Greetings from your friendly HWY 17 bus driver
I realize I am widely despised and considered by many of you to be a selfish, clueless, dangerous bastard of a road hazard. I understand where you are coming from. Even if you are a greedy, spoiled, impatient piece of shit. I understand.
Let me address a couple of specific issues.
1. The fast lane, or as it is known in "the business," the Number One Lane.
Why in bloody hell, some of you wonder, would a goddamn bus be using the fast lane southbound between 280 and Los Gatos, when it can't travel much over 70 mph (MAX) on a downhill grade, and moves like a snail on the uphill? Well, it's like this: I am trying to avoid the clusterfuck merges that occur throughout that stretch. The road is full of really bad drivers, as you know... and while a passenger car might stand a chance of swerving or accelerating or braking out of trouble, not me. I need to stay out of the way of that shit. If a merging idiot cuts me off and I have to decelerate on an even a slight uphill grade, there will be peace in the Middle East before I can get back up to the speed limit. I know you are pissed off that I am keeping you from speeding your ass off for a few minutes, but if I get stuck in the Idiot Merge and have to slow down, then you will see some really serious traffic blockage while I hold the throttle pedal to the floor and wait for the bus to resume any forward motion. I know you don't give a shit about that because you can drive better than James Bond and would easily bust through the jam with amazing technique, but next time you might be a minute or two behind me... then you will taste some serious inconvenience and delay because some asshole such as yourself didn't let me just keep up enough momentum to get out of the way as soon as possible.
2. Speaking of merging:
Look here, the bus has basically two modes; floored and stopped. When floored, the actual speed depends entirely on grade and momentum. When I am coming down a ramp to merge onto the highway, I am FUCKING FLOORING IT, ok? I am trying to get as close to the flow of traffic as possible. Maybe you are in the right land and see me up ahead, preparing to merge and signaling left. You could do a couple of things. You could slow down and let me in, which I would appreciate but certainly not expect of you. Or, probably even better, you could put your fucking foot in it and blast cleanly around me and make good your escape. But either way, you gotta shit or get off the pot. Please do not hover back there in my blind spot, spitting and cussing and wondering when I'm going to make my move. Guess what? You are already seeing my move. I am signaling left and standing on the throttle with my full weight. You're the one in the vehicle that actually has a choice to go faster. I realize that sometimes I am getting in your way. Really, I'm sorry about that, but if you make me slow down because I can't tell where you are ... well, then we're going to see how badly I can make traffic back up. The rule of thumb is this: Do what traffic expects you to do. That means do not come to a screeching halt on the freeway because you think I'll cut in front of you, or because you are such a sweetheart that you are willing to fuck 5 miles of commuters behind you so that I can creep into traffic. Just drive. Do what traffic expects. If you can just carry on at your same speed and zip right past me than please do so. On the the other hand, if you see me a half mile up ahead, signaling left and waiting waiting waiting to get over, and no one will budge, and I am getting dangerously close to the point of no return... please do not floor it when I finally get a little gap and you are several hundred yards back. We want the same thing, you and me. You want to get the fuck away from me and I also want you to do that.
Oh, and northbound, after the curvy part of 17, just after the Cats restaurant, where the first Los Gatos onramp comes in... I always grab the left lane anywhere I can get it after Lexington Reservoir and the Cats. The traffic merging onto the freeway at Los Gatos is deadly. Deadly and slow. Plus, there is another merge nightmare shortly thereafter as people try and remember whether they want 85 or not... or start reading their map to see what 85 even is. I don't want 85. I want to stay away from everyone who is wrapped up in the spiritual dilemma over whether to take it or not. That means one thing and one thing only: Left Lane. Please keep in mind... I am not trying to block your way. I just need to maintain my speed long enough to get around all that shit. As usual, if I get caught in it, I'll become a much bigger pain in the ass while I try and get back up to speed over the next 20 minutes.
3. Lane changes/passing other vehicles
Same deal. Believe it or not, there are vehicles on the road even slower than the Hwy17 bus. Usually they are big rigs, construction trailers, out-of-town first-times (on this road) doing the White Knuckler... and sometimes they are just terrified little idiots who refuse to believe that the posted speed limit is to be trusted. If I get caught behind this stuff on the uphill... forget it. I'll be slowing up the traffic for a long time If you see me on the downhill, signaling left, please let me get around them. I can do it going downhill, and I PROMISE to get the fuck back in the slow lane immediately.
I hope this clears up some confusion. It is a treacherous road, and can be unbearably frustrating when you are in a hurry. Please keep in mind that my bus is not the only thing out there jamming up traffic. In fact, I'll jam it up less if given just a little room. At least I am aware of the situation and aware of the need to try and stay out of the way when I can't go fast, and to keep things flowing when I can.
Oh, and to the woman in the dirty Subaru Outback with the Montessori bumper sticker... you really need to quit biting your nail on that middle finger. Your Bird-Flippng technique is flawless, but that fingernail is disgusting. Next time I see it (probably tomorrow) I want to see it neatly trimmed.
- Location: HWY 17
- it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests