Friday, October 3, 2008

The Nuances of City Traffic

On my drive to work this morning, I again got to thinking about traffic. I know this might sound like a strange thing to think about, but when have I ever been normal? Seriously...when???

Traffic is a living, breathing being.

Monday - lots of traffic, even the people that work longer days so they can have Friday off are on the road. Everyone is tired, and unhappy to be going to work. For the most part, everyone knows we are all in the same boat. We are all trying to mentally start the week off on the correct foot, so driving is slow - but good. Drivers are more apt to let merging traffic in front of them, without honking horns and sign language. Speed limits are obeyed and the number of law enforcement officers is minimal.

Tuesday and Wednesday - these two days are pretty similar, and don't rate separate explanations. Tempers are getting shorter each day, there is more on the drivers minds. More cell phones up to ears, and more Burger King and McDonald's wrappers in hand (as the diets they started on Monday have already failed).

Thursday - the morning drive looks more like Tuesday and Wednesday. The afternoon drive is completely different...and scary!!! People can't take it anymore....Friday can't come soon enough. If they have to make it through one more day without punching their boss in the face, or take one more phone call from their child's teacher...well, they are going to have to ram the next car that cuts them off. There are those that are in a hurry, they haven't gotten everything they needed accomplished done...and they only have one more day to do it!!!!

There are those that have worked longer 10 hour days, so they can have Friday off. You can always spot these annoying creatures. Windows down, radios on, coolers in the backseat....they're smiling. It's annoying...and makes YOU want to ram them the next car that cuts you off. You'd rather ram them, but you'll take what you can get!!!

Friday - strange!!! The mornings are tense. People speeding, trying to get to work early to get all of their to do list completed. There is an absence of coffee cups, because everyone hit their snooze 3 more times than usual. You can almost hear the chanting of drivers "Just one more day, just one more day."

The evening drives are nice. There are fewer drivers on the road, because those 4 day a week people (the ones you didn't ram the day before) are enjoying the first day of their weekend on some beach with a mojito in one hand, and a good book in the other. Everyone is rushing to get home, so they can head out for the evening. BUT- they are a more careful driver. You don't want to get into an accident on Friday - what a way to ruin the weekend. We'll save accidents for Tuesdays or Wednesdays!!!!

Saturday - this is the worst day to drive. Saturday drivers are a complicated beast.

#1 They are city folk, trying to get out and run their errands....and they think no one else should be there!!! "Get out of my way, I have laundry baskets and geraniums to buy!" People are rushing to the store to buy the last minute groceries for their college football games and Parcheesi parties. They have no time to deal with the second problem encountered on Saturday drivers.

#2 Country drivers. You know the ones. They come into town once a week (or month) to purchase supplies. They drive slowly and gawk at the sights. "Whew nellie!!! Those are some big ole buildings over there. Can you believe how tall those are Martha?"

They not only obey the speed limits, but the stay at least 5 below because they know how the cops in the "big city" are.

Sunday - people either sleep in, go to church, or are hungover and hiding in their homes. (Parcheesi parties aren't for wusses!!) Either way you cut it, the roads are empty. They don't start filling up until around noon.

You DO want to avoid the lunch time traffic, as they are an older generation of people. Cadillacs and Buicks are found creeping along the roadways. There are also mini vans full of families going to lunch. Their drivers are angry. Not only did the husband NOT get to sleep in, he now has to take the whole crew to some buffet style restaurant for brunch. The first NFL game of the day starts in 2 hours, and he knows there's NO WAY they are going to make it home in time.

You must avoid them, because their mental stability could be compromised. Yes, their children are in the vehicle, so you think you are safe. But little do you know the driver's in-laws are in that van as well. And to make it worse, they are backseat drivers. In my mind, I imagine the in-laws are the ones driving the Cadillacs and Buicks on Saturdays.

I grew up in a small town. Really small!!!! In second grade, I moved to the bigger city (population 3000). Since I was able to drive, I've been driving in Omaha (metro area population over 1 million).

Of all the cities I've driven in, it's actually quite tame. Rush hour traffic rarely comes to a complete standstill...and if it does, it only lasts a few minutes. Exits are well marked (most of the time), and you usually have plenty of time to change lanes before those exits. For the most part, the people are all friendly.....and if someone lets you merge in front of them, it's actually rude to NOT wave a thank you their way!

No comments: