Driving in Rockaway has become a sport. A sport I have told many that I do not participate in on the busy weekends as it is too stressful. People in New York, especially Rockaway and Broad Channel, need to learn how to drive. What people also need to do is to learn simple driver’s etiquette.
1) Do not tailgate. It is not just rude, it is actually a violation. The law says to leave an adequate amount of space. Keep in mind that another vehicle should be able to occupy the space in-between you and the car in front of you. And let’s be honest, if you tailgate most people, especially me, I will just go slower and just make you angrier.
2) Passing cars. Recently a truck doing roadwork was double parked on the eastbound side of Rockaway Beach Boulevard. I was driving west. I had the right of way to continue driving as my lane was not blocked. A young lady in a black Volvo crossover sped right by the truck almost hitting me. That was not the best part, the best part was she was waving and yelling at me for thinking I had the right of way….I did. Another morning while driving to Riis Park for pilates, a truck was driving slowly on Rockaway Beach Boulevard. The driver in front of me tried to go into the bike lane on the right side to go around. There was a man on a bike and the driver almost hit the cyclist.
3) Stop signs. Another law that is often violated in our town is the stop sign. I am unsure why people do not feel the need to stop. As I have mentioned many times, I live on Newport and it is the “Newport 500” with cars speeding and then on the cross streets, people do not stop for the stop signs which is a recipe for disaster. My husband rides his bike to work and he says the most dangerous part is Newport Avenue.
4) Merging. Why do people feel the need to speed up once you put on your signal to change lanes? I have a friend from work who came to pick me up to drive me to The Bungalow Bar. We were trying to merge from Newport onto Beach Channel Drive. She is a 50ish year old women and said she had never not had a man let her merge in all of her years driving. Come on Rockaway drivers, I was embarrassed.
5) Left lane. I know in Rockaway, most of our roads are now one lane in each direction but this seems to be something many drivers do not know: The left lane is for passing. If you are driving on the “strip” on Cross Bay Boulevard and you are in the left lane driving below the speed limit, you do not know what you are doing. Get over to the right. And if I am in the right lane, again do not tailgate me. I have seen the error of my ways and I now drive much slower than I used to. I leave for work and appointments early so I am not driving like a maniac (like many people every day on the strip.)
By Beth Hanning