Op-Ed: Here’s what I wish I’d known before road-tripping across America
For some reason, I’ve been hearing a lot about the state of the roads in America lately. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s that a lot of my friends have gone on a road trip and decided that driving across America is a good thing. Maybe it’s the idea of having an adventure. Maybe it’s because I can’t get enough of this country.
Regardless, I’ve found it very interesting to hear what people have to say about our nation’s roadways.
Here’s what I wish I’d known before road-tripping across America:
1. There’s a reason we have four lanes all the way across California.
Driving in California – especially California’s highways – is nothing like driving in Europe or in America’s Deep South. As someone who grew up in a small town in Nebraska, driving in the United States (and I mean all four-lane highways) was nothing like anything I’d experienced before. You’re not driving to and from work. You’re driving around in circles trying to find a gas station in the middle of nowhere. You’re driving in a traffic jam.
There was no shoulder and no lane-splitting on most of the roads I’ve driven in. There were no shoulder-less roads or side-by-side lanes. There were no shoulders at all. There was absolutely no infrastructure. There was more pavement than asphalt. There were no signs to tell you you’re still on the road and to pay attention to your blinkers. You’d find yourself driving around for what felt like hours, only to discover that the signs were posted at the end of a long turnpike or were hidden by a fence.
In America, when you reach a stoplight, you’re supposed to wait for the green. In Germany, if