Driving In Wausau – A Grand Experience

Eds Note:  Dr. Rent’s post this week has nothing to to with rentals — unless you count rental cars.

John H. FischerBy Dr. Rent

This weekend I was on the go.  This is a very busy time for landlords:  move outs, move ins, spring cleaning, lots of stuff going on.  It got in the way of me finding time to post last weekend, and most of my personal errands (such as grocery shopping) had to be done today (Sunday).

Below is my top ten list; some friendly suggestions for driving in Wausau.  Yes, I know it was Sunday so Sunday drivers were to be expected, and yes I know that I am a quite aggressive driver… but still… I think these suggestions will help.

1)Wausau area traffic moves at 5-10 miles over the posted speed limit.  I am willing to go the posted speed limit, but if you are running at 5 miles or more under, you are more of a hazard than the speeders.

2)For those of you about to pass those not complying with item 1, using your turn signals to indicate lane changes IS NOT giving information to the enemy.  I would be more than happy for you to pass them first, you are ahead of me… but don’t just jump in front of me without signaling.  99% of us will slow down to let you in if you signal.

3)That 99% thing in item 2 does NOT apply if, because of construction, lanes are going to one lane, and we have all already merged into that lane, and you pass 30 of us to where the barrels start.  We will remember you and you won’t be let in until all 30 of us have gotten by.

4)One way streets apply to everyone, sorry.

5)If you know you are going to have to turn left… it is strongly suggested that you get into the left lane more than one block ahead of time.

6)I understand if you are new to the area, you may not know if the left lane or the right lane is the best way to go… but I GUARANTEE that you are better off choosing one and being wrong than you are riding the center line.

7)Construction zones are dangerous, even a lead foot like me respects construction zone speed limits.  If I am doing 55 in the construction on the freeway and you blow past me like I am going backwards… don’t be too surprised to catch the attention of the troopers who like sitting in the construction zones.  Fines are double.

8)There is no right turn on red coming off Stewart onto 1st St. by the mall, don’t honk at me if I don’t run the red.  The same is true where Business 51 turns off of Schofield Ave by Krueger Floral in Weston/Schofield.

9)It was over 80 and yes, some people look really REALLY good in tank tops, but if traffic stops suddenly in front of you… your rear-ending that guy will get her attention, but not in the way you want.

10)To the motorcycle going up Franklin Street at about 15 miles an hour looking at all the cool houses, THANK YOU for pulling way over when a car came up behind you.

Have a safe summer driving season Wausau!

Dr. Rent

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14 responses to “Driving In Wausau – A Grand Experience

  1. All you hurried drivers please don’t forget to pay attention to cyclists on the road. Wisconsin law considers bicycles a vehicle, so we have the same rights and responsibilities as cars. But since we are slower, please approach with a bit of caution. Give us at least 3 feet of clearance, or move to the other lane if you can.

    If there are parked cars on the street, I’ll bike further into the road so that I don’t have to suddenly weave in and out of traffic. I’ll also signal and pull into the lane if I’m about to take a left turn so I won’t get cut off by a car. I also bike at a pretty good clip, so be careful in judging my speed. I may be coming at you faster than you might expect.

    The high gas prices must be making drivers more aware of cyclists as I’ve had less close calls the last two years than any year prior to that.

    More info on sharing the road can be found here:
    http://www.bfw.org/articles/howmotorists.php

  2. i agree with michael
    just calm down please!!
    your $400 dollar hair cut and arriving 3 minutes late and the barber missing your one sideburn.
    it is just not worth trying to fuck with someone on a bike
    man they are helping you out in the long run by keeping the air a little more breathable and keeping gas a lickle lower
    so my advice to all these assholes who think their $400 dollar hair cut and $5 nail clipper is worth more that a human life is simple.
    JUST
    SLOW THE FU*K DOWN!!!

  3. Our continued reliance on the automobile is a symbol of America’s failure to grasp the global dynamics of oil and pollution. So many cultural problems can be traced directly to our slothlike dependence on this means of transportation. The bulldozing of the pedestrian mall is a perfect example of our blinkard short-sightedness.

  4. To echo Barry, research shows that for the average person, 80% of their trips are 3 miles or less. And frequently, for distances under 3 miles, you can get to your destination just as fast by bicycle than you can by car. Automobiles are very inefficient for these short trips since the frequent starts and stops reduce gas mileage.

    If we chose to bike or walk for our short trips, not only would we reduce our dependance on foreign oil, but also eliminate our obesity epidemic.

  5. Having lived in Europe for a number of years, I understand the importance of alternative means of transportation, such as bikes, busses and trains. It sometimes amazes me how you can get anywhere in Europe without needing a car.

    However, much of it is our mindset as Americans, and I will openly admit that I am 100% guilty. For me, driving is more than just getting from point A to point B, it is an exercise of my personal freedom, my own little nirvana.

    The end of the pedestrian mall relates to how we live our lives. I think gas could be $10 and many of us would still drive, and until that mindset changes (which I doubt it ever will), opening up the ped mall to traffic is a good business decision for the city to make.

    I do try to give bikes as much room as I can.. sometimes I cant get three feet away cause there is oncoming traffic, so I will slow down to wait for it to be clear, that annoys the guys behind me but deal with it. I do appreciate those bikers who understand we are sharing the road and know how to signal their intentions. However, I don’t have alot of patience for the bikers (mostly younger on BMX style bikes) that will dart across the road without looking or caring, or that ride at night with no lights. Those guys are road kill waiting to happen.

    Also, Bill… comment on this please… I assume we would like to keep this a family friendly blog.. so try to tone down the language a little bit?

  6. We do try to be friendly here, good Doctor. As a long time cyclist, I can agree with Brendan’s passion, if not exact choice of words.

  7. Gotta love kharma…

    While running some errands, I found myself behind an older pick up in the middle lane of 6th Street by the courthouse coming up on the light. It appeared that two high schoolers were in the truck sort of showing off to a volvo full of high schoolers in the left lane.. basically dropping the clutch and chirpping the wheels a couple of times.

    When the light turned green, the two kids in the truck were ready to peel out, the tires chirpped and the truck died. I had to wait for 4 cars before I could get around the truck, dead in the middle of the intersection. As I turned from 6th onto Scott, I looked in my mirror and yes, that truck was still there.

    What was that Forest Gump saying, stupid is is as stupid does?

  8. Can you get a 400 dollar haircut in Wausau? I would do that. I bet it is awesome.

    Treat yourself sometimes. I say.

    This is my first summer on my bike almost fulltime. Right now I am limited in general athleticism, but someday soon you will see my wide butt riding downtown on my lovely gt zaskar.

  9. My cannondale hasn’t seen any use in about 5 years.. I have thought about getting it out and riding… god knows my body could use it..

    but to get home would mean going back up franklin… even with the lowest gear .. not high up on my “things I look foward to” list.

  10. I’m a big fan of scooters, which are very popular in Europe and Asia, along with mass transit and bicycles:

    http://tinyurl.com/3845uz

  11. Well John,
    I agree that was harsh language.
    You say this is family friendly.
    So are you commenting on words?
    Or content as well?

  12. Jim,

    I agree on scooters being a nice way to get around the downtown. I picked up an old used one when I was going to school in Madison and it really helped get around campus. When I moved, I was able to sell it for what I bought it for 2 years later.. talk about holding its value!

    The only bad thing about them is that somepeople like to take them down Grand Ave and for the most part, they really can’t keep up.

    I also remember once sitting at a stoplight looking over at the scooter in the lane next to me… there it was, the driver probably did not have a motorcycle license… he was wearing a tank top, shorts and flip flops… I did notice he had a bike helmet on which was probably wearing him for protection. Meanwhile, there I was … in a 1-ton dually truck seatbelted because the law says I wouldn’t be safe if I didn’t. Just caught me kind of funny at the time.

  13. Way to go Dr. Rent on getting that blind dude his deposit back…nice!

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