Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Summer Traffic...

Okay. I've made it [checking calendar] a little over two weeks into the summer before it came to this, but...

With the summer months come relaxed traffic - as a general rule - so the rants become fewer and farther between. With schools out and folks on vacation, there's less cars on the road as a matter of course; with skyrocketing gas prices there's even fewer than normal.

What this means to the MA drivers, of course, is that the idiot:normal driver ratio increases, because idiots don't know when to get the fuck off the road...

*Like the person dropping their kid off in front of me at the school's summer program who insisted on traveling at 20 mph on a state highway with a posted speed limit of 45 mph. Here's a friendly tip: Find the skinny pedal on the right. Push it down further. Or trade the Impala in on a moped.

*Once more, with feeling: If you cannot drive without the cell phone glued to your ear, stay the hell home. Your inattentiveness to the world around you is going to get someone killed (ideally you, but things rarely work that way).

*To the bicyclists: Yes, I know you're saving gas. Yes, I know you're saving the planet. Blah-dee-fucking-blah. Do not ride two abreast on narrow twisty roads. Those towing mirrors hurt like hell when they bounce off your dayglo helmets.

*To the motorcyclists: We all know it's summer. We all know you love your motorcycles. Hitting the rev limiter at 2:00AM going down my sleepy little street isn't going to win you any friends, but it will make lots of enemies. It's adrenaline junkies like you that make life hard for the rest of the motorcycling public. Please knock the shit off.

*Ditto the "Loud Pipes Save Lives" dudes. Uh, guys, no they don't. All loud pipes do is piss off the non-motorcycling public. Look, I love the deep throaty growl of a V-twin under acceleration, but there's no need for your potato-potato-potato to be heard three counties over. Cars today are pretty much soundproof, not to mention that it's hard to hear a bike with a cell-phone stuck to your ear anyways. It's not helping anything, and all it's going to do is make the next round of legislation come down harder on all of us.

*And another once more, with feeling: To the landscaping companies - HOOK UP YOUR FUCKING TRAILER LIGHTS. I'm not Kreskin the Magnificent who is able to divine when you're stopping, turning, or slowing. Hook up the lights. Make sure they work. Or buy a box truck. Seriously. Your name and phone number are on the side of the truck. It is VERY easy to dime you out. If needed, that is...

That is all.


Rustmeister said...

I recently saw a bike make a left behind a truck pulling an unlit trailer after dark. He didn't clear the trailer.

Not a pretty sight.

Jay G said...

One of the most frightening episodes of my driving career involved a 30+ foot RV trailer.

We approached a four-way intersection. The left directional on the trailer was blinking. The truck moved over to the left side of the lane.

I started around him on the right.

He was turning right. The imbecile who did the wiring crossed the left and right directionals.

I'm passing him at ~ 40 MPH (speed limit on the road was 55) when I see, directly in front of me, the side of the tow vehicle.

Stood on the brake as hard as I could and started downshifting like a madman. Slid my truck down the embankment on the side of the road to bleed off more speed, and shot back out on the road mere inches from the back of the trailer.

I had my little sister in the truck with me (picked her up at UNH and brought her home for the weekend). She rolls down her window and let forth a stream of invective that melted half the siding off the camper.

I was so proud of her...

Borepatch said...

"To the bicyclists: Yes, I know you're saving gas. Yes, I know you're saving the planet."

When I lived in Atlanta, we kept the herd thinned by an appropriate hunting season. Looks like the wildlife up in in Mass has lost its fear of preditors.

Jay G said...

Ted, you're gonna get along just fine with our group... *g*

breda said...


I've never thought about it before but that is what it sounds like! Funny =)

Firehand said...

Car or bike, I flat love the throaty rumble of a good engine. And I freaking HATE a bike so loud it hurts my ears a block or two away.

I probably shouldn't ever get a silencer; the temptation to use it on said 'safe pipe' morons as they blow down the street waking people up would be so strong at times.

Roy said...


I had nearly the same thing happen to me once, only my nemesis was an 18 wheel tanker truck. I don't think his wires were crossed either. (...at least not the wires on the trailer.)

It happened at a six-lane intersection. I was in the right hand lane going straight, he was in the center lane with his *left* turn signal on. He moved left, I accelerated through the intersection. Suddenly his big-assed cab was athwart my lane directly in front of me. The good news is that I had the right turn lane and the shoulder on which to maneuver out of his way and nothing more than horns and cuss words were exchanged.

You see these signs on big trucks all the time - "Caution - this vehicle makes wide right turns." - and I understand that. If I see one needing both lanes to maneuver around the corner, I'll yield them the leeway - if I can. However, a cop friend of mine told me once that that sign doesn't give him the right to run right over you.

Of course, that's no consolation when your flat as a pizza on the side of the road.

Kat said...

Well said, and I heartily concur!