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Turn right. Now, turn right. Okay, turn right again. Finally, turn right. - Kurt's Life (or lack thereof) [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Kurt Onstad

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Turn right. Now, turn right. Okay, turn right again. Finally, turn right. [Jul. 16th, 2002|11:12 am]
Kurt Onstad
I often check for directions using Mapblast and Mapquest. For the most part, it's a very useful service, especially if you're not quite sure where you're going, but have the address. But, sometimes, they give you directions that no normal human being would ever take. Today, for instance, I decided to get directions to an appointment I've got this evening, and found this interesting set of directions:
  • Merge onto the US-101S (12.52 miles)
  • Take the FOURTH ST exit. (.11 miles)
  • Turn LEFT onto E 4TH ST. (.21 miles)
  • Take the I-5 S ramp. (.14 miles)
  • Merge onto I-10 W. (.38 miles)
  • Take I-5 S towards CA-60 E/POMONA/SOTO ST/SANTA ANA. (.26 miles)
  • Merge onto I-5 S. (8.32 miles)

Now, if you know those freeways as well as I do, you know that the 101 South merges directly into the 5 South, with no other steps necessary. Are you really saving that much time by taking all of these little twists and turns instead of taking the more direct route?


[User Picture]From: ashtoreth
2002-07-16 01:09 pm (UTC)
MQ is famous, or perhaps infamous, for giving the least direct route anywhere. Personally, I just stop at the first gas station when I get to a new town and pick up a local map. I find it's generally easier that way.
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[User Picture]From: speedball
2002-07-16 01:18 pm (UTC)

Thank God for the Thomas Bros.

I only use Mapblast/quest for getting me from the freeway to the exact building, in most cases. I already know my way around the freeways down here well enough. If the directions sound a little odd, I always check them against my Thomas Bros. guide. If you do any sort of regular driving around to areas you're not completely familiar with, the Thomas guide is a must have for the car...Unless, of course, you've got one of those cool GPS things that tells you where to go, and how to avoid traffic, and all that cool stuff.

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[User Picture]From: ashtoreth
2002-07-16 01:33 pm (UTC)

Re: Thank God for the Thomas Bros.

I have a thomas guide for Sacramento and Solano counties, and another for Sonoma, Mendocino, and Lake counties. Everywhere else I don't drive with sufficient frequency to warrant a thomas guide. But they're beautiful creatures, aren't they?
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[User Picture]From: speedball
2002-07-16 01:40 pm (UTC)
Sometimes those sorts of routes can save you time and distance. For instance, assuming no traffic on either freeway (i.e. driving at 3 in the morning), it's actually less distance, and thus faster, to get from my old house to my new house by taking the 5 S to the 170 S to the 101 S back to the 5 S than it is just to take the 5 S straight down. But, when the directions involve saving less than a mile, as I suspect these did, and tell you to get on city streets instead of staying on the freeway, I tend to get suspicious that any time will actually be saved.

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