Driving Rules For Lexington, Kentucky
1. First of all, if you are going to find yourself driving around outside the city limits, you must learn to properly pronounce the name of the surrounding towns. Yes, we all know that the famous city in France is pronounced “Ver-sigh”, but around here Versailles is known as “Vurr-sails. Also, that famous town in Greece, you know.. Athens? Well, around here, its pronounced “A-thins’....much like the old redneck favorite.. the A-Team. And that other famous city in France? Well you might think that Paris, Kentucky, would be pronounced locally as fairly normal. Well NO, here it resembles more of the golf term “par”...instead of “pair-is”, we have “par’s”. I am so proud...
2. As for driving in Lexington, forget the traffic rules that you might have learned elsewhere. Lexington has its own version of traffic rules: at any 4-way stop sign, the vehicle with the loudest sound system goes first, then the one with the loudest exhaust goes next. The truck with the biggest tires goes after that.
Note: UK students, especially incoming freshmen, driving anything. have the right of way at anytime, (or at least they all drive like they do - be forewarned!)
3. To locate any street address in Lexington, it is first required that you know where “Keeneland” or “Rupp Arena” is; they are the Alpha and Omega of everything. Simply the beginning and the end of everything. From there. it would be a wise thing to study up on “thoroughbred racing history”....everything here is named after a dead horse.
4. There is no such street in Lexington as “SLIMESTONE’. It’s South Limestone, the street signs just look like that. Same goes for the one seemingly named after the evening meal. There’s no SUPPER - just South Upper.
5. Lexington is small; we don’t have a “rush hour”. We have a “mess everyone for two hours”. The main road here is Nicholasville Road. From 7-9 in the morning and 4-6 in the afternoon... .the lanes literally switch. The only way to tell is the lighted markers every quarter mile or so. If you are an out-of-towner, you are about to become the most hated person on earth and possibly a victim of an accident. The turning lane (usually reserved for the middle of the 5-7 lanes) has switched based on where the bulk of the traffic is going. If you understand that last sentence, you have lived here and don’t count. If you don’t you are dead. Just writing it confused me and I live here. Basically it means your normal turning lane is now a lane for us locals going 70 trying to get to work on time. Horns are fun in the morning.
6. A special note of caution about "red lights". If you actually do stop at a yellow light, please be assured: you will most likely be rear ended; you will definitely be cussed out and/or “flipped off’, and very possibly you will be shot. You only stop after the light has been red for a good 5 seconds or a when truck is aiming at your front end.
7. You must know that “East Main Street”, “Richmond Road”, State Highway 25, and Athens-Boonesboro Road are all one and the same. There are a lot of other place names like that too~ Street names, by law, must change every six blocks, or every six months, whichever comes first. When searching for a cross street, remember to look to the left and the right. as they will most likely have different names!
8. Thanks to an unusually able city council and equally able road planning department, construction is considered a permanent fixture in Lexington. Completion of any project is not to be contemplated; it just never ends. You might think that it does, but the traffic barrels are just moved around in the middle of the night just to make the next day’s driving a little bit more exciting for y’all. There is actually a vote coming in the November elections to nominate the “Orange Barrel” as our official city flower.
9. Please watch out at all times for road hazards such as deer, skunks, dogs, cats, traffic barrels (i.e. city flower), traffic cones, cows, horses (and horse manure.. especially downtown), pot holes, (lots of pot holes), pieces of other cars, truck tires. Possums, raccoons, squirrels, rabbits, and random articles of clothing with the crows or turkey vultures feeding on any of the above mentioned animal parts.
10. If you should happen to witness someone’s car with their turn signal on as a courtesy to others, you should assume he or she is from out of town. Immediately wave the offending driver over to the shoulder to let them know that this safety device has been “accidentally activated”. Some of our locals think if they use it too long, the air bags will deploy.
11. If you are in the left hand lane on any major roadway, and are only going 70 in a 55 mph zone... you are legally considered a road hazard; headlights will be flashed, car horns will be blown, and you will be “flipped off’ accordingly. Get the hell out of the way or ride a bike.
12. The minimum acceptable speed on “Man 0’ War” Parkway is 85 mph. Anything less than that is considered “just downright sissy”. (Please note: Man 0’ War is Lexington’s version of NASCAR.)
13. We are not the only city in the world that has a loop that surrounds the city making it easier to get from one side of town to another. We are the only inbred people who would put stop lights on half of it. It is half highway, half nightmare.... we are geniuses here in central KY my friends.... Where education pays...