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Random Blog Journey-2-Peace: Traffic Bully

    Trish Monaco.
    singer. songwriter.
    dog walker.
    human. living.
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    in Los Angeles

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Friday, August 10, 2007

Traffic Bully

The PeaceMobile had it out with Suburban SoccerMom on the way to work this morning. Not one of my better moments.

On a road I travel at least twice a day, there's a section that merges from two lanes to one. It's the busiest part of my morning commute. Sometimes there are more than thirty cars at the traffic light. Remember, we're in the backwoods here.

They're doing some construction so naturally it slows things down a bit. But the merge part...that's normal. It's a merge whether they are doing construction or not.

To some, like Suburban SoccerMom, the term MERGE means GET BEHIND ME (or be shoved off the road).

Three cars ahead of me merged with traffic. The courteous way; every-other-car. Who doesn't know this?

There was no way Suburban SoccerMom was going to let little PeaceMobile in. I tried to tell her in no uncertain terms, "THIS IS A MERGE!"

Suburban SoccerMom rolled her passenger's window down to inform me, "YOU are supposed to merge into MY lane but YOU have been pushing along instead of waiting like everybody else!"

I admit, there are times when I push into merging traffic. Especially in LA. But there's no need to do that in New Hampshire. But for some reason, these folks believe that if a lane merges a mile down the road, we should all form a single lane NOW so no one gets ahead of the other. It's the strangest thing.

Anyway, I wasn't pushing along, as she put it. I was driving along, like everybody else.

I yelled something about "every other car" and she screamed bloody murder, "NO! BEHIND ME!" then rolled up her window and nearly hit the truck in front of her.

So I tried to get behind her. No such luck. No one wanted to let me in. Rather, they'd get a kick out of seeing the PeaceMobile fall off the side of the road.

Luckily, there were still a few hundred feet available in the merging lane so I gunned it and squeezed my way behind the same little red car I was traveling behind in the first place. It wasn't easy. Mr. MacTruck did not want to give way.

So I was finally in the single lane, sitting at the traffic light when Suburban SoccerMom flew by me to blow through the red light making a left hand turn into a gas station. A turn she could've made before the merge!

There are two entrances to the gas station. So, it was a clear bully move.

My light turned green and a van of guys who were amused by our interaction waved and smiled as I passed by.

Later I felt a slight sudden pang of fear. It's not like I'm in an unmarked car. There's no mistaking the out-of-state PeaceMobile on the road. It kind of sticks out like a sore thumb. So let's hope my next post isn't about vandalism.

I called the NH Department of Transportation to ask about the laws in merging lanes. The woman kept me on the phone with her own traffic bully story and closed with, "Around here it's like you first after me."

I didn't tell her where I'm from.

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