Some of this stuff is common knowledge, some of it it's been so long since I was home that I'd forgotten. 1. Californian roads are much, much better signed (high-visibility [usually illuminated] signs advising of upcoming cross streets). 2. Lights are synchronized so you don't hit 13 red lights in a row on a major road. 3. Unless otherwise signed, if you are in the rightmost lane and turning right, you may proceed through a red light after coming to a complete stop and being sure to give way to traffic on the road you're turning on to. 4. Speed limits, of course, are far more sensible and based on reality. 5. The actual roads are a bit rough and shitty in a lot of areas, but not unforgivably so. 6. The drivers are fcuking awful and don't realize how good they have it. They tailgate like complete tossbags, they don't understand the idea that the leftmost (rightmost for us) lane is for passing, not cruising, they refuse to use turn signals, and half of them don't understand that if it's dark out, there are lights on the vehicle you can turn on to help you see. Drivers here do the same stuff, but not anywhere near on the same scale. 7. If you're not being a COMPLETE idiot, the cops leave you alone. Basically traffic moves at a much better pace in general over there because the engineers are actually capable of doing their job, for the most part. You still get hung up in traffic because the roads are carrying far more cars than they were originally planned to have, I'm sure, but they've done what they can to alleviate that by making traffic flow as much as possible, and to have less things that cause people to drive slowly (no having to look for a partially obscured sign that may or may not tell you something useful about the road you're on). If we could swap our systems without having to take Californian drivers, we'd be in traffic utopia. So this really begs the question: WHY do they not synchronize the lights here to keep traffic flowing? I'm guessing it's because they're actually incompetent and don't know how to do that.