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Friday, August 1, 2008

The Evil Intersection

Fellow Drivers, we need to have a talk.  Today's Subject: The intersection of Route 30 and 795 (which is actually Butler Road at that point).  This is not a complicated concept, but a whole lot of folks seem to have some emotional difficulty dealing with this intersection.  Now that I've discovered plenty of shortcuts through the neighborhoods of Hampstead to get around town traffic, I've begun to consider this intersection to be the most negative part of my entire (relatively short) commute.

First, let's describe the intersection.  I tried drawing it in Visio, but my drawing looked stupid.  I also tried looking at it in Google Maps, but you can't see the lanes.  Basically, I'm talking only about the flow of traffic that comes from the direction of 795, stops at the light and then makes a left hand turn on to Route 30.

When coming off of 795 and after crossing over Route 140, the road there is 2 lanes.  The right lane will go straight at the light to Butler Road.  The left lane will split into 2 lanes, both of which are left turn only lanes at the light.  You get a green arrow when the light turns green so that both of these left turn lanes can go left just fine without flow of traffic from the opposite direction.  Once you're on Route 30, these two lanes merge back into one lane.

The point, I think, of having two lanes at a light turning left onto a road and then have them merging back into one, is to allow more cars to get through the light.  Which is good, because this is a light with heavy traffic.  It makes perfect sense to me to utilize BOTH left turn lanes just for this purpose - as many people as possible can get onto Route 30, and then head on towards Hampstead and be happy.

The problem?  Not many people use the right lane of the two left turn lanes at the light, and those that do are cut off and treated like assholes when they get onto Route 30 and try to merge left.



ARG!!!  This irritates the crap out of me.  What is the problem with someone using the right lane there????

Well, two problem people cause this:

1. People actually ARE assholes.  You know who you are, you get into the right lane, make your turn onto route 30 and then mash down on the gas pedal, trying to get in front of as many cars as possible before you merge.  You cut people off, sometimes drive on the shoulder, and make the people in the other lane HATE YOU.  You shorten your commute by maybe an average of 3 seconds by doing this, but you also piss a bunch of people off and cause:

2. People who HATE assholes.  You know who YOU are.  You hate the assholes that mash on the gas and cut people off, so you get high and mighty in the left hand lane, and you tailgate the guy in front of you so that anyone in that right lane won't be able to merge in front of YOU.  You keep anyone and everyone from getting in front of you, and you think that the right hand lane should remain empty for some reason.  You often almost rear end people when the car in front of you stops to make a left hand turn into the garden center that is right there in the midst of all of this mess.  You don't shorten your commute at all, just just cause problems and make life for the right lane people miserable - and that is what your goal is.

I HATE BOTH OF THESE TYPES OF PEOPLE.  I am normal, I am neither of them.  I do get in the right hand turn lane as a habit, but I calmly make my turn and merge where I can.  I don't stress about letting folks in front of me and I don't stress about getting in front of other cars.  But, I am driven absolutely nuts by the uptight dick heads listed above.  If I get to the light at the same time as someone in the left lane, I often end up behind them and that is fine with me.  WHATEVER, it doesn't matter!!!!!

So, lighten up people.  You are driving me nuts.  This situation means that the right hand lane is often not used and sits empty and causes more traffic than is necessary at the light.  It's stupid and we all need a lesson in how to drive.

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