I Hate Traffic, But Is Hate Too Strong of a Word?

Well, I left for work Monday morning at 6:30 and when I came up to the first street to turn left, I had to wait for five cars to pass by. No big deal, right?

Finally! I made that left turn and, after hitting the next five red lights, I saw two cement trucks that I usually see heading out this time of the morning. Typically, I would pass them on the left going up a hill since they drove behind each other before I turned onto a freeway. Well, this time, one decided to take the right lane and the other decided to take the left lane. Ha ha ha. Very cute. Speed limit is 45 mph and both trucks are going 20 mph, maybe 25 mph if they were lucky.

Ok, made it to the freeway. Can I say sun glare? Heading due east in the morning is not pretty. Evidently, no one has a visor to block the sun glare. So, we all drove along for the next two miles going 15 mph.

I was about to take the next freeway exit southbound (I was in the right lane of a two-lane exit ramp) when I saw a large SUV on my left. I noticed there was a car in front of him. I look at the SUV again and thought, I bet he is going to squeeze in front of me. My anticipation was correct. He cut right in front of me. I can picture an elementary school word problem that my teacher Mrs. Huckleberry would say:

“With your ruler, measure the distance between your front bumper and the SUV bumper that just cut you off…in centimeters.”

I would measure and the answer was 6.5 cm. Wait, didn’t we study the metric system because America would eventually convert? But I digress.

Anyway, the SUV cut in front of me and then cut right back into the left lane directly in front the car off he was just tailgaiting and then he exited from the left lane onto the northbound freeway. Really? Did that save you, what, five seconds? And I happened to notice that the driver was male and under 25 years old. And you wonder why auto insurance rates are so high for young male drivers. And women, don’t think I don’t notice many of you texting or talking while driving, puttingon makeup, brushing your hair, or drinking your latte. You aren’t off the hook, either.

Ok. I am now heading southbound on my way to work…only 17 miles to go. Sigh. Driving along for a couple of miles on the four lane freeway and, what do you know, a traffic jam. No one moving. The car in front of me decided she needed to be in the right lane because, naturally, THAT lane must be faster. Fifteen minutes later, or 100 feet, the same car decided to cut back in front of me and then into the lane to the left, again, because THAT lane must be faster. I looked ahead and other cars are doing the same things. Pick a lane already. Meanwhile, no one was really moving…at all. And then, we finally found out what caused the traffic jam. There was a car in the third lane from the right without a rear left tire. I mean, no jack, just the axel on the freeway. How…I mean, what…excuse me, why? I can’t answer those questions right now.

Amazingly, traffic picked up and we are all cruising at 75, I mean 55 mph. No one speeds on the freeway, as you know. And then, I saw some dots showing up on the windshield. No…not rain!!! Yep, and traffic stopped almost immediately, once again. I mean, it really stopped this time. Sprinkles and traffic stops. I could have parked my car, walked to work, walk back from work 9 hours later, and it would have still been fine. And the weather lady on the radio isn’t helping at all by saying, “Expect some rain on the commute this morning. There will be slick spots.” You are really not helping traffic, lady.

So, we were going at a snail’s pace when I heard a motorcycle. I heard it getting closer and closer but didn’t see it. Then, I see it fly past me on the right. He was creating his own lane between vehicles. Oh, and he didn’t have a helmet on. That explained a lot. And all of those commercials I have heard on the radio about “Watch out for motorcycles” and “Share the road”. Are you serious?

Many moments later, I finally got to work, but then there was the drive home. On the northbound drive home, it wasn’t so bad…if you overlook the fact that some government highway planners decided to take a four lane freeway, cut it down to three lanes as it converged with another northbound highway with two lanes converging into one lane from an overhead bridge. Another traffic jam, would you ever believe it?

Traffic was slow but no accidents, just everyone…was…go…ing…ver…y…slow…ly. Got off the freeway and, after several blocks, approached a stop sign. I stopped, check to the left and to the right and to the left again, and am ready to proceed when a bicyclist appeared out of nowhere. Seriously, I don’t know where he came from. He just glided through the stop sign as if it didn’t exist. I don’t think that little helmet would offer much protection against a car if he wasn’t so lucky. Don’t traffic laws apply to bicyclists, too? Hmmm…

And then, I finally arrived home Wednesday evening at 5:30. Wait, what?

All right, I may have exaggerated just a little bit; however, each of these instances had happened one time or another during my commute to and from work. I would work closer to home if there was such an opportunity, but what fun would that be?

Article by John Coder

Posted August 1, 2014

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