I was going to write about the Blue Jays this week, but I’m going to wait to see if they can pull off a playoff spot before I sum up the season. Instead, I’ll talk traffic.
If you’re ever in a new relationship and want to discover the truth about someone’s personality and temperament, sit in the passenger seat while they’re driving through construction. It can get ugly, super-fast, am I right?
One good test to perform is an exercise in drive-thru rage. It’s that moment when you’re waiting in line at the drive-thru, you’ve already ordered, there are cars in front of and behind you so you’re trapped, but the person two cars ahead must have ordered a tray of sandwiches or something and it’s been three hours (in reality only six minutes, but you know what I mean), and it takes every adult sensibility in you to ignore the impulse to lay on your horn as loudly and long as possible and monster truck your SUV over the whole lot of them in front of you.
I’m not one to complain about traffic. (Actually, that’s not true – I constantly complain about traffic just like everyone else does, probably because in our own minds we’re all exceptional drivers. But let’s pretend this is coming from a reasonable place, shall we?)
Let me start over: as much as I try not to make unwarranted complaints about the highs and lows of regular traffic, I’m left to wonder what the heck is going on at the Canso Causeway this year.
I get that the bridge opens for boat traffic, which can back things up temporarily. I get that on busy days it can open several times, and that the delays are frustrating. Further to this, I have made allowances for heavier summer traffic and also for the work that was done to the bridge this year, which seems to be causing some difficulties and delays as operators work out the kinks.
Those things aside, most of the snarls I’ve noticed have occurred when the bridge hasn’t even opened. I have been backed up as far as Workman’s in Port Hastings, and have heard stories of similar backups in Troy, up by the airport, and on the mainland side. And if the bridge isn’t open, I can’t for the life of me understand what the hold-up is.
First I assumed it could only be the stop sign in the roundabout at the rotary. Makes sense, right? Cars having to come to a complete stop and sitting while traffic goes past them up Highway 105. It was also suggested to me that the backup might be caused by tourists slowing down to take in the sights as they are driving across the causeway.
If I’ve driven to Port Hastings ten times in the past month, I’ve been backed up to at least A&W on six of those trips. It’s not the end of the world for me because I’ve never been on my way anywhere important or time sensitive, but it makes me wonder not just what the source of the back-up is, but more so why it’s all of a sudden been so much bigger a problem this year than in years past. It’s not like the stop sign is new, or that there is some new attraction getting people’s attention, yet cars are backed up as far as the eye can see. I’d love to hear the answer just to quell my curiosity, even if it’s not accompanied by a way to resolve the problem.
All of these observations and gripes are a preamble to my description of my biggest traffic pet peeve: people who try to cut the line. Picture it: construction. A double lane that is clearly ending and turning into a single lane, with clear signage to indicate that going at least a half-kilometer back. All the cars are in a single lane, having observed the signs. Then, comin’ in hot on the left-hand side, a car whose driver decides that they’re not going to wait, they’re going to drive to the very end of the double lane and get someone to let them into the line so they’re further ahead. That their time is so much more valuable than everyone else’s that we should just spare them the inconvenience that the rest of us are enduring and let them squeeze in.
Know this, people who try to squeeze in – I will literally idle in traffic for the rest of my time on planet Earth, inching forward with marksman’s accuracy, coordinating with other cars using hand signals, physically laying on the hot, newly-tarred pavement if need be, whatever it takes to prevent you from skipping the line.