NJ Drivers Need Some Clues

NJ Drivers Need Some Clues

And anger management, too. This happened yesterday, but I didn’t get around to blogging it. I was out and about running errands, and the local roads seemed particularly crowded, and idiocy abounded.

First, I was heading south on Hooper Ave., in the center lane, when I saw ambulance lights flashing. The people to the right pulled over, the people to the left drove up onto the grass median, and I pulled into the right lane. The guy behind me, who was directly in front of the ambulance, sloooowwwwllly pulled ahead until he’d gotten in front of all the cars that had pulled out of the way, and then finally let the ambulance go. Nice, mister. You’d better hope your soul brother or sister isn’t in front of you when you need to go to the emergency room in an ambulance.

So then I hit Route 37, looking for a store that had a good price on something I wanted to get. I get out to the place, and the only driveway I can see is clearly marked “one way, exit only”. I was already slowed down with my signal on, so I continued, thinking that the entrance must a a second driveway. No second driveway. I’m not speeding up, because I now want to get off on a side street to see if there’s a back entrance, and if not, there’s a u-turn at the light a couple hundred feet away. The dude behind me in the black Jaguar was none too happy about this, and he was making sure I knew it. (The light is red at this point, too, I should mention. . .) Honking, screaming, about to burst an anuerism for sure. Now I tend to see people who are driving slowly, slowing down at curb cuts and signs as probably being lost or looking for landmarks, and I drop back to give them room. It’s obvious to me that not only are they likely to see what they’re looking for and move suddenly, but also that they’re a little distracted already, trying to find an unfamiliar place, and you really don’t want to make it worse by trying to intimidate them. Mr. Jaguar apparently has a completely different take on this. He got in his final rampage at the u-turn. Around here, the jughandle is universal, but not consistent. You don’t know until the last minute if it’s going to be before the light, after the light, a dedicated turn, or a bunch of signs taking you through local roads. On top of that, most of them start as one lane and divide up into as many as four (sometimes five) and you don’t know until you’re almost all the way around if you have dedicated left or right lanes, or if they’re combined, etc. Logically, the cars moving from the single lanes would move into the dedicated lanes in order, but Mr. Jaguar is in high dudgeon by now, and drives up onto the grass to pass me on the left as I attempt to get into the straight/left lane. In case I haven’t figured out yet what an idiot he thinks I am, he stops next to me, partly on the grass, leans on the horn a half dozen times, then leans over the passenger seat to scream and gesticulate at me. (I really felt like blowing him a kiss at that point) I think he didn’t read my bumper sticker that says “Has Anger Solved Your Other Problems?”

Eventually, I get back around, figure out that to get to this store you have to enter the parking lot of the store next door and drive all the way through it – it’s not marked at all. It turned out to be not what I wanted, but that’s OK. At least now I knew how the jughandle was set up! I get back onto 37, and I’m in the left lane. There’s some traffic several hundred feet in front of me, not much behind, until a woman in a Volvo SUV comes right up on my tail. OK, no big deal, I pull to the center to let her pass. She does, but as soon as she’s a foot or two in front of me, she pulls into my lane. And slows down. A lot. Then cuts off someone in the right lane and comes almost to a stop, then dashes into the far right lane to exit. As I said, there was not much behind me at all, and the signs for the exit were not hard to see, but she had to be in the front. *sigh*

You know, I really do enjoy driving most of the time, but some days I wonder why. There are far too many people who seem to consider it a competitive sport.