Drive Angry: Nic Cage Movie or the Story of My Commute?

I’ve written about Traffic before.  Here as well I once even wrote about traffic for our local Patch back when we had local people running the local Patch. I just did a google search and it’s still out there. Click here if you want to read that one. Guess what? Traffic still really irritates me.

I suffer from road rage. I don’t go as far as trying to fight someone for doing something that makes me mad, but on really bad days I yell a lot and say some not nice things. The furthest I go in interacting with other divers is usually honking the horn. If it is really bad there might be some sort of gesture trying to relay how stupid I think they are. I try to focus on music or a book, but the stupid usually distracts me from it. Today, for example. Every time it rains here traffic grinds to a halt. My 12 mile, usually 20-25 minute drive doubles to at least 45 minutes of following Waze trying to route me around the standstill traffic on my normal route. On these roads, I run into so many people driving way too slow, not going when the light is green and refusing to turn right on red unless they have no traffic coming for a mile. I’m already irritated because my commute is messed up and now I have to deal with this. It drives me crazy. I have serious issues. I still haven’t found the music that will relax me.

I thought it might get better when I started driving home to an empty house and most days it does I just don’t get why any rain destroys the commute. It’s not like it never rains here. We should all be used to driving in the rain. It shouldn’t take 45 minutes to drive 12 miles because it’s a little moist outside. I know it will be a bad drive when it is wet. I need to find the music that will calm me on those days. I also need the other drivers in the area to stop being so stupid.

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A Collection of Short Tater Thoughts

I have no topic for a long form post today. The following are random short thought that will hopefully pop in my head while I am writing.

Hello Guvna: The Governor of Maryland will be at my old branch today. A delegation from his office will be at my current branch today. The Governor will not join them. I’m sure that I am missing out on my shot by not getting face time with Governor Hogan. I’m sure he would hire me on the spot.

Driving: I could write about this every day. My latest traffic complaint is that yesterday I was driving on a highway with 55 MPH speed limit. I will admit that I was speeding(70 in a 55) and still someone comes up behind me a rides my bumper because they wanted to go even faster. That is just a guarantee that I will start to drive much slower. Yes, I’m that driver.

Reading Slump: I don’t hate the book I’m reading, but I don’t really feel the need to read it when I have free time. I guess I should take a break from it and read something else to see if reading in general is the problem or if it is the book. It’s hard for me to take a break from a book if I plan to finish it.  I’m good with quitting a book I hate, but I find it hard to take a break or quit a book that is just mediocre.

Goals: I’ve written here several times about not knowing what I want to be when I grow up Our new CEO plans to meet with each of us to ask what we do, but also what we want to do in our job. I guess I need to figure that out soon so I have an answer. I’m not sure “retire” is the answer she wants. Maybe I will tell her I want her job.

Blogging: I will end with more blog talk. I am going to set a goal to be more organized with my blog. Right now, I just get my laptop and write whatever pops in my head that morning. I rarely plan ahead. This is fine for what I want as far as the writing goes, but it leads to long stretches of not posting because my mind is blank. I want to start doing more planning on what I will write. I want to be better about writing down topics and rants as they pop in my head. I have no idea what will work for me, but I hope it will at least lead to fewer long breaks from posting. Any suggestions appreciated.


Tater Takes on Driving

I hate driving and, unfortunately, find myself driving at least an hour a day for my commute. The worst thing about the suburbs is how much you have to drive. You still have people all over the place, but none of the convenience of a city. If I’m going to live around a bunch of people, I would rather be in a city where I could walk or take transit everywhere. If I’m going to live where I have to drive everywhere, I would rather be in the country where there aren’t a lot of people. The burbs are the worst, especially if you hate driving around a lot of other people.

The thing that has irritated me the most recently is the tendency for everyone to line up on one particular lane at a traffic light on a multiple lane road. Driving home through Ft. Meade, 175 goes from one lane to two. I have missed the light at that area so many times because everyone lines up in the left lane and no one uses the right. The left lane slowly moves forward while the right lane stays empty. By the time I get to where I can merge to the empty right lane, the light is changing. This type of thing also happens close to work where everyone gets in the right lane at a light because they are taking a right exit a half mile down the road. If you are actually turning right at the light you can’t get to the turn lane because of all the cars. I get that you want to be ready to take the exit, but I guarantee you will be able to merge over once those of us turning right are able to turn. I’m sure there are logical reasons for this, but it drives me crazy.

This one is not a driver issue, but traffic flow issues. They recently added a much-needed traffic light to an intersection near my house. Unfortunately, they did not feel the need to add a left turn light from the very busy main road. So, when the light turns green, the cars turning left sit and wait forever for all of the cars to go through the light. Sometimes this means one or two cars get to turn left when the light turns yellow. This sometimes causes a major backup on the road. Why not just add a turn light? Who decided these things? I also am annoyed with the roads with a left turn only lane at a light with the straight and right turn lane being the same when only one side of the street goes at a time. It makes more sense for straight and left to be the same lane with a right turn only lane so the right turn people can go right on red if possible. This obviously, changes if both directions are green at the same time. In that case, you don’t want left and straight sharing a lane. Am I the only one who thinks this makes more sense? Did my explanation even make sense?

Other things that continue to annoy me:

Driving slow in the left turn lane.

Refusing to turn right on red because you are waiting for all three lanes to be clear before you go.

Slamming on your brakes before going through a green light.

Slowing to 10 mph below the speed limit a mile before your actual exit.

Driving on the shoulder to cut in line at a merge area.

Not using your lights in the rain.

Not using your turn signal, ever.

Feel free to add yours in the comments.


Traffic Sucks, But So Do You

I am the first to admit that traffic in this area sucks. There are way too many cars for the roads we have and they just keep building. What makes it worse, though, is that the drivers suck just as much as the volume. I could probably write a book about bad Maryland driving, but I will stick to two local Odenton issues.

The first issue that arose recently in the Odenton area was the traffic circle on 175. It was a two lane circle built to ease the traffic at a busy intersection. Almost immediately the complaints began because people did not want to learn how to drive in a traffic circle. There were accidents because drivers did not pay attention to how the circle worked and tried to turn from the wrong lane. Instead of learning how to navigate the circle, the area residents cried and complained until the circle was taken to one lane and now traffic is back to being backed up at the intersection again.

Recently, the intersection of Rte 3 and Waugh Chapel Road got a new traffic pattern called a Michigan U. Again, this was done to ease congestion on rte 3. Before the pattern was even changed people started to complain.I admit that I was skeptical of the Michigan U and thought it would be really bad. I was wrong. Where I used to avoid turning left at that intersection to go north, I now use it exclusively. It is much faster than the old traffic pattern. Still, people are complaining that it is dangerous. Why is it dangerous? Because the drivers refuse to learn how to use it. They don’t read the signs that tell them what lane goes where. They don’t pay attention to what is going on around them. They turn and then try to swerve across multiple lanes to get to where they need to be. This is not a problem with the traffic pattern. This is a problem with the intelligence of the drivers. When i mentioned this on a discussion on this on Odenton Patch no one denied that the drivers are the problem. They still want the pattern changed. Why? I assume laziness and/or stupidity on the part of the people who refuse or can’t learn new things.

We could make the drive out there suck a little less by sucking a little less ourselves. Read the signs, pay attention and stop blaming the traffic pattern for your own stupidity.