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Best Place to Make a Left at Rush Hour 

University City Loop

Home of whimsical eight-hour parking meters and its own quirky rush hours, like late afternoon, when Washington University cuts loose, and just before the live music starts on a Friday night -- the University City Loop is congested, but without the rage. The Riverfront Times staff tests the conventional rush hour daily, skidding to a stop at the bottom of the sloped parking garage, clenching the steering wheel, glancing left and right and deciding it won't happen, not this time, there's far too much traffic, people are honking and revving their motors ... and, every day, it happens. One or two cars whiz by and then, sure enough, somebody brakes and waits, waits even when the oncoming traffic's still thick, lets everything clear so you can make your left. Maybe it's because the drivers are younger, not yet embittered by Highway 40 commutes. Maybe it's because they're out for dinner or music or a movie, and feeling benevolent. Or maybe it's just hard to take anything too seriously in a district called the Loop.

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