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Life in Madison, random stuff

Driving to work makes me crazy

I drove into work for the first time in months yesterday. We had snow, followed by sleet, followed by freezing rain. The sidewalks and roads are a mess so I drove in. Commuting by car is just crazy-making. Some people are such egocentric clueless stress-monkeys when they are driving to work.

Example: I’m going North on Segoe Road. I come to the light at Mineral Point Road. I want to turn right on Mineral Point. There are lots of cars on Mineral Point. It is a four lane commuter route into town. A car, coming from my left on Mineral Point, slows to turn right on Segoe Road. This makes a space for me. I pull out into the space. The car behind the turning car, accelerates through the intersection and up on my butt as soon as the other car turns right. They then: honk at me, move left one lane, pass me, move right one lane in front of me and then (THEN) drives the, rest of the way, in front of me, behind the car in front of both of us at the same speed as traffic.

What did they get? One car closer to their destination. If I hadn’t turned in front of them, what would have happened? They would have arrived at the exact same time. If they had slowed and followed me, what would have happened? They would have arrived maybe 3 seconds later. Driving makes people act like crazy lunatics.

On the bike path, I see people all the time who I only know from the bike path. We all smile and say, “good morning”. Everyone is having a good time going to work. Even when I have been caught in torrential downpours and we are peddling with water squishing out of our shoes, everyone is laughing and smiling and winking and saying with a flash of the eye, “What are you going to do besides laugh at this situation. No need to get angry. You’ll still have to ride home.”

In an absurdist attempt, I tried to imagine what the analog behavior would be on the bike path. A bike pulls onto the bike path in front of you but ahead of you 10 to 20 yards. They are going the same speed as you. You sprint to get behind them so you can yell at them, pass them, then ride the rest of the way into work at the same speed you were going before. The thought is so ludicrous. It is laughable. It is absurd. It would never ever ever happen.

Today, I took the bus. I read my book and watched people come and go. I helped an oriental woman across the icy berm that has been plowed up along the road. I’ve had enough of driving to work for this year. Much rather have a pleasant commute than join in the crazy-making even if it takes a little longer.

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About jimphelps

Chair, ITANA Enterprise Architect, Sr. IT Architect; UW-Madison

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