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Discussion Starter #1
1. You must learn to pronounce the city name. It is: "den-ver" not Denvah.

2. Forget the traffic rules you learned elsewhere. Denver has its own version of traffic rules...the cars/truck with the loudest muffler goes next at a 4-way stop. The truck with the biggest tires goes after that.(Note: Blue-haired, green-haired or cranberry-haired ladies driving anything have right of way anytime.)

3. To find anything in Denver it is required that you know Colfax and Broadway; the Alpha and Omega -- the beginning and the End.

4. The morning rush hour is from 5:00 to 10:00 a.m. The evening rush hour is from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. Friday's rush hour starts on Thursday morning.

5. If you actually stop at a yellow light, you will be rear ended, cussed out and possibly shot.

6. You must know that "I-25 and the Valley Hwy" are the same road. Same goes for Hampden Ave, Highway 285.

7. North and south only vaguely resemble the real direction of certain streets such as Speer Blvd.

8. Highway 285 runs north, south, east and west and every direction in between; it can be found in every section of the Denver area to make navigating interesting.

9. Construction is a permanent fixture in Denver. The barrels are moved around in the middle of the night to make the next days driving a bit more exciting.

10. Watch very carefully for road hazards such as drunks, jay-walkers, pan-handlers, skunks, dogs, barrels, cones, cows, horses, pot holes, cats, pieces of other cars, truck tires, squirrels, rabbits, prairie dogs and crows or vultures feeding on any of these items.

11. Ground clearance of at least 12 inches for your vehicle is recommended for city driving. Lots of "stuff" falls off or falls from something.

12. If someone actually has their turn signal on, wave them to the shoulder immediately to let them know it has been "accidentally activated."

13. The minimum acceptable speed on all freeways -- I-25, I-76, I-225, US 285/Hampden, Hwys 87 and 36 is 85 mph. Anything less is considered downright sissy. This is Colorado's version of NASCAR. The difference is some drivers are armed and irritable!

14. Never honk at anyone. Ever. Seriously. (It maybe hazardous to your health)

15. If you are in the left lane and are going only 70 in a 55-65 are considered a road hazard, and will be "flipped off" accordingly.

16. The trend in recent years indicates if it's 70 degrees, Thanksgiving must be next weekend.

17. If it's snowing, it could well be the week after Memorial Day.

18. Highway 36 to and from Boulder is called the "Turnpike." No other highway is called the Turnpike. If someone refers to another highway as a Turnpike, tell them to go back to the East.

19. If someone refers to a highway with the article "the," as in, "The 25" tell them to go back to California.

20. A red light means four more cars can go through. Not three, not five. Four.

21. Lincoln Street is a major route into Downtown and runs north and south. Lincoln Ave. is now a major route on the south end of town, but the two never meet.

22. University and Colorado are two boulevards that run parallel. Geometry not working in the suburbs, these streets intersect south of C-470.

23. When you see an orange cone, you must stop and then move slowly until there are no more cones. There need not be construction, only cones.

24. By state law, there will be a rollover accident in the median on C-470 between Quebec St. and Santa Fe Drive no less often than once every other business day.

25. Despite the fact that Colorado Boulevard is a straight line from I-70 to I-25, it is not a shortcut, especially at rush hour. Same goes for University, which changes names three times anyway.

26. Merging rules:

(a) Under no circumstances should you ever allow anyone, in any way, to get in front of you. No more than one car length must be between you and the one in front of you, as rear-end collisions happen to other people. If traffic is merging into one lane, then you better make dang sure you hug the back bumper of the car in front of you, because you can't let anyone "cut in line."

(b) When merging onto a highway, ignore the acceleration lane entirely and move directly into traffic as quickly as possible, regardless of the fact that your current speed may be as low as 35MPH. This is especially true if you are driving a "land yacht" or some other vehicle that has low acceleration.

(c) Certainly you should never speed up to merge, even if you stay in the "acceleration lane."

(d) Assume, when your lane ends, that everyone will get out of your way. You don't even need to signal that you are moving to the next lane over. Just drive to the end of the lane you are in and suddenly move to the next lane, whether there is a car next to you or not is irrelevant. You are driving the only car that counts.

27. NEVER yield at a yield sign. The yield sign is like an appendix, it once had a purpose, but nobody can remember what it was.

28. When the roads are wet for any reason, assume that all traffic laws are void. Stop signs, red lights, etc. are mere decoration if it is snowing.

29. Four wheel drive vehicles can drive as fast as they want no matter what the road conditions are; doubly so if the driver is talking on a cell phone at the same time.

30. Highlands Ranch comes with its own rules. Like most suburbs, they have only four actual street names, and then differentiate them with street types like Road, Drive, Court, Trail, Turn, Deadend, Way, Path, Meandering, etc. Unlike most cities, however, there are double solid white lines at some intersections. Crossing the lines will get you a ticket in Highlands Ranch. Speeding, no, but crossing those lines WILL get you a ticket.

31. Just because a street on the east side of town has the same name as a street on the west side, does not mean you can drive on that one street to get from Denver east to Denver west. See 6th Ave., Alameda, Orchard, etc. There is only one exception: Colfax.

32. When you see the sign for the exit you need, aim for the right shoulder, as many times additional lanes will spring up fully formed between you and the ramp you want. This is especially true at DIA when you are heading toward the East terminal.

33. When you have finished changing lanes on either I-70 or I-25, hit the brakes.

34. When giving directions, be no more specific than "Near the intersection of. . ." If you are half a mile away from the intersection, that's fine. Always give directions with reference to the mountains, i.e. "turn towards the mountains," even when giving directions at night or downtown where you can't see the mountains.

'35. Although it takes just 3 cars to create a traffic jam on I-25 around Thornton Pkwy., state law requires all drivers in the northern suburbs to get onto I-25 on Friday afternoon. This fosters the image of Denver as a bustling city of industry.

36. Don't ask what that smell is at US 85 and I-270. You do not want to know. If small children ask what the smell is as you go past the dog food factory on I-70, say something vaguely scientific, such as "It's just photosynthesis."

37. Any activity downtown is surrounded by eight other activities downtown; if you find a close parking space, treasure it like gold.

38. You can head west and turn north while taking the exit from southbound US 285 to westbound C-470. You can drive southeastbound on the Northwest Parkway. The sign from Santa Fe southbound to Hampden westbound reads "South." This is why Denver directions are "out," "up," "in," "down" and sometimes "over."

Premium Member
10,399 Posts
Haha, I remember going to school up there and traffic is just insane.

(b) When merging onto a highway, ignore the acceleration lane entirely and move directly into traffic as quickly as possible, regardless of the fact that your current speed may be as low as 35MPH. This is especially true if you are driving a "land yacht" or some other vehicle that has low acceleration.
I found this to be true just about anywhere in Colorado and nothing gives me road rage like this does. Usually they are on their damn cell phones too!!!

144 Posts
I like how Alameda (300 south) and Mississippi (1100 south) intersect out in east Aurora with Alameda becoming Tower Rd (18500 east).

And another other thing that bugs me... When there's no left turn lane or arrow, why don't people pull out into the intersection when the light turns green???? (A green light means you are legally allowed to enter an intersection). Instead, people will sit behind the line until the light changes and either...

a) all of us behind this knucklehead will have to wait for yet another cycle, or

b) the guy will wait until the light turns red and then gun through the intersection from behind the line. (Which is illegal).

4,755 Posts
Great list, Jay!

Here's an observation of my own...

When driving in the mountains, and you get stuck behind a long line of slow moving traffic, there will always be an old guy in a Cadillac at the front of it, driving 30 miles an hour. With one turn signal blinking.

90 Posts
On our first(& maybe last) road trip through Denver on I-25 from Greeley to CO Springs we were forced onto off ramps in both directions coming around curves. Going south we had to exit right onto 85 and returning north were stuck in a left exit lane onto 36. Seemed like the highway signage(or lack thereof) was designed to punk(verb) out of towners. I guess we were too polite to jam back into the correct thru lanes.
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