Notes on driving in Tel Aviv

(I know I should be writing about politics now, but that’s going to be an extremely involved post)

  1. Traffic drives on the right-hand side of the road, with certain exceptions noted below.
  2. Lane markings, if present, are purely advisory. Cars should drive wherever there is not already another car.
  3. Turn signals and hazard lights don’t convey any information, so don’t use them. The horn works instead.
  4. Parking occurs wherever one manages to stop the car, typically as far right as the car can get. Depending on the circumstance, this means either on the sidewalk, in the parking lane, in the rightmost traffic lane, or in some other lane of traffic.
  5. Two-wheeled motorized vehicles (motorcycles, Vespas, etc) travel wherever they can get away with. This is one of the exceptions to the rule about right-hand driving.
  6. Getting ahead is very important. If two lanes are about to merge (or rather, if the road is narrowing so that merging is pretty much necessary) head right and accelerate; see if you can pass the person in front of you before it’s too narrow.
  7. Do not let anyone get in or pass you. The repeated Prisoner’s Dilemma with many players and no repeat interactions has only one stable equilibrium, and Tel Aviv is in it. If you let someone in, not only will several people force their way in, but other people will pass you from the left and the right simultaneously to get into the gap.
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Published in: on June 19, 2007 at 13:09  Comments (32)  
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32 Comments

  1. Actually, applies throughout the Middle East, Africa, and Italy.

  2. Actually, applies throughout the Middle East, Africa, and Italy.

  3. sounds like an excellent place to walk…
    That is – as long as you walk down the middle of the road as opposed to the sidewalks.
    Curiosity – if this is how the average citizen performs – how do the transit professionals escalate the matter? (Taxi, Bus, etc..)
    I rode a Bus ONCE in London when I was only 13 and I recall that being a pretty frightening experience for a sheltered Boulder, CO boy. I can’t imagine how much more fun it would be in a place like Tel Aviv where surely you have taxi drivers with clearly murderous intent.
    I wonder how you determine the difference between your average taxi driver and a Hammas or Hezbollah suicide bomber driving a taxi? Would the suicide bomber then likely be far more cautious?
    :p
    -Otter

  4. sounds like an excellent place to walk…
    That is – as long as you walk down the middle of the road as opposed to the sidewalks.
    Curiosity – if this is how the average citizen performs – how do the transit professionals escalate the matter? (Taxi, Bus, etc..)
    I rode a Bus ONCE in London when I was only 13 and I recall that being a pretty frightening experience for a sheltered Boulder, CO boy. I can’t imagine how much more fun it would be in a place like Tel Aviv where surely you have taxi drivers with clearly murderous intent.
    I wonder how you determine the difference between your average taxi driver and a Hammas or Hezbollah suicide bomber driving a taxi? Would the suicide bomber then likely be far more cautious?
    :p
    -Otter

  5. And this works?

  6. And this works?

  7. Ugh. I’m one of those people who feels personally insulted when people tailgate me. I yell at cars that don’t use their turn signals. I know it’s stupid, but bad driving just fills me with rage.
    I suspect driving in Israel is going to be very bad for my blood pressure.

  8. Ugh. I’m one of those people who feels personally insulted when people tailgate me. I yell at cars that don’t use their turn signals. I know it’s stupid, but bad driving just fills me with rage.
    I suspect driving in Israel is going to be very bad for my blood pressure.

  9. Ah yes, driving in Israel, always a joy.

  10. Ah yes, driving in Israel, always a joy.

  11. last time I was there, my dad and I were driving north in the middle of the night.
    We knew we had arrived when, approaching the major junction just south of Tiberias, a car had taken the wrong exit, and then elected to drive in reverse down a freeway off-ramp back onto the highway.
    The drivers are the best bad driver ever. But at least now everyone is wearing those silly yellow vests if they need to pull off the road for any reason.

  12. last time I was there, my dad and I were driving north in the middle of the night.
    We knew we had arrived when, approaching the major junction just south of Tiberias, a car had taken the wrong exit, and then elected to drive in reverse down a freeway off-ramp back onto the highway.
    The drivers are the best bad driver ever. But at least now everyone is wearing those silly yellow vests if they need to pull off the road for any reason.

  13. How about these 🙂

    http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=driving+in+india&search=

  14. How about these 🙂

    http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=driving+in+india&search=

  15. Re: sounds like an excellent place to walk…
    The professionals are actually about the same as the general citizenry. I’m not sure if that speaks well of them or poorly of everyone else.

  16. Re: sounds like an excellent place to walk…
    The professionals are actually about the same as the general citizenry. I’m not sure if that speaks well of them or poorly of everyone else.

  17. Um… define “works.” 🙂

  18. Um… define “works.” 🙂

  19. Just got back. When’s good for you?

  20. Just got back. When’s good for you?

  21. Okay, here’s a lot of birds with one stone, if you have the timeslot:
    Thursday night next week, Kan Pai in Palo Alto, amazing omikase and good sake, Hans will be in town, and I can get my DVDs before I move. Work for you?

  22. Okay, here’s a lot of birds with one stone, if you have the timeslot:
    Thursday night next week, Kan Pai in Palo Alto, amazing omikase and good sake, Hans will be in town, and I can get my DVDs before I move. Work for you?

  23. Nope, I was wrong, it’d have to be Friday or Sunday.

  24. Nope, I was wrong, it’d have to be Friday or Sunday.

  25. And now just Sunday

  26. And now just Sunday

  27. OK… possible although a bit tricky; I’ve got my dad visiting that day. What time are you free, and where will you be?

  28. OK… possible although a bit tricky; I’ve got my dad visiting that day. What time are you free, and where will you be?

  29. AFAIK we don’t have any plans on Sunday yet, so how ’bout you let us know where to be when – preferably in a manner that doesn’t involve being awake before brunchtime.

  30. AFAIK we don’t have any plans on Sunday yet, so how ’bout you let us know where to be when – preferably in a manner that doesn’t involve being awake before brunchtime.

  31. It seems that I’ve got an opening in my schedule a bit after noon — will you be around then? If so, where?

  32. It seems that I’ve got an opening in my schedule a bit after noon — will you be around then? If so, where?


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