Rant: Denver’s Driving Habits

Caveat: It has been a long time since I took a driver’s test. (And when I did it was in North Dakota. No offense to my home state—which I adore—but there were probably more questions about driving around farm tractors than in rush-hour traffic.) Still, I like to think of myself as a safe driver that knows the rules of the road.

Which is why this scenario flabbergasts me: Driving down a two-way, residential street, is it legal to pass other cars? More and more often, I see Denver drivers attempt this maneuver. The result, inevitably, is that the daredevil driver speeds ahead and every car behind them freaks out and stomps on their brakes. Result? Pandemonium. Is this legal?

Yes, says Denver Police Department spokesperson Raquel Lopez. If you obey the speed limit. If you use your lights to signal the lane change. And if there’s no oncoming traffic.

Really? That’s just wishful thinking. Of course these drivers are speeding, not using turn signals, and driving into oncoming traffic. My only consolation is that they still get stopped at the next stoplight with the rest of us. There is some justice.

This got me thinking: What other things do Denver drivers do that tick you off?

Rave: Coloradans love the Olympics.

Thanks to Missy Franklin and the London Olympics, Colorado’s bummer summer has had some good news this week. After the devastating wildfires, the horrific events in Aurora, the widespread drought (need we go on?), the Centennial State needed a boost. That’s happened, in part because of a 17-year-old’s gold-medal ways, and the positive endorphins we get from watching world-class athletes perform on TV every night.

Even more than that, though, I love watching how excited the neighborhood kids are about the events. On a walk, I pass chalk drawings of the Olympic rings, children holding mini-events in their backyards, and, even, a hand-painted “London 2012” skateboard ramp. It’s enough to make you forget the bad headlines and savor the good moments.

Thanks London, we needed that.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Natasha Gardner
Natasha Gardner
Natasha Gardner is a Denver-based writer and the former Articles Editor for 5280.