I HURT It Through The Grapevine

Anyone from California, or who’s driven a truck in California, knows about “The Grapevine” (Interstate 5 between Santa Clarita and Los Angeles). It’s an eight-lane highway, four lanes each north- and south-bound, separated by trees and marvelous views as you climb the winding road.

The only problem with that highway five connection between northern and southern California, is the screen-shot-2016-11-01-at-5-37-04-pmtraffic. If you plan to use the Grapevine as a trucker, it would be wise to use that road during the early morning hours between 3:00 am and 5:00 am to get to your destination without too much difficulty. Trucks are limited to only the left two lanes, and that includes passing. This is bad for truckers when they are stuck behind a slow, low powered truck, which is a normal everyday experience.

So, imagine yourself in a truck that is well maintained, with power to pull whatever you have on your back. You are climbing the Grapevine, trying to make your delivery on time, but then it happens—a slow, mechanically challenged truck from the early 1970s or 80s, puffs and smokes its way to the top of the hill in slow motion. You know, the Little Engine That Could—but can’t. You, however, are held to the right two lanes because you’re a trucker, so moving around this roadblock is not easy, and in my opinion frustrating, dangerous, and unnecessary.

I know that I am not a resident of California, and I have no right to complain about how other states manage their own roadways. But, seriously, limiting trucks to only two lanes and not allowing them to pass in the other two lanes is ludicrous. Unfortunately, I know that several cities in my own state have followed suit these same lane limits.

Trucks are driven by professional drivers, and they’re supposed to follow local traffic laws. Nevertheless, purposely forcing trucks into specific lanes does not solve traffic issues, it causes more. You interrupt the flow of traffic by forcing those trucks that can move swiftly through roadways, by forcing them to stay in slow lanes because of a misconception that all trucks are too slow and four-wheelers will be impeded by trucks. This is complete nonsense.

It is my opinion that you force slow moving vehicles, trucks and cars alike, to say to the right lanes, and allowing the faster moving traffic to stay in the fast lanes. This is the smartest and most efficient way to manage traffic flow on all American roadways. Don’t punish the truck drivers because they drive trucks. After all, without trucks you won’t get most of the items you use every day!

Read more from author Robyn Mitchell!