First, I’m miffed. I was running low on gasoline, and since we all know the high prices these days, I have been watching a few choice stations looking for the lowest price. I missed out on $1.36 the other day because of timing and location. I checked Thursday night at this other and it was $1.42, same as most places. Today I’m riding empty and cruise to my standard place, $1.41. Then after work I drive by the place I checked Thurs - $1.29!! The bastards. They did that on purpose. And it’s not like I can squeeze in a couple gallons.
I was pulling out of a shopping center parking lot onto a busy rush hour street. I was turning left, across two lanes. Because of the layout of the parking lot (with a light post almost smack in the middle of the entrance), I was off to the right of the opening, aiming left. So right as the traffic is thinning on the cross flow, and the last car is turning in from the other lanes, this stupid girl drives right in front of me and around me to turn right. Like I’m not sitting there at all waiting my turn patiently. Moron driver.
We’ve got construction on numerous streets in my area, sort of boxing in my apartment for the directions I want to drive everyday (for work and such). So the traffic flow is slowed down, and stacks up at lights, and I can’t go around the “other” way, because it has construction too. Friggin road construction. How long does it take? They’ve been working on this one street in front of my work building for about 4 years now, I think. They’ve managed to widen a 4 lane divided road to a 6 lane divided road, exchanging asphault for concrete and lowering the road deck a few feet. But the real kicker - they did the middle stretch of this road first, but didn’t widen to the intersections on either side that most traffic flows through. So it bottlenecked either direction. Great. They finally opened up the “long” way around to full 7 lanes of traffic (in spots) and it flows nicely. But then they came around and were doing some light or intersection or plumbing or something and blocked off a few lanes the other day. Yeeha. And of course they’re also now widening a different road on that route, laying asphault today.
The other direction, my main way back and forth, has been under construction almost as long as I’ve lived here. First they had to widen the intersection near my apartment and put in a new street - and that’s one screwed up intersection anyway. It has now 5 directions converging on this one intersection, but they don’t hit one point exactly. Instead it’s like two intersections - a regular four way and right next to it a T. But the lights cycle together, so it functions as one intersection. It’s a major bear, with dual turn lanes, branching road, poor visibility from several angles, and long waits for turns. I love this intersection. Especially since I have to drive through it about 90% of the time. So they widened one part of this intersection from 4 to 6 lanes or so when I first moved here - a couple months after I moved in. Took a couple years. Had a short respite, now they’re redoing that whole part of the road, once again widening the whole thing, lowering the road level, and changing from asphault to concrete. Lots of cement barriers, barrels, dump trucks, construction workers, etc to dodge. Not to mention the standard idiot drivers that abound everywhere.
And this road widening feeds into the same intersection that the other construction is occurring on, the one in front of work. They still have that intersection untouched. So from one direction 4 lanes collapse to 2 (with the equivalent spreading of 2 to 4 going opposite direction on that stretch). That creates a mean bottleneck, and a peculiarity where everyone jockeying for position will not heed the signs. The inside lane becomes a turn only lane. But with all the traffic building up on the next two lanes, some bozos always decide to go around the long line of traffic, zoom up the “open” inside lane, then try to merge in at the last minute, cutting off the people who have been patiently waiting their turn. I swear for a while the cop just sat by that intersection and waved people over as the came by. Anyway, you can’t really get around that intersection, because there is a lake south, so you have to go around the lake. Meanwhile at that intersection we have the widening crew from direction two coming in - at least that way opens up right before the intersection, and the bottleneck for narrowing is farther up the road away from that light - barring some construction days.
This construction will probably go on for another year minimum to get this whole side widened. And they then have to do the stretch going the third direction, plus that major intersection. Oh and the beautiful part - the first road runs from the interstate through a narrow section of businesses before hitting the patch they’ve widened. It effectively goes from one township to another in that region. The one stretch between the interstate and this intersection has not been approved for the widening plan by the local board, but all the others are in work. So someone somewhere is supposed to be drafting up bypass plans. This sounds like it will be exciting. Not.
Yeah, traffic’s bothering me tonight.