Driving in San Jose vs Portland

Sorry I haven’t been able to post lately. I was hoping to get a backlog of posts ready, but my house sold in that period so I had to get everything packed up in Portland, then drive down to San Jose, unpack everything, and then get it put away.

Since I’ve been doing a lot of driving lately, I thought I might comment on the differences between driving in San Jose and Portland. In Portland, the freeways go over lots of hills, especially as you head in to downtown from the West Side. Because of this, you find yourself changing your speed a lot (if you drive stick, you change gears a lot, too). It makes driving a more conscious activity. In the Bay Area, the freeways are pretty flat. I found myself using cruise control for the first time in many years. Also, since the speed limit in the Bay Area tends to be 65 mph instead of the 50 mph in Portland, you don’t have to worry as much about speeding. Also, now that many of the freeways have been widened to at least 4 lanes (in the past 15 years that I’ve been away), traffic seems to flow pretty well.

What this all adds up to is a more reflective driving experience in the Bay Area. Once you have cruise control on, and you have your 2+ car lengths in front, and you have your 4 lanes of straight flat highway in front of you, there isn’t all that much to do but think (particularly if you turn off the radio).

Rino’s Freeway Thoughts

I find that I go through the same set of topics whenever I drive in the Bay Area. I often think about traffic as water flowing through a tube. I wonder if anyone’s tried to model this using the Navier-Stokes equations. I wonder if you can compute a Reynolds number for traffic and what turbulence means.

I’ll look at street signs and remember what I thought about them when I was growing up. I still don’t know if the Tennyson Rd exit was named after the poet or if the Jackson exit was named after the general. The exit for “A street downtown” still brings a chuckle.

After this, I start thinking about things I’m working on. I used to think about homework. Now, I think about how to build my company. Now that I’m starting to get settled in San Jose, I need to start putting some of those thoughts into action! I’ll keep you posted 🙂


About Rino Jose

Trying to find good ways to develop software.

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