Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Great Moments in Traffic

Heading to work on Monday, approaching the end of Elm Street, I sprinted into the pocket behind a big pickup truck that had passed me in the last curves. At Route 16 we all stopped because traffic flowed south in a continuous, bumper-to-bumper stream at about 40-45 miles per hour.

The northbound lane was absolutely clear.

A motorcyclist pulled up next to me.

"Wanna race?" he asked, grinning.

"Nah, just a draft," I said. I floated forward to scan the traffic for signs of a usable gap. Two trucks headed the line waiting to get out of Elm Street, followed by the motorcyclist, and another motorcyclist, and a car or two that drifted in to join the queue. No one was going anywhere.

Except me.

I turned northward to get away from the anxious motorists stewing at the stop sign. Southbound traffic slowed to about 20 as the light down at Route 28 went through its cycle. As soon as that happened I was able to sprint up to speed southbound in the unused northbound lane and merge through the southbound flow to get to right shoulder. The southbound motor vehicles never stopped or formed enough of a gap to let any of the motorists escape from Elm Street. They were all still there as I tooled south to 28 unimpeded.

Poor bastards.

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