Thursday, May 27


Just in Time for Memorial Weekend Traffic

On the list of Things I Get Worked up About, traffic & driving clearly lands in the top 5. I'm sure I'll cover some of the other issues in the weeks to come (not enough vacation time, proper margaritas, kids who do nothing all damn day, etc...) but today I feel like breaking my self inflicted moratorium & discussing traffic, driving, and those idiots who don't know how to do it right.

Last month Mr. Motorcycle and I took a little trip to Chicago for the weekend. You wouldn't know that because I am the awesome kind of blogger who does stuff that is fun, cool, & different, and reports on none of it. In the old days, when the economy was better, flights were cheaper & I felt more comfortable with the balance of my 401K I would have flown........we drove.

The Minneapolis to Chicago trip off-season is a pretty quick one, less than 6 hours if you don't stop at the cheese houses or gentlemen's clubs. Or my favorite the sex shop connected to the cheese house. isn't my favorite because I make frequent trips to the cheese sex shop, it's my favorite because it takes a special kind of person to think that the best way to market your cheese shop is by attaching a sex toy shop to it. I mean, come on - who among you naturally thinks I could really go for some gouda and a pair of fuzzy pink handcuffs?

You really didn't need to answer that.

SO! Driving across the dairy state, passing all the cheese shops, and gentlemens clubs (a topic for another day); stopping only for important things like coffee and the releasing of coffee. We found ourselves in one hell of a traffic jam in the middle of nowhere.

I swear we were like 20 miles from the closest cheese shop.

How bad could a traffic jam in the middle of Wisconsin nowhere be? At one point it took us 1/2 an hour to go about 1 mile. I timed it. Although we did eventually pick-up speed and made it through the 8 miles of backed up traffic in about an hour.

*bangs head on desk & remembers why I don't live in LA*

When we FINALLY found out what was causing all the commotion - 2 lanes of traffic magically become 1 to accommodate construction that is apparently planned for sometime this millennium but has not yet begun. Actually, that's not even true.


The trouble was caused by someone who mistakenly believed it was his job to drive in the "open lane" at an unreasonably slow speed to prevent people from using the WIDE OPEN LANE - thus creating an 8 mile single file line of cars, trucks, semis, get the picture.

Many people I have talked to believe that those who wait until that merge sign to merge, rather than lining up like everyone else, are nothing but law breaking rude mother truckers. As I'm sure you guessed, I am one of the hated people who uses the WIDE OPEN LANE and ignores liner-uppers.

It's a discussion as charged as a political one - no matter what you say you can rarely sway the other side... I may have even drawn diagrams a time or two to prove that it's better for everyone if we use that lane.... I now have official proof, from the Department of Transportation & the Pioneer Press, that

my way is the right way

Lighten up, Minnesotans:
Merging at the last-minute is GOOD for traffic

Traffic engineers believe Minnesota Nice becomes Minnesota Nincompoop when two lanes are marked to merge into one and that "good manners" cause gridlock.

"It drives me crazy when I see that," said Kent Barnard, spokesman for MnDOT's metro district. "Simple physics will tell you it's better to use both lanes up to the merge point."

MnDOT is working on a campaign to teach drivers to forget about perceived politeness — and fill lanes whenever they are open. ~link to article

I'm considering having the article reproduced so I can hand it out and I just may have my copy laminated.....


Keri said...

I believe I'm starting to see signs along the construction zones now that say something about using both lanes until the actual merge... But I could be just imagining things in my insane, out of my traffic coma mind.

And you KNOW you need to watch what you say about my Cheese State! (When we aren't combining the cheese and the gentleman's clubs, we're combining the cheese and the taxidermy... you got a preference?)

Enjoy the long weekend! I think I'll have mine with BEEEEEER.

Jeanne said...

Yeah - I'm with you. Very nice to be vindicated. You made my week. No, really.

Kathy Howe said...

I'm tweeting this to the world.

Chris said...

Of course, at the last minute, some assh*le will not let you merge and you'll end up in the cones, wreaking havoc...

Where the hell is the cheese shop/sex toy shop?! Not that I want to visit, but surely it's something my blog readers would find tres amusing...

Guinifer said...

Just what I needed to read before I leave for my 2 1/2 hour drive to The land of cheese and whatever.

Anonymous said...

Have you seen the news about the Polaris plant in Osceola that will close in 18 months and put 600 people out of work? I'm thinking that what Polk County need to give those poor folks a decent job is a few cheese & sex toy shops along US 8 and WI 35. Yeah, that's the ticket. Thanks!