|Traveler's Review: Garmin 360 - sunday 2008-07-27 0202
|last modified 2008-07-27 0202
|TrackBacks Sent: None
More than 95% of the time I agree with my Garmin GPS navigator. While I would generally never use it in some place like Cambridge, MA, where suggestions to drive straight through the hearts of Central Square, Harvard Square, Porter Square, and Davis Square to get to Medford are poor, poor choices, the concept that I can never really get lost is quite a game changer. I wouldn't be able to do what I'm doing without it.
There are times, however, when the Garmin fails to make sense, days where it fails to acknowledge one can turn right or left on a road. I was looking for a Kroger's grocery store in Virginia that, in retrospect, merely required a right turn into a shopping complex. I got directed to drive half a mile down, then turn right onto a private road that might have lead to a local highway (I turned back without verifying) that then approached the shopping complex from the other side. Instead of one right turn at a traffic light.
Another time, I hopped off the interstate to grab a bite to eat; when I went back, I just had to take a left to cross the bridge to the ramp. It told me to drive straight and make a two mile loop around to the exact intersection I was at, only approaching along the bridge street. Instead of one left turn at a traffic light.
It's a good thing these are randomly fallible, or I'd turn off my brain while driving. Then there was the time where it wanted to drive through a pedestrian walkway to get to a post office, then it took me to an abandoned building it asserted was a post office. I skipped the post office objective for a few towns after that.
In both Minnesota and Massachusetts (and other states I've driven through), the signage says, "Slower traffic keep right." In New York, it says, "Keep right unless passing." While I understand now why I found New York drivers so annoying on the interstate - they're just weaving in and out of traffic, who do they think they are! - I wonder which perspective actually accomplishes the goal of smooth traffic flow better. The left is known as the passing lane, but sometimes there are people out there who just seem to know they're going to pass everybody.