On his return from the United States many people asked me what I remember most. I will answer again: endless road of this great country. America - a country for both humans and their machines. I drove on these roads and twenty thousand kilometers behind the wheel, and no one kilometer I did not feel stress or strain on the contrary - it turns driving the car a real buzz. Photos for this story, I did everything for two months that he was in the United States this spring. They are from different cities, states, but it will be even more interesting. I want to tell you about how to construct the American road and traffic rules. We begin in the cities. The local street navigation - a great example of how you can drive around an unfamiliar city without getting lost. When the Americans explain the way, they do not draw plans in pencil on the knee, they simply list the desired street. The fact is that at every intersection on both sides are such signs indicating the street on which you are traveling, and intersecting it. Besides, it is very easy to schedule meetings: on the corner of Broadway and Gratot Street. What could be simpler?
At any crossroads lot of traffic lights. And they are always visible. Sometimes the lights are hung on the right in the center of the junction on steel wire ropes, sometimes make such outrigger poles.
Yellow lights - a distinctive feature of the State of Michigan. And in Louisiana, they, for example, green. Do not be scared, if not a traffic light in front of you with the three, four, five or more sections. In the "extra" windows just hide the arrow turn. We do outrigger sections, they have everything in one set of traffic lights.
Sami same rules of the road are so simple that they are clear and child. Road signs in the usual sense in America not: perhaps there are only a dozen icons tend to indicate the direction of motion. Most of the signs - these are ordinary white signs with black letters explaining that you can do or what not. "Machines in the right lane must turn right" - it's brilliant. English is very simple and concise, all the signs are read at any speed.
STOP sign the same all over the world. He was greeted at the crossroads of unregulated, and usually provided with additional small plate from the bottom, where it says "All way" or "4-way". This means that you must stop before entering the intersection, and if there are already other machines, priority in those who came before. It works perfectly, because the drivers are generally polite and disciplined. No, not one car cooler, but really - who first came to the crossroads with the "STOP", the first and leave with him :)
With parking here strictly, but the signs are clearly prescribe how can park directly in this place. Violate parking rules are much more expensive than stand on a paid or find another place. Sometimes warning signs also write and amount of the fine, which will have to pay for the violation. Here, for example, you can not park "Christmas tree."
Needless to say that in areas where parking is prohibited - and no one is parked?
Where parking is not forbidden - it is enabled. But of course, it is impossible to put the car at the intersection, on the sidewalk, even one wheel can not interfere with your car to other road users. And yet look at how American made signs. They keep on bolts, and if you want to hang another sign or put vremennny he just screwed to the same post just below.
In the big cities all parking along the streets paid (except for residential areas). You can pay for parking in a machine. Almost all take credit cards, but still preserved the old parking meter where you shove a coin and will be ticking clock. You pay your desired time, takes the ticket and puts it under the car window, so that it could be seen.
In the streets regularly travel parking patrol and sees to it that everything was in order. If you do not have the time or coupons seriously overdue, under glass you put the receipt of the fine. The amount will be much more than a few dollars for a legal parking space.
America - a country of great cars and small cars there is a privilege. For example, special, more conveniently located place for "compact cars".
And more Americans are not shy to build roads in several levels, it helps to relieve the city of traffic jams.
King of the road - not a horseman on a black jeep, and the pedestrian. Though it is called here for insulting the Russian word "pedastrian", and priority is given to exactly pedestrian. Transitions are always very visible. But the classic "zebra" does not always occur. In the cities, the transitions are located at each traffic light: the zebra is not there, but usually there are signs or pedestrian traffic lights.
In some states, there are buttons that in Russia, unfortunately, did not take root. Need to cross the road - zhmakni button and wait a minute: the car stopped.
Reminder where to look when crossing the road.
Look left, then right, cross the road when. In order to be more visible on the transition, bring orange flag.
These flags I met in Salt Lake City on unregulated traffic light junctions. This is very useful, I think.
Americans are responsible for your own safety, so use flags when crossing the road, just so they invented for. Flags nobody steals.
Sometimes completely cover the street for a major overhaul. Orange tablets always indicate a detour.
About bumps in the road, too, warned a separate, clearly visible sign.
All cities have bike paths. Cyclists - equal members of the movement.
Cyclists - no pedestrians. They control the transport, which can be dangerous for walking people. Therefore, they can not ride on sidewalks, easier to allocate a separate lane on the road.
Highways go straight through the city. They are located either above or below the city roads. There are no MKAD ring type, but highways intersect each other, they can be used to reach the desired part of the city very quickly, or leave the city.
These highways have replaced Americans railroad. They are of two types, local and federal roads. The first - it's just the route from point A to point B, within the same state. Their repair by local authorities. A famous Interstate, this highway, crossing several states, they always are in perfect condition, followed by the federal government.
There are traffic jams, which are referred to as "traffic". Most often there is congestion on highways near urban areas during peak hours. Scares me terrible traffic jams in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York. I stood in them too, and I want to say that all their terrible traffic jams - a sophomoric in comparison with what is happening in Moscow. Here, the most serious traffic jam when you're driving at a speed of 10-20 kilometers per hour, but you're still going. Traffic is obtained when on the road too many cars, but global "riser" does not happen because no one rushing lanes, not trying to overtake on the sidelines, and respectful of neighbors downstream, knowing that all things and all hurry.
Direction indicator on highways such as convenient as in the cities. Indicate the points of the compass. Almost every car has a built-in compass. This is a pointer to Interstate.
And it is a pointer to regioalnyh roads in the center of a small town in South Dakota. In other states of the same :)
And here we are with you got to the operating room, the other cities! Now we will focus on the asphalt-concrete threads, bound large cobwebs United States of America.
Highway - is typically two lanes in one direction. They expand only at the entrance to the big cities, but two bands enough to town on highways not occurred cork. All move in the right lane, overtaking using the left. Roads of different directions separated by a baffle or more band with lawn. I do not know who mows the grass here, but I have not seen the undergrowth on highways.
What is the secret of highways? The lack of overlap with other. All conventions and turns - over bridges located perpendicularly.
Razvyazki- "butterfly" that continue to build with me incomprehensible obstinacy, in the United States are not built for thirty years, they are completely ineffective machine only interfere with each other. Yes, here, too, almost all the conventions from the road - from the right lane. But that's down the other.
It looks like a typical American highway interchange. You know who is moving where, and how it's convenient? Why is it impossible to build in Russia?
These roads are performed basest human desire for food, toilets and beds. It is impossible to describe, it is impossible to stay hungry and impossible to sleep in the car on the roadside. Once you want something, a few kilometers (or a couple of dozen) will certainly appear so blue boards to the right of the road.
Such "service" of the Congress - is the whole oasis in the desert. You can eat, refuel, spend the night. The atmosphere is competitive, so in addition to McDonald's, you're sure to find the network and other fast-food: Burger King, Vendi's, Panda Express Chinese or Mexican Taco Bell.
Constantly meet the recreation area. Here you can get tourist information booklets, maps, discounts on hotels and food.
Recreation areas are very different, there are the same chain restaurants, there are simply latrines and machine with soda / chocolate.
Pee by the roadside, on the wheel of a car - it's not about America. Find a toilet anywhere, even in the desert, and even more so on the road - a trifling matter. I was not even afraid to go there crap because there's always toilet paper (it does not steal and do not unwind the room), as well as special tseloffanovye lining on the toilet seat. The toilets are very clean !!!
Refueling is also a masterpiece of savage grin of capitalism. Just pour petrol, no need to go to the checkout, everything is paid here, near the car, through the terminal, which of course, takes credit cards. Two types of fuel, as we have petrol and diesel. The octane number of the gasoline in the US is not so, as we have 87, 89 and boldly But here you can buy the cheapest, which I did. The cost of gasoline, surprisingly, exactly the same as in Russia. It varies from state to state, from 3.5 dollars per gallon (3.8 liters) to 5, but on average, if the round, just get a dollar per liter. Thirty rubles and kopecks. Price 95th in Moscow.
On the highways there are many advertising. Shields huge, sometimes obsessive. Right lure and call!
One brewery somewhere bought a dozen of old fire engines and put them along the road in South Dakota. I came across just about ten of their billboards, and stood next to each such machine.
Never, do you hear - never !, you will not find on the highway ment with radar under a bush. Vegetation near the road, too, is not for security. The police on the roads, of course it is, especially on high-speed. Called the Highway Patrol. This is the only service, something similar to our cops: they are engaged only in patrolling roads. Any other police car in America has a radar with which it can also control the speed and penalize violators of traffic rules, no matter what position he has. Saw the offense - clamped. Themselves traffic police found on the slopes is not often, but they have a special garrison, where get a call at the scene within seconds. These guys - real professionals, the best drivers in the country! As they hurry to the incident, they are worn at a rate of more than 200 kilometers per hour, while never get into an accident and do not interfere with other traffic. Roads are not punishers, and they go to work here is not to make money, but to help people if they need help. If the car stalled and struck the wheel, they will come and help bring technical assistance from the nearest town. If you run out of petrol - bring it. However, with a caveat: in some states, the lack of petrol in the tank is a violation. The driver must keep the fuel level in the control group. Therefore, the police first brought gasoline, and then write out fine. And so in everything, first serve and protect, and only then to punish.
Toll roads are found more in the east. A surprising feature of the US toll road: You can pay by cash only. No credit cards. It is very strange for such a commonly used plastic country. There is another option clearing, but it is only for regular customers: bought a box, which is a radio signal transmits information about the car, and at the end of the month invoice is issued. But such devices are unique to each operator of the road, and there are a lot of companies.
In Florida the same idiocy toll road reaches its climax. This is perhaps the only evidence that on American roads also occur asshole. On small motorway exits can be paid either through this most radios FasTrack, or throw a coin in a special box, just as much as you need. Did it not to hire Negro aunt because traffic on these small congresses. Well, if I do not have the required number of coins? And if the bill? As a result, I barely scraped coins to 75 cents, including nickels. Blurted to cart and rode a handful of (at most toll roads, except New York, there are no barriers). In this case, the green light is not lit and I ran a red. Is then sent a fine car - I do not know.
I can say that the roads of America are close to ideal, but it does not mean that there's always a brand new asphalt and without any cracks, and similar unpleasant details. But the two main components: on the road will never be any pits and potholes and the very fabric will be smooth. In this way continuously remodel, but not the same every year, of course. Repair of the road here - it's bright and colorful show.
Usually road repairing, blocking one lane and a little changing pattern of motion. About repairing the driver learns a few kilometers, will hang bright red signs on the closed strip stand impressive and notable "bars" that few will want to test the strength.
Of course, in these areas to reduce the required speed. And all reduced. The fact is that in the work area on the slopes of all fines are doubled. This is not someone's whim, but a bitter experience. Too many road workers were killed in the country from such reckless. Therefore, before repair usually hang signs: "Fines are doubled for wound working fine from 7,500 dollars for the murder - up to 15 years in prison." This makes it impossible for the rights, usually for life.
Sometimes overlap and fully both bands, then by dividing the lawn build temporary Congress and machines allowed on a single-lane road towards each other. But this is rare.
End of repair, you can add speed. Average speed limit on the highway - 120 kilometers per hour. Yes, it's not Germany, where in many cases, you can actually go as you want. But even at a constant speed of 100 km / h when no settlements on the track and fixed to the narrow path wagons, the same will be the average velocity. Always possible to calculate the time of arrival.
Sometimes, incidents and accidents, alas. Rarely, but neatly. The police arrived almost immediately and also alerts the driver in advance that ahead of forced reduction in speed.
And during the local repair of small towns on the road closures are here are the guys (sometimes tёtki) and are holding signs.
Here tunnels in America there is little, even in mountainous areas. Usually prefer to build a road to bypass the mountain, but to keep it full highway.
So who travels on these roads? Cars are not less interesting than the road system. Alas, now rare to find such rarities. As a rule, long-distance travel truckers and travelers.
Travel in caravans convenient and profitable. Almost everywhere you can find not only motels, and special areas for motor homes, campers here they are called. Camps are leased, rear private car clings to a rigid coupling, a man goes far, far away, and then rents a house on wheels and has returned light.
Towing is only possible on a rigid coupling. Be sure to have a car rear brake lights worked. Sometimes hang huge posters behind.
Americans are very mobile. Tomorrow they can find a job in another state and go to live there, taking all their belongings with them good. To do this just something you need to rent a truck in the company of U-Haul, it is quite inexpensive, download everything in the body, their car rear of the trailer - and you can even go to the other end of the country.
And sometimes entire house carrying :)
Very small local roads is also in very good condition.
Here it is good to learn the rules "The road is life."
Unpaved roads also have, of course, but they are few.
And this road in the desert. Look, she is flat!
Finally - here are a few signs.