time over what the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states. The idea is to use the brake and gas pedal as little as possible. The key is not to create more traffic or road rage, always follow posted speed limits when possible.
Don’t be this guy either:
Now I realize that not all bus drivers follow these rules, but most I have riden with follow these tactics to be efficient and reach their location as close to on-time as traffically possible. You should try the to do the same.
Happy Semi-Hypermiling – GreenUp! Guy