Thursday, August 4, 2011

To the left, to the left

I've been wanting to discuss this interesting Pittsburgh concept for awhile because it is just so intriguing and polite and beneficial to humanity...the Pittsburgh Left.  Yes, I learned that it has a name thanks to my friend Ellen

OK- I will do my best to describe this action; it is a traffic description of when (on a 2 or more lane street) the red light turns to green and the stopped cars in the right lanes stay stopped in order to let (typically) either the first or second cars from the opposite lanes turn left.  (I wish you could see me talking with my hands right now.)  I apologize if my description is less than eloquent.  But it is basically when- even though a light turns green- cars will stay stopped until the first one or two cars can turn left, just to be nice.  Isn't that amazing?!  And no one behind the first row of stopped cars gets mad that they are waiting for the cars turning left.  Van and I could not believe our eyes.  We were probably the assholes who honked at the people stopped (the first time around) until we learned about the Pittsburgh Left.  I have also noticed that people in Pittsburgh compared to LA are so much more willing to let you merge and enter traffic from a side street or wherever...

This is not to say that there aren't bad drivers here- because believe me there are- they are everywhere.  However I think it is really cool how this traffic norm has developed- it just makes me feel better about humanity and not have as much road rage. 

Also, pedestrians ALWAYS have the right of way matter what.  Crazy.

Thought I would share one of the traffic norms from this city.  Headed to NYC again this weekend, (my last time this Summer.)  Not sure what we're going to do there this time, maybe Coney Island? I'll take pix.


  1. Yes, sounds a little more polite there than on the the LA roads. When you come home you had better be careful and not get in the habit of doing that there or you may encounter some serious road rage!

  2. Haha- Shelley. Believe me, I know...I definitely can't get too comfortable. :)Looking forward to seeing you guys next month!

  3. It's true! And if the car in the on-coming lane doesn't let the left turners make the left, they honk! Hahaha! I love Pgh :)