Traffic. It’s all around us these days, controlling our drive times, influencing where we work or live, and contributing to our daily stresses. Here in Minnesota, there was a big project to widen the Hwy 62 area by 35w and change the flow of traffic which usually bottlenecked at that spot. Instead of widening it, the highway department managed to double the shoulder space on each side, trim it down to just one lane, and add a TON of concrete that is unused. The result? An awful morning and afternoon commute for anyone taking Hwy 62 east or west by 35w.
What the hell were they thinking? I have no idea. To me, road construction, especially the widening of a highway (that pissed off thousands of residents nearby) should be automatically planned to be used at full capacity. That means trimming shoulder space and making as many lanes as humanly possible to keep traffic moving quickly. Our highway department has a duty to ensure a smooth, quick, and safe drive to work for all of us. If they can’t do that, we may as well all live right next to the place we work because the current situation sucks. We pay for these projects with our taxes and it’s amazing that we don’t have more creative control over what gets accomplished. I am sure that if the city would have put the designs to a vote, we’d have a better result than we have now.
Anyway, I am done ranting. Here are a few tips to remember when driving in rush hour.
1. Traffic is almost like a living organism. It grows, it contracts, and one single holdup can affect everyone else for hours. Remember that as you drive. Keep moving!
2. Don’t slow down to look at accidents. Change lanes to avoid cops on the shoulder, but do NOT slow down to check things out.
3. Merge lanes should be filled to capacity. Don’t move out of that lane until it ends..and when it DOES end, merge like a zipper into the next closest lane. Those of you that move over way before the merge lane ends are causing issues for the rest of us and those of you that don’t know how a zipper merge works need to go back to traffic school.
4. I don’t care how important your call is..PAY ATTENTION.
5. If it’s icy, your 4wd truck isn’t going to get any better traction than my car so stop driving like a psycho.
6. Just because I drive the speed limit and you’re in a hurry doesn’t mean you can ride my ass. Go around..or better yet, leave earlier next time, dumbass.
7. Your stereo booming doesn’t make you any cooler. In fact it’s making you deaf. Nobody wants to hear that damn Usher song anyway.
8. Weaving back and forth from lane to lane like it is the Indy 500 isn’t going to get you to work faster..unless you work in the morgue.
9. Tinted windows suck. You not only look like a douche, but you’re also making yourself a target for cops.
10. Just because you drive a bus doesn’t mean you can cut people off and drive wherever you please. You need to be aware of other drivers just as we are aware of you.