I hate driving in cities. With a vengeance. With the fiery hated of a thousand suns.
In particular, I hate driving in Denver, mostly because I live there.
Anyway, I feel like I've got a pretty good handle on the ins and outs of getting around this fair city we've got going, so I thought I'd give a quick overview of the dos and donts, as well as the birds and bees of city driving. (I feel dirty after writing that)
I realize not everyone lives in the Mile High city (though it seems like they do), but I hope that this instructable will inspire others to create similar guides for their metropolitan/urban areas of their choice.
Step 1: Geography and street layout
First off, the most important thing for any driver is knowing where you are in relation to your destination. The best way to know where you're at is to know which way is north (or south)
Luckily, we here in Denver are the noble decendants of those intrepid explorers who came west on wagons, saw the mountains, and said "Screw it, we're here!"
The Rocky Mountains are to the west. This is easily the most helpful advice anyone ever could get for driving here.
The mountains can also be seen from pretty much anywhere in Denver, and once you've got a handle on that, you can find your way north or south, because anywhere is better than where you're at right now, which is, inexplicably, Denver.
Another helpful fun fact: 90% of the roads here run on a grid, meaning north-south, or east-west. The only areas this doesn't apply are downtown and in the suburbs (places like Littleton and Highlands Ranch, but what are you doing there?)
The streets in Downtown Denver are on a angle, they run northwest-southeast and vice versa. The reason for this is ingenious: in winter, all the streets will get a good 3-4 hours of sunlight, which would melt the snow! Brilliant! Except when it really snows (like four or five feet, which is rare), it's never sunny! Wheeee....