Danderous Drivers on 447

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Re: Danderous Drivers on 447

Postby RedHeaven » Tue Sep 13, 2011 9:57 pm

Funny how people try to defend CA Drivers by saying "Everyone thinks the drivers suck where they live. Fact is, Drivers suck, period"

I dont believe that for one second. CA drivers are truly the worst. OK Ive never driven on the east coast but I cant imagine them being as stoned out as us hippies and reckless. haha. But I do drive across country to Michigan often and everything out there is a driving paradise compared to the crazy world I live in here. Heck Im even in a small town in CA close to Nevada and our drivers still suck until you cross that border. Its weird

Sorry to get off topic....just ranting
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Re: Danderous Drivers on 447

Postby theCryptofishist » Wed Sep 14, 2011 10:39 am

Just remember how populated California is. It may still be disproportionate, I'm just saying.
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Re: Danderous Drivers on 447

Postby atomosk » Wed Sep 14, 2011 10:54 am

Bay Bridge Sue wrote:
atomosk wrote:I am a local. I grew up on that highway... the people from California stopping at gas stations and restaurants and saying things like, "thank you for being here for us," ... " shows a shitty mindset with a hint of unintentional condescension...


Wow. Growing up also in rural Nevada, I never took a compliment as condecending... I'll remember, next time I gas up or stop an grab some chow or a drink at Brunos to give them a hearty Fuck You Assholes, rather than my customary smile and thanking them for putting up with us and engaging them in decent conversation. Or would pissing on the Nixon gas pump and telling the folks working the store to kiss my ass be more appropriate?

Yeah, there IS a mean libertarian streak that runs thru Nevada Cowboy Country (which I love dearly), but there's also an old fashioned courtesy and politeness that I only hope rubs off on the visitors coming thru. I don't think someone expressing a common courtesy is being condesceding... I think, instead, they may be "getting it". Fuck, I hope so... it's what I noticed. Even most of the jaded city types change, esp. by Exodus. Sorry you don't see that.

Anyway... since, due to my employer, I currently have California plates on my vehicles. I must be the most hated bitch in all of NW Nevada, right? Gak...


I guess the way I put it is a bit cynical. A compliment is a compliment and I know that when it's paid it's sincere. Individually those can be wonderful words. But hearing it over and over again is really annoying. During the rest of the year I don't stop at gas stations and thank the person at the counter for being open and catering to my folk and I. I don't walk into a restaurant and act impressed that the yokel pouring my coffee is friendly despite the weird hat I'm wearing. People coming through and interacting with people here often act like they're begging you to ask what they're doing there, where they're going so they can tell you about Burning Man. Sometimes they have an attitude that they should be extremely thankful to the ignorant locals for putting up with them (because we must see them as freaks) as they throw their event. It's condescending because we're probably more often Burners than they think, it's our event too, none of this is new or strange or shocking for us. "Locals" are just people the same as anyone who happen to live where they live.
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Re: Danderous Drivers on 447

Postby vertigo900 » Wed Sep 14, 2011 11:14 am

Thank you for everyone's input. It's nice to know I'm not the only one fed up with the dangerous driving on 447!

I believe the solution is either temporarily decreasing the speed limit to 55 mph and/or banning passing between Wadsworth and Empire for the duration of the event. Increasing the LEO presence along the the highway would also be important as well as a lot more signage. Sure I would love to get to the event sooner and pass the RVs going an unsteady 50-55 mph. However, I soon as one person passes nearly EVERYONE wants to pass that person.

Psychologically, I believe certain people are used to a certain level of anxiety or adrenaline when they drive or carry out their day (i.e. people who are always late). Some people also have a strong desire to be in front of the pack. It's easier to see what's coming, feels safer, and there's a better view. When these people hit the open two-lane road with 85 miles of overloaded RVs and trailers in front of them blocking the view they want to pass. Maybe I'm wrong. However, personally I feel the desire to pass, drive faster, or get there sooner yet realize the absolute futility and danger of it and consciously make the rational decision to just go with the flow. I am the last person who would want to make a rule. However when people who don't think this way continue to endanger me, my fellow burners, and the locals who put up with our event, something seriously needs to change. EVERYONE cannot safely pass and travel 70 mpg on 447 just because the current speed limits and passing lanes say they can. Either something changes now BEFORE someone dies. Or something changes after. The question is when? And what should be done? (Hello BMorg, anyone listening?)

The bottomline is, if nothing is done to effectively have most drivers travel the same speed and without the need to pass, people will continue to be seriously injured and killed on 447 AND the event as we know it will be jeoparized. If we wait for a local to die or for several burners, I wonder how long the BLM will continue to permit the event. Sure the event would probably move to a new location. However, I have faith that we as burners can take steps to help prevent this from happening BEFORE another person dies on 447.

I would sure love to wait for the BMorg to jump in and handle this cuz I have other things to do than write about this on ePlaya (no offense) and be told this is BS (from feedback page). This was my 12th burn, I know what I saw and see where it's going. I may be wrong, but I doubt most of the BMorg decision makers do not commute to/from the event during the crazy days and are not witnessing the dangerous drivers OR are not listening. Nevertheless, I would like hear from them that they are aware of the situation and some options are being consider w/ local authorities.

Does anyone know of a more direct contact to the BMorg that might deal with this other than the overwhelmed feedback email address? I will consider contacting the local jurisdictions but would like to start with BMorg first. However, after witnessing years and years of dangerous drivers, I'm starting to wonder. :roll: Maybe I'm impatient, but listening to myself whine on Eplaya feels like trying to drive on the playa in the rain. Maybe the best gift for me to work towards for next year is trying to prevent someone from being killed on 447.
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Re: Danderous Drivers on 447

Postby Kinetik V » Wed Sep 14, 2011 12:10 pm

Again, temporary speed limit reductions, increased signage, and more cops requires funding. Funding that is already super tight. I don't want to come across as an ass but this is funding you're not going to get. And even if the org raised ticket prices to chip in a larger share....no it's still not enough.
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Re: Danderous Drivers on 447

Postby Mr. Googles » Wed Sep 14, 2011 12:19 pm

I agree that a lot of burners lose all respect once they hit the pavement. Unfortunately, I must say that most jerks were from Cali.

My job makes me drive about 6 hours a day, and I deal with all types of drivers. I'm always amused when people are surrounded with beautiful land, and all they can do is tailgate the driver in front of them, and stare at the guys ass in front of them. I saw one Cali tailgater this year that was on a guys ass for 40 some miles. He had less than 5 feet between his car and the van in front of him. He would get restless, and start swerving from side to side to blow off steam. It was so dangerous and made him look like an ass!

The people passing put us all in danger. I agree with some of you that the speed should be dropped to a steady 55, and temp no passing signs should be installed along the hwy. I know that there aren't many spots for the cops to pull people over that are safe.. so...

Why don't they use speed cameras, or aircraft speed/passing enforcement? I don't know if it's legal in Nevada, but I've seen it used in a lot of rural states in the west with good results. Just having signs up that speed is enforced via aircraft surveillance keeps a lot of people in their place.
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Re: Danderous Drivers on 447

Postby vertigo900 » Wed Sep 14, 2011 12:39 pm

Kinetic V wrote:The no passing zone sign idea...unenforceable for the most part, and there's no budget to pay for the signs or the manpower to install them.

More aggressive enforcement? Possible, but where do you make a safe traffic stop? The areas that are safe are already scoped out and used.

***********************

The answer to this is not more laws, signs, calling *NHP (although if the driver is a total ass I will take their plate and call in a complaint when I get cell coverage), it's about education and awareness.


Excellent points. Enforcement could be very dangerous under the conditions. Education and a community awareness campaign would be very important but only goes so far. Look and the number of trashed potties we still see despite the community education. The project has helped, but people still abuse the potties. People still show up to the playa surprised it's dusty and you can't buy food despite the resources available to educate newbies otherwise. I believe driver in the VW bus who I witnessed almost drive the local off the road this year (see my first post) was a regular burner and had probably driven on 447 before.

I would imagine NDOT (Nevada DOT) has the temp signs like the ones they place over existing speed limit sign during road construction projects. Sure there would be costs involved with law enforcement and NDOT. But as I see it, they either spend the money in prevention NOW or they spend it AFTER a major accident. I have no idea what the difference in costs would be, but is it worth people's lives? Maybe some might think it is...after all it is a gambling state! :wink:

Perhaps leaving the passing option open, while temporarily reducing the speed limit to 50-55 mph in the 70 mph zones between Wadsworth and Empire would be a better solution. This along with a heavy public awareness campaign from BMorg and burner communities about the new speed limits would be critically important. Several well-placed flashing signs and light law enforcement could be a nice visual deterrent and reminder. Sure there would always be "that person" that just must do as they wish, just like the jerks do with the potties. However, if most burners became aware of new speed limits and the reasoning behind them I would believe they would just respect the new rules, chill and just keep a steady 45-55 mph pace. I would imagine that collectively there would be a big reduction in the insane speeding and passing. I supposed it would be helpful to consult with the tribal police in Wadsworth and Nixon to learn how their increased presence has helped reduced speeding through their towns. Clearly there is absolutely no better speed deterrent than seeing someone pulled over. However, it would not be possible for LEOs to safely stop drivers for speeding and reckless passing up and down 447.

It is past time for new driving rules on 447 during Burning Man.
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Re: Danderous Drivers on 447

Postby FIGJAM » Wed Sep 14, 2011 12:54 pm

I've been to a lot of events that had reduced speed limits for their duration.

It should'nt be that hard to put 55mph signs over the 70mph signs, and on the same post under those signs, a yellow no passing sign.
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Re: Danderous Drivers on 447

Postby Cheyenne » Wed Sep 14, 2011 1:15 pm

Every year in Exodus, I see a trailer/truck so badly loaded I take a picture. I'll post this year's loser when I get the laptop out.


If any of those trailers were driving down a motorway here in the Uk, they would have been stopped, given a ticket and their whole rig impounded with the driver and passengers dropped off at the next service station to find their own way home!!!

I couldn't believe how some of them were loaded, I could well have thought I was looking at a bus in Calcutta!!

I got overtaken in our 26ft RV a load of times on the way in from Empire to gate (it was around 5am Monday morning)... strings of cars and even a 40ft van!! - I was doing 50mph too!!!

My worst driving experience was actually when I was back in LA taking the RV back to the depot. There was one guy on the Ventura Frwy who took it upon himself to lane hop every car he came accross, and giving about 2 ft of clearance to them - in RUSH HOUR...

California drivers certainly take the biscuit from me as the worst state for inconsiderate eejits.
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Re: Danderous Drivers on 447

Postby jkisha » Wed Sep 14, 2011 1:18 pm

Maybe we could just fix all the problems of the "Danderous" Drivers by providing them with some Head 'n Shoulders Dandruff Shampoo.
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Re: Danderous Drivers on 447

Postby Turnip » Wed Sep 14, 2011 1:28 pm

I'll never understand these people's "Hurry up and wait in line" mindset.
We're all driving to the same inevitable wait in line. At least the active driving part isn't as agonizing as inching along in line. The faster you actually drive TO the line, the longer you'll be WAITING in line.

I stayed happy 50-60mph the whole way on 447, and since all highways around here are 55mph, I wasn't at all put out. And was happy to see minimal passing, but you could tell people were getting antsy after Empire.


Another thing I noticed is the tailgating. DON'T DO IT. JUST. DON'T. DO. IT. PHYSICS WILL KILL YOU.
Ideally we should all be DOUBLING our following distance along 447, not just because of all the extra weight we're hauling, but because of the long line of vehicles we've got behind us. How terrible would a pile up be?
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Re: Danderous Drivers on 447

Postby Timezone LaFontaine » Wed Sep 14, 2011 2:43 pm

FIGJAM wrote:It should'nt be that hard to put 55mph signs over the 70mph signs, and on the same post under those signs, a yellow no passing sign.


Thanks for taking this project on. You've got the right attitude to make it a success! :wink:
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Re: Danderous Drivers on 447

Postby bradtem » Wed Sep 14, 2011 2:45 pm

Ummm. Without necessarily disagreeing with the sentiment against going nuts on 447,
Turnip wrote:I'll never understand these people's "Hurry up and wait in line" mindset.
We're all driving to the same inevitable wait in line. At least the active driving part isn't as agonizing as inching along in line. The faster you actually drive TO the line, the longer you'll be WAITING in line.


But this isn't true. You will not wait longer in line if you go there faster, unless the line is shrinking at the time you are driving. If the line is growing while you are driving, you will wait longer in line if you get there later. It's the change in line duration, nothing to do with your speed.

And alas, even though you might wish it not to be so, passing does get somebody there sooner. On the highway, vehicles have a headway of 2 seconds when packed (double that for rvs and trucks) to longer when not so tightly packed. However, the gate does not process vehicles at a rate of one very 2 seconds, so yes, every vehicle you pass will reduce your time in line.

447 has long stretches where it is safe to pass. It has other sections where it is quite unwise. People pass in both. It would be safer if they did not but telling them a falsehood about how it won't work isn't going to change anything.

Another effective thing would be turnouts for slow vehicles, but there are very few places for that on 447 and adding them is unlikely.
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Re: Danderous Drivers on 447

Postby Lassen Forge » Wed Sep 14, 2011 6:04 pm

Problem is, 50 weeks out of the year, 447 is lightly used (and less so now that Empire shut down), so for the most part I would think NDOT considers it a lower priority than, say, Pyramid way or the 515 down south or even 50...

I am impressed that it was well paved and smooth - I remember when this wasn't the case! HUGE improvement over, what, 10 years ago??

As to pullouts - even IF they had the land to set them up, the $$$ just isn't there. When you look at the maintenance that the major highways thru nevada need over a year, combined with the low population overall of the state, well, it's amazing IMO that secondary and tertiary roads (like 447 or CR 34) get as good a care as they do.

I did notice they had a temporary speed reduction and enhanced patrols in Empire this year... After getting almost plowed by someone last year flying thru I think this was a good thing. I'm not sure what they had to go thru to get the reduced speed zone in Empire - I know they can't just go out there willy-nilly, drop signs, put 2 dozen cops there and write tickets... but I don't see why they can't use the same process to drop the posted speed to 55 on 447. The no passing zones - well, they reduced the number of those already, and the ones they have really have good sight distance and provide a way to get around slow moving vehicles... the major prob are those who take chances with oncoming traffic, or worse, pass in a no passing zone.
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Re: Danderous Drivers on 447

Postby atomosk » Wed Sep 14, 2011 6:08 pm

But this isn't true. You will not wait longer in line if you go there faster, unless the line is shrinking at the time you are driving. If the line is growing while you are driving, you will wait longer in line if you get there later. It's the change in line duration, nothing to do with your speed.

And alas, even though you might wish it not to be so, passing does get somebody there sooner. On the highway, vehicles have a headway of 2 seconds when packed (double that for rvs and trucks) to longer when not so tightly packed. However, the gate does not process vehicles at a rate of one very 2 seconds, so yes, every vehicle you pass will reduce your time in line.

Except that isn't true. The line wait fluctuates and it fluctuates quite rapidly. It does not increase exponentially, and it's not exactly predictable either. The line was extremely short Tuesday around noon after being huge from Monday morning and began increasing again Tuesday night. Furthermore, passing vehicles still only let's you open up to 70 until you reach another long line of cars stuck at 50mph. You covered a mile and you're stuck at the same speed you were going before until you can pass again? So after 15 minutes you're a mile closer than you would have been? Is one minute closer to the line worth the risk? How many times can you realistically pass safely to add all those seconds saved together? You're not going to save half an hour, and if you could, what's the point?
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Re: Danderous Drivers on 447

Postby bradtem » Wed Sep 14, 2011 7:24 pm

Yes, the line shrinks and grows. That's what I said. It does so quite independently of how fast you get there. What matters is how long it is when you get there, that governs how long it will take to get through it (roughly.) You will not, as the poster suggested, wait in line longer because you got there sooner. This could happen, but it's not because of your speed, but rather your timing, if you happen to time it so that the line is shrinking around the time you get there, but it's because of the shrinking, not your driving style.

The only thing that is fairly sure is that if you pass 30 cars, you will get through the gate 30 cars sooner. If they are taking 30 seconds per car that's 15 minutes sooner. It's not a lot, but neither is it zero. I don't know what they actually take per car, and even that varies based on how many gate crew are on duty, how much they are searching, but the base principle is the same. This is independent of the line's rate of growth or shrinkage. And yes, it doesn't matter what speed you go, it only matters how many cars you pass. Which is, alas, exactly the opposite message of what was being said here, because it's passing people want to discourage, not as much the speed!

BTW, Tuesday at noon is indeed a great time to go through the line. I suspect noon is generally good because it's too early for the people driving from San Francisco, and it's a touch late for the people who spent the night in Reno.

Now when it comes to best use of the highway (which is more a matter for exodus and not entry) passing actually does increase that. Without passing, a very slow vehicle will generate a long line behind it, and a very large gap from it to the vehicle that left before it which is speeding away. Vehicles that can't maintain speed have a serious effect on highway capacity. If passing them is dangerous, they should use turnouts. There are not, sadly, many turnouts, and for the ones that do exist, rejoining the stream is difficult for slow vehicles. Indeed, the closest we've come to an accident on 447 was some idiot who pulled into traffic right in front of us leaving a frybread stand, forcing us to go into the oncoming lane briefly.
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Re: Danderous Drivers on 447

Postby theCryptofishist » Wed Sep 14, 2011 7:46 pm

Did anyone else have to drive a quarter mile or so outside Gerlach, because of the gas line? I did it, after five or ten minutes waiting. I don't consider it one of my wiser moves. It seems like that would have been a good place for a couple guys with those "slow/stop" signs.
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Re: Danderous Drivers on 447

Postby FIGJAM » Wed Sep 14, 2011 9:18 pm

Timezone LaFontaine wrote:
FIGJAM wrote:It should'nt be that hard to put 55mph signs over the 70mph signs, and on the same post under those signs, a yellow no passing sign.


Thanks for taking this project on. You've got the right attitude to make it a success! :wink:


I would do it in a heartbeat if I knew how to contact the nessesary authorities and get early entry as I'm 850 miles away. :lol:
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Re: Danderous Drivers on 447

Postby bluesbob » Thu Sep 15, 2011 12:31 pm

I was pretty shocked to see motorhomes passing LINES of motorhomes on 447 during Exodus Sunday night. It made the line crawl as we all slowed down not wanting to be part of the coming 50 car pile-up
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Re: Danderous Drivers on 447

Postby some seeing eye » Thu Sep 15, 2011 1:06 pm

In the spirit of more specific suggestions, extend a 2 week BM FM & web radio station over the 75 miles of 447, S of Gerlach. Broadcast gate/transit times, chill messages and music/interviews, inbound and outbound. Factual information showing dangerous driving will not save time, which works against the intuition almost everyone has that it does. Accident & other info from highway patrol, covering all the way to Sac, LV, Alturas. BMIR - a good project for you, separate programming than on playa BMIR - chill music only dudes!
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Re: Danderous Drivers on 447

Postby Lassen Forge » Thu Sep 15, 2011 1:14 pm

some seeing eye wrote:In the spirit of more specific suggestions, extend a 2 week BM FM & web radio station over the 75 miles of 447, S of Gerlach. Broadcast gate/transit times, chill messages and music/interviews, inbound and outbound. Factual information showing dangerous driving will not save time, which works against the intuition almost everyone has that it does. Accident & other info from highway patrol, covering all the way to Sac, LV, Alturas. BMIR - a good project for you, separate programming than on playa BMIR - chill music only dudes!


Plus it would keep the burner vibe going both coming up and going down the dusty trail... which is better than falling asleep at the wheel.

Thank you for volunteering to pull this project together and coordinate it... you will be a legend in the annals of BRC history...
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