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You know it's odd you should post this now - a mate and I just spent the weekend in Sydney and spent most of it being surprised at how much more cuteous and easygoing the Sydney traffic was compared to Canberra. Things like how when stuck in a line of traffic and you need to change lanes, Sydneysiders will generally let you in as soon a you indicate. Canberrans on the other hand will aggressively defend their place in line with little consideration for others.

I thought about living in Newtown for a brief moment once, but the idea of having to commute through the King Street Crawl was enough look elsewhere.

Although your prejudices against cyclists bear some justification, every cyclist is well aware that automobile operators fail to see them and that being alongside a car is more dangerous than any other position they can take up. Setting themselves ahead of you allows them to ensure visibility. More likely that glance backwards isn't arrogance, but ensuring eye contact and acknowledgement of their presence. I recommend Traffic, by Tom Vanderbilt. Even the best driver (and every driver thinks he's the best) can learn something new.

Actually you get used to the City Rd/King St/Enmore Rd grind after a while. Of course I am from Melbourne and Sydney people are positively polite drivers by comparison.

You also become attuned to when the best time to drive is ... most of the bad periods are generally consistent.

Or you take the train.

@Greg One of my pet hates is people who think the only way to live in Newtown is to "commute through the King Street Crawl".

Newtown has excellent public transport options. No wonder we have such congestion on our roads.

Coming on to the ED this morning around 7:30, get behind a truck doing 60, and traffic is moving along nicely around 70 in the right lane ... a good speed for that hour ... so then waiting for one of those small Mercedes 4WDs to pass, leaving a gap, I merge in ... and the Merc slows to the exact same speed as the truck, as the gap ahead of us widens and the traffic beehind us stacks up.

Then he dives out in front of the truck to make the William Street exit! Oy!

Turn your !@#$% high-beams down when approaching another car.

Learn how to aim your headlamps.

That would be my pet peeve.

Not sure how prevalent this is in Sydney, but my pet peeve here (Gosford, NSW) is the total disregard for other motorists people have, particularly exemplified by failure to signal at all.

Once my mother and I were in a taxi doing the King Street Crawl and the cabbie remarked, "They should put a bloody big bulldozer through here and start again!" That was around 1962 and nothings changed.

Yes, crjc, headlamps really test ones patience, especially the new quartz jobs which adjust according to incline, or something like that.

James, let me guess, it was a container truck from Port Botany ? Give me a call or send your new number. Cheers,

Yes Adrian, I've flashed my beams at a few of the newer cars on the road with low-beams so bright they'll still blind you. I did that to a cop once, and he *did* have his brights on. Thank God I didn't turn on the bush bar lights -- you could land a jumbo jet by those.

It isn't just failing to signal that can catch you. Can't tell you how many times I've almost pulled out in front of someone who was signalling a turn but didn't, or followed some bloke down the highway with his turn signal on for miles. People turn it on to change lanes and then it stays on until the next turn or curve in the road shuts it off automagically.

I'm with CRJC on this -- the other night on Botany Road this guy had his signal on for about a mile before he actually waned to turn right, so at each intersection people would try and get past him but he would keep going at speed. Good fun when clearways are not in operation!

Ade I'll drop you a note separately.

I've noticed "text wobbling" more than "text surging" - it happens on the motorway when the car in front appears unable to stay in its lane at 100km/h. I always get the hell away from them as quickly as possible.

Greg is spot on with the eye contact. If stuck in traffic on the bike, I always try and make eye contact with the drivers around me to ensure that they know I am there. It's not me trying to muscle in - I just want to be sure that they are awake and thinking. If for instance a driver fails to make eye contact because they are texting on the phone in their lap, then I know there is trouble about. A nod and a smile always helps.

Except with grumpy old bastards.

I think driving can be a barometer of one's life. How many times do I look at the car tailgating me in the suburbs, and it's an enormous 4WD, being driven by a tiny woman with a madder-than-all*%$# look on her face, and a few kiddies strapped in the back, probably running late for dancing and soccer, and pushing her buttons all the way. Rushed, much?

Or the young people, with air in their hair & weed in their air, for whom the world is a vast, expansive place, and they want to share it all with you, starting with your lane (not to mention their music). They cruise in and out of lanes, thinking how smoothly the world runs, having no idea that 3 people across the road have anticipated their moves, slowed to make room for them. *smiling all the way*

Or people who are left standing as traffic moves on, so preoccupied with something playing on the big screen in their head that they don't see what's happening in front of them.

What I sometimes think about, when I'm commuting, is how many different people there are, in the car alongside of mine, living equally valuable lives to mine, knowing completely different sets of people, doing their own things on weekends, and I'll never speak a word to any of them, because we're all just going about our daily business. Then I make it my "thing" (and you can all howl me down about this - I expect it) to be courteous on the road - to pay attention, let people in who need to be let in, give people room, and be tolerant. I guess that's all you can do, to contribute some goodwill to a fellow commuter.

Pet hate: Idiots at a stop sign up ahead on your left who look LEFT!!!! and seeing nothing edge out a little, oblivious to you approaching on the right and in direct line with their now-over-the-line front fender. It's look right, left and right again, fools.

Oh, don't you hate those 4WDs that when they park, park over the line so nobody can possibly edge into that next space. And recently, with the traffic all backed up, I drove behind a Kmart Auto van that kept edging forward, refusing to let in a car coming off the off-ramp. Eventually that car ran out of room and had no choice but to turn off into a side street at the end of the off-ramp. Rudest behaviour I've ever seen on the road.

I find it ironic how you've commented on "selfish road behaviour", yet it's usually cabbies who are the most selfish. The bad thing is that these cabbies are either oblivious to their own behaviour, or have a complete disregard for drivers around them. Either way, I am sad to say that the majority of cabbies are fuck sticks just waiting to get smashed.

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