One of the most infuriating things about America, aside from the accent; the fact sales tax isn’t included in the price; the superior attitude and; the endless political bickering, is the road system.
It’s like a child was employed as a civil engineer. For instance, several exits are also entrances. It’s difficult to describe, but bare with me:
So, you’re driving along a highway at 55 MPh and you need to take an exit. Your slip lane is on the far right, as you might expect. You prepare to pull into this slip lane only to notice that behind you is the entrance onto this highway. That’s right. Within a few yards there is the exit AND the entrance to the highway. Simply inspiring. Not only must you navigate pulling off to the right, you must also try not to hit cars who are using the same few yards of road space to enter the highway.
Some of the greatest civil engineering I’ve ever seen.
That short rant however is not the point of this blog post. No, that I can get used to.
There is one thing I cannot abide. One thing I hate.
When four directions of traffic meet.
In a civilised land, like merry old England, a roundabout would suffice to control these flows of traffic, possibly with traffic lights assisting at peak times. That is logical.
What is not logical is bringing four lanes of high speed traffic to a halt to let a slip lane out. That is efficient for rush hour traffic, at most. The rest of the time it’s just a massive inconvenience.
But even that I could learn to put up with. I could learn to put up with it if people would actually go when the light is green.
I don’t know what your experience of east-coast culture is, but it has a reputation for being fast-paced and business like. People are always busy accomplishing something. It almost becomes a fault when accomplishment indicates a person’s worth. Thats a topic for another blog. Anyway, people are always in a hurry.
Except when the light goes green.
Back in merry old England, when a light goes green you do NOT stick around. You are in first gear and you are GONE. I dare you to dawdle for more then five seconds and see if someone doesn’t honk at you.
Such dawdling is, frustratingly, the norm here. Many times I have been just a few cars back from the light, seen it go green and then been frustrated that I had to wait more than ten seconds to move.
That probably speaks of my own impatience and sense of importance, but this is a rant and I do not have time for introspection.
So, here comes the meat of the issue:
What keeps people at traffic lights?
Here is my proposed list. Feel free to add to it.
- Texting or emailing
- Reading a book
- Applying makeup
- Having a romantic moment with their significant other
- Devising the cure for the common cold
- Waiting for the moment to be ‘just right’
- Praying the rosary
- Existentially questioning why they obey traffic lights
- Forgetting where the gas pedal is
- Experiencing an astral projection
There are the possibilities. Some of those I have even witnessed.
Add your own experiences to the comments.