April 8, 2002
I Hate Driving Anywhere
Traffic is a nightmare, pretty much anywhere you go I think. I don't know if it's especially bad here in Dallas, but it's certainly not good. We have this beltway, Interstate 635, and from what I can tell, you're always better off just not getting on it at all. Of course, millions of people ignore this advice, and have zero ability to learn from past mistakes, so they get on it everyday, and everyday they're stuck on it going 10 mph. I guess I should be glad that these brain-dead folks stay away from my route to work.
When I go to work, I'm fortunately able to avoid all highways. This means I am unfortunately unable to avoid traffic lights. The traffic lights work in a very easy to understand pattern, unless they need to stop me, when they throw out all logic so that I will have to stop. Lights that are green in a particular direction for a very long time when I'm going the other way will instantly turn red when I need to go through them. I've noticed that I often end up at the front of the line, so to speak, that is, the first car at the intersection after a light turns red. I'm not sure what this indicates, but there are a few possibilities:
- I drive too fast. This one is easily debunked, since I've experimented with driving faster and I notice I get fewer red lights this way. I'm also more likely to get a speeding ticket this way.
- I drive too slow. This is possible. I'm not the slowest guy out there, but many people drive much faster than I do. I usually consider these people as rude and somewhat stupid, so I'm not sure I really want to be reduced to reckless if that's the price for stopping less often.
- I don't accelerate enough when the light turns yellow and try to get through it, especially if I realize the light is likely to turn red before I get to it. I notice plenty of people do this, but it strikes me as inherently unsafe, so I try to be moderate.
I guess what I've found here if you want to make it where you're going with minimal hassle and stopping you have to be obnoxious about it. That's a depressing thought. Oh and one more PFFT! Because of my dedication to safe driving (which is not without yelling at other drivers, but only from the safety of my car) I try to leave a little space between me and the car in front of me. It seems prudent. However, most drivers out there think I'm doing this to be considerate to them so that they can squeeze in front of me. This counts double when the squeezer is someone I have just changed lanes to get around myself. Driving just sucks.
Published: April 8, 2002