August 30, 2013 · 9:16 pm
Give me country driving anytime! As you can see, country lanes are clearly marked and after the burro is done with lunch, the road will be as well.
In towns and cities, arrows are posted on the side of buildings to indicate which direction traffic is to flow, whether it is one way and which direction, or whether it is two-way traffic. Just because the road is two-way traffic for awhile, doesn’t mean it continues to be 2 way, so check the sides of the buildings often. Don’t base your assumption of traffic flow of motos, they have their own set of driving rules. And be aware that many roads have no street signs.
This is the glorieta (traffic circle) between Moroleón and Uriangato. The conos (cones) represent spools of thread. The area is known for its textiles.
The newest fad in road construction is la glorieta (traffic circle). Technically the right of way goes to those vehicles traveling around the glorieta (traffic circle) but proceed with caution because apparently not everyone knows about that particular traffic law.
The hours to avoid driving near schools are 8 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. and again at 2 p.m. and 6:30 for the vespertino (afternoon) session. Cars are double and triple parked in no parking zones and traffic lanes to drop off students. Drivers are not in their cars since they have accompanied their particular set of students to the door to give them their bendicación (blessing) before classes begin. There are supposed to be transitos (traffic police) during these hours, but that’s not always true. There’s nothing to do but be patient.
Stopping in town is risky business. Public parking can be found, but may seem hardly worth the effort if you are just going to be a minute. It is tempting to park in those wide open areas that are designated as bus stops, but try to refrain from that. Buses have no qualms about taking your side mirrors with them as they pass. Good luck trying to collect on damages! Transitos (traffic police) also get testy if you are parked where you shouldn’t be for any length of time. They carry screwdrivers and will take your license plates right off your vehicle. You will need to go to the transit office and pay a fine to get them back. (See Driving Hazards–Police and traffic stops)
On our trip back from San Miguel de Allende, we missed our turn in Celaya and we asked for directions, which did us no good whatsoever since we couldn’t find the street we needed because it had no sign. We finally made our way back to the main boulevard and followed that to the end of the city, where lo and behold, there was our exit. So although preguntando llega a Roma, (Asking will get you to Rome) apparently preguntando (asking) won’t get you out of Celaya no matter how many people you ask.
Nine harrowing hours after we started out from Moroleón to San Miguel de Allende and back, we made it safely home. I understand completely now the custom my husband has of crossing himself and muttering a prayer before heading out on the road. I offer a prayer up myself nowadays because it really is a dangerous thing setting out your front door in México.
August 16, 2013 · 8:54 pm
A slow-moving vehicle often straddles the solid line to permit other vehicles to pass.
When driving in México, be aware that a 2 lane road is really a 3 lane road. Larger and slower vehicles straddle the solid yellow or white line on the side in order to allow smaller and faster vehicles to pass in the middle. A left turn signal from a vehicle straddling the yellow line normally is an indication from the driver of said vehicle that it is safe to pass. However, sometimes it means the driver is going to take a really wide left turn, so proceed with caution. Pass straddling vehicles at your own discretion. Remember often oncoming traffic uses the same 3, uh 2, lanes you do.
If an oncoming vehicle flashes its lights at you, it typically means there is an obstruction in the road ahead, like a disabled vehicle, a slow-moving tractor, or a herd of goats. Slow down.
This sign does not indicate a steep incline, but a speed bump.
When you see a sign with three turtle-like bumps or a car at an incline, immediately slow down. It’s an indication of topes or boyos (speed bumps) ahead and you can put your suspension system in mortal danger if you pass over them too quickly. Topes (See also The Deeper Meaning of Mexico’s Giant Speed bumps) vary in size and shape and there is no telling how big the next one will be. There are round helmet type topes, small thin line type topes, giant boulder size mountain topes and everything in between. Often the topes are not marked or the paint indicating a tope has long since worn away, so drive cautiously, especially in residential or commercial areas.
These topes are attached to the road with nails, so proceed cautiously or risk a flat.
This is my favorite type of tope. Taken at just the right speed on my moto, I can get considerable air time.
There are some roads so peppered with crosses that mark where someone has died after an accident that it is like driving through a cemetery. A large number of crosses indicates a tricky navigation area. Proceed with caution.
Crosses such as this one are constructed by the side of the road at the place where someone has been killed in an accident. Fresh flowers are often brought on the anniversary of the death and el día de los muertos (The day of the dead) in November.
Cuota (toll) roads are available and take some of the risk out of driving, however, they cost quite a bit and are not necessarily shorter than the libre (freeway or what pretends to be a freeway). So most travel is along roads that once might have been goat paths, twisting and turning over hill and dale.
How’s this hair pin turn for some hair-raising driving?