Having spent a large portion of the last weekend driving interstates 80 and 94, I started thinking again about that fantastic new, yet not fully complete, six-lane stretch of interstate between Omaha and Lincoln.

As everyone knew, traffic between Omaha and Lincoln had just gotten to be too much for those little four lanes to handle. Who can count how many times you have to go around someone who’s just barely scooting along in the left lane, so you have to voluntarily get stuck behind the slow moving traffic in the right lane TO PASS THE PERSON IN THE LEFT LANE.

Or when you get stuck behind two vehicles dueling down the interstate at 55 miles per hour, clogging up those two lines for a mile back as one gets a 1-mph advantage, then they come to a slight bend in the road, giving the advantage to the car on the inside… Neither really shows any intention of really passing the other per se – it’s just that neither is willing to trail the other one.

Adding that third lane and spending those millions of dollars would do wonders for problems such as those.


Because, as I predicted before any asphalt was torn up or trees cut down, the Nebraska drivers who previously saw the left lane as a nice pretty place to drive slowly will now have the center lane AND the left lane as nice pretty places to drive slowly.

It’s already happening, even with the relatively small stretch of 6-lane open road. I drive back and forth to Omaha at least twice a week, and already, you get stuck on a 75-mph road with three lanes of road going 60 or less because someone just clearly doesn’t understand the concept behind interstate traffic.

All of this reminded me of a bill introduced by Senator Marian Price early this year that was quickly killed. Some of the logic for killing the bill included a senator who just prefers driving in the left lane. Also, the bill was killed with the belief that the 6-lane road would solve the problem.

Missouri has a bill that prevents driving in the left lane for anything other than passing. In all my drives through Missouri – and I have had many – I have never encountered the bumpkin-in-the-left-lane problem. EVER. And that includes I-29 in northwest Missouri, if you know where I’m going with that.

Of course, there’s always going to be a problem when some truck or hick decides they need to cut you off the person driving 75 in the left lane so they can pass the guy going 55 while driving 56. Those people are jerks, and hopefully their careless driving will only result in personal injury and not the injury of others.

Now don’t get me wrong – I realize that a left-lane-passing law won’t solve the traffic volume problems. Not all of the I-80 congestion is caused by idiots. But the relief that the extra lanes can bring can be immediately negated by allowing this type of inconsiderate driving to continue.

2 Responses to “I-80”

  1. Gunscribe Says:

    Neal on this we are in total agreement.

  2. neal Says:

    All right, there’s something! 🙂

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