As a city, I think most Indianapolis drivers are fairly courteous. If you turn on your signal indiciating that you would like to change lanes, they generally will make room for you. As a motorcyclist, I very often take advantage of this courtesy when I'm at a light and I need to get over. I generally get the attention of the driver I would like to merge in front of and use hand signals to ask if I can get over. About 99.9% of the time, they nod in a way that says, "certainly". As I said before, this is most definitely not the case everywhere. In fact, in my hometown of Fort Wayne, it's a tough sell to get another motorist to let you into their lane. It stands to reason that this should not be the case. Fort Wayne is considerably smaller than Indianapolis (250,000 vs 1,500,000) and people in smaller towns are nicer, right? Apparently not. Perhaps it's that we big(ger) city dwellers know the feeling of trying to make our way through heavy traffic on a daily basis and wish others were nicer to us, so we hold out hope that they will be by being nicer to them.
Unfortunately, I've noticed a disturbing trend lately. When I signal to get over, rather than making room for me, LOTS of people have been speeding up so that I can't get over. What's going on? Is it the rush of the holidays? Is it the downturn in the economy that makes everyone want to take care of #1 at all costs? Is it simply the breakdown of polite society? Come on, people! Let's turn this around. We're the midwest. We're nice people. We Hoosiers are nothing if not hospitable! So, let's take this hospitality to the streets. If someone signals to get over, let them over. I promise it won't affect your drive time. In fact, perhaps if we all adopt this policy, we'll get to our destinations safely, cheerfully and on time.