But I live for days like yesterday, when the skies are so clear I can see all the way to the Hollywood sign from my apartment. It was a little warmer than perfect, but I decided to enjoy the lack of traffic, ramp meters, and trek to Los Feliz to pick up a "Free Martha" tee shirt. I decided to do something crazy and take the freeway the whole wayyes, including the Hollywood Freeway. The 10-110-101-5 interchange, which I lovingly refer to as the "cluster fuck," was actually as clear as the sky. I don't think that's happened in many years. We should really do this Labor Day thing more often.
I guess if there's been one good thing that's come out of CalTrans' latest project to obsessively number the freeway exits as other more anally-retentive states do, it's that all the old signs are getting replaced with bright and shiny new ones. But aside from that, no good can come of this, I assure you.
Now, I know that some have argued that it makes giving directions easier. I'm not sure how telling someone "take Exit Number 382AA" is somehow easier and more memorable than just saying "exit on Sunset." Seems to me, people are more prone to transpose numbers than they are to mix up "Sunset" from "Wilshire." Now, I'm no traffic engineer, but I can make it from the city to Hermosa Beach in a little over 30 minutes at the peak of rush hour, so don't question my skillz.
"But if you know your exit is 17, and you just passed 16, you know it's coming up," some of my friends protested to me, unconvincingly. Well, I'm not sure about you, but that little green sign back there that said "Santa Monica Blvd, 2 miles" sort of tipped me off. If you can't comprehend such a subtle hint as that, I'm not sure you really know that 17 follows 16, and I'm pretty sure I don't want you operating heavy machinery around me.
Besides, fucking with visitors is one of the few pleasures in life. And, perhaps, this is all an elaborate ploy to do so. After all, we are talking about the same agency that sadistically alternates the signage on the 101 in one direction as 101-Ventura, 101-north, and 101-west and the 101-Hollywood, 101-south, 101-east in the other (and sometimes on the same ramp) while we all chuckle at the confused drivers.
But, I can relate. It all sounds like practical jokes I would pull if I were a traffic engineer. It's just that I would use the traffic cameras to film it, and sell is as a new reality show to Fox.
Bring back the freeway chickens, I say. And the first person to tell me to take an exit followed by a number will get a blinding kick to their freeway exit.