Monday, May 11, 2015

The Politics of Traffic

In front of our apartment - yep, lots of construction!

U-turns, double parking, and pedestrians - oh yeah!

no, this is not a one-way street - but bikes use both lanes when clear as well as the center line when not...
also, there is a helmet law in Athens, however, only about 1/2 comply...
"If Americans drove as Athenians, there would be gridlock just from  the fender-benders alone. They do the most amazing dance of weaving cars, bikes, and even trucks and buses. Motorbikes use the center-lines as bike lanes and will pass at any given moment in the face of on-coming traffic with the expectation they can get back into the lane before they hit or get hit. One must be careful even at lighted cross-walks because some bikes almost disregard the  lights. People will even park with a portion of their vehicle still in the traffic lane. There is also little regard for actual speed limits in the main streets or in the residential areas. With all these hazards, I have not observed many accidents. I know minor ones must happen all the time, because the vast majority of vehicles have dents, scratches and obvious damage. Perhaps people tolerate incidents more because they know they are always pushing the envelope, too. I am so much more appreciative of traffic law enforcement now in America!"

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