What a stupid, stupid person I am!!! Before you start to argue with me (you WERE going to argue with me, weren't you?), let me explain. I can sum it up in just eight words that will explain everything to those of you who are NOT stupid. Ready? Here goes... I just got back from the grocery store.For those of you who are as clueless as I was before I went to the store, let me explain. In a fit of madness, I reasoned that most people would have already done their shopping today. I thought they would be home preparing for their Super Bowl parties by now. What a FOOLISH THOUGHT!!! They weren't home! They were all at the grocery store buying snacks!!! They were decked out in football jerseys and navigated the store as if they were preparing to play, not watch, the game! They dodged, they tackled, they intercepted, they ran, totally oblivious to the chaos they were causing those of us who were stupid enough to be shopping during their pre-game frenzy! It was a freaking NIGHTMARE!!!!
By the time I got home, my neck and shoulders were so tight, they were in spasm. I had sweat pouring off of me and I felt as if I had been through a great and horrible battle. I did make it home with groceries, though I'm not sure I got everything I needed. Honestly, I don't care! Eating bread and water all week would be a better alternative than going back to the store!! I may be stupid, but I'm not THAT stupid!!!!
I survived grocery shopping on Super Bowl Sunday. My life will never be the same...
February 11, 2006
Today, I feel compelled to talk about traffic engineers. Yes, traffic engineers. You may be wondering why, but if you frequently have to deal with the results of sadistic handiwork, you understand why I feel it is necessary to explore this topic. I am convinced that traffic engineers are fully responsible for at least 75% of all road rage incidents. You find this statement shocking? Then let me explain...
First, let's take a look at a couple of definitions. Traffic is defined as the movement of people, vehicles, information along particular routes. Engineering is defined as the planning, managing, creating or constructing of "something" through the application of scientific knowledge and technical skills. Based on these definitions, I foolishly assumed a traffic engineer was someone whose job it was to plan, manage, create and construct the efficient movement of vehicles along the streets, highways and roads that allow vehicles to navigate throughout the Tulsa metropolitan area. Boy, am I naive!!
I realized my mistake some time ago, of course. But recently, I have had the distinct displeasure of having to deal with a couple of intersections that are not only NOT designed to facilitate movement, but that have been designed to present an obstacle to movement of traffic. In having to deal with these intersections, I finally came to realize that traffic engineers are really sadistic, angry, hateful people who enjoy hurting others and disrupting their lives by inflicting unnecessary unpleasantness upon innocent citizens.
The first intersection is at the north side of 161st (Elm - another long story) and the Broken Arrow Expressway. This street used to come to an abrupt end after crossing over the expressway, so the traffic light only needed to handle vehicles getting on or off of the expressway. But recently - as is about a year or more ago - the road was extended and it now actually connects to other roads that actually go places that people want to go. So the light is now in control of traffic getting on and off of the expressway as well as traffic moving north and south on 161st.
It seems to me that a year or more is sufficient time to have studied this intersection to determine efficient cycle lengths to facilitate flow. But this would imply that there is a goal to keep traffic moving in an efficient manner. Obviously, this is not the goal!
If you are getting off the expressway (traveling from east to west), be prepared for a 5 - 10 minute wait. If you are foolishly trying to travel from north to south on 161st, you will also experience this annoying 5 - 10 minute delay. You see, the traffic coming from the south has the green light and it stays green until all vehicles within 5 miles have had a chance to make it through without stopping. Consequently, us STUPID people who need to go the opposite direction get to sit and watch no one going through the light for lengthy periods during which we could have all cleared the intersection with ease and without ever inconveniencing those favored motorists from the other direction!!! We are forced to sit and wait when there is absolutely no oncoming traffic. Big dead spaces. Long dead spaces. And I can tell you that, though I have not yet run a red light at this ridiculous intersection, I have NEVER been so tempted to do so!!!
This would be such an easy problem to fix! So I can only assume that the goal of the traffic engineers are to inconvenience, frustrate and anger all traffic that is not traveling from south to north through this intersection. As such, they have done a smashing job of achieving their goal!!!
The second challenging intersection I have to deal with involves I-44 and 193rd East Avenue, plus the intersection at Admiral and 193rd. This particular area allows a person access to get on and off I-44 from all directions. It is also one of the main routes to the Port of Catoosa (largest inland port - think heavy big truck traffic, thousands of workers). So it has been a nasty intersection for years! But a few years ago, the Cherokee nation built a casino just off of this exit. The combination of all of this traffic on ONE LANE ROADS WITH NO CENTER TURN LANES means you have more of a chance of getting rich at the casino than you do of successfully getting through this intersection in less than 30 - 50 minutes!!!!
If you are going from south to north, your chances of being able to go through the light at Admiral and 193rd - EVER - are about 1 in 100,000. This is because the traffic is so backed up and "moves" with such a lack of efficiency that, though the light is green, there is no where to go. And if you are traveling from north to south, you are also going to experience a 20 to 35 minute wait trying to get through the lights at the overpass because ALL THE FEEDER STREETS HAVE PRIORITY and they jam up the intersections leading up to the interstate so that the "highway" traffic on 193rd can't get through the lights!!!
There are two fairly easy things that could be done to help and another long term project that needs to be undertaken immediately to remedy this mess! The first involves the timing of the lights. Whether you are going from north to south or south to north, there is a lengthy period when you are made to wait for traffic in the turn lane...but that traffic has come and gone and come and gone again. So you are spending a lot of time backing up through traffic waiting for non-existent traffic in turn lanes. STOP IT!!!!! SHORTEN THE CYCLE YOU IDIOTS!!!! It would greatly increase your chances of making it through this intersection...maybe even giving you a 1 in 10,000 chance of getting through in 30 to 40 minutes.
Also, let feeder traffic wait a few minutes!!! The second someone pulls up to the light now, it changes. This causes the heavy Port traffic to back up for miles because you just can't get through the lights. STOP GIVING FEEDER TRAFFIC PRIORITY!!!!
The second is simple, but will take time to complete. BUILD A CENTER TURN LANE SO PEOPLE TURNING LEFT DON'T FURTHER BACK UP TRAFFIC!!!! If you don't want to do that, then don't allow left hand turns and fine people $2000 if they make illegal left hand turns. You could fund the center lane project with the traffic tickets you would issue!!! And you would still have plenty of gambling money!!!
So how does this cause road rage? Well, you see, normal nice citizens, under such extreme stress and having to watch such sadistic idiocy and ignorance in action day after day after day finally snap. They have taken it for as long as they can take it and now they can't take it any more! By the time they get through one of these intersections (or others like it around the area), they are READY TO KILL ANYONE AND EVERYONE WHO GETS BETWEEN THEM AND WHERE THEY WERE TRYING TO GO BEFORE THEY WERE MADE LATE BY THE STUPID SENSELESS DELAYS IMPOSED ON THEM BY SO-CALLED "TRAFFIC ENGINEERS!!!!!!!" They become MANIACS racing through lights, passing crazily, daring someone to slow them down. They are even tempted to run red lights or run slow moving traffic OFF THE ROAD because they have had their LIMIT of STUPIDITY for the day!
Not that I would PERSONALLY understand what they are feeling...really...it's just an observation...but I sure do hope someday I get to meet the STUPID, HATEFUL, IDIOTS WHO ARE RESPONSIBLE...you know, those people who call themselves "traffic engineers!"
February 14, 2006
February 18, 2006
I don't know who invited winter to Oklahoma, but I would like to invite whoever asked for this miserable weather to move to Minnesota or Wisconsin or some other northern clime and take this snow and sleet with them!!
I do realize that there are people who like winter and who actually want it to snow. But those people should NOT live in Oklahoma. Oklahoma is supposed to be a snow and ice free state, for the most part, and winter storms are supposed to pass to the north of us. If it happens to snow, it is supposed to be big pretty flakes that fall lazily from the sky and melt the next day because the temperature rarely drops below freezing. It is NOT supposed to involve driving winds, painfully low temperatures and biting, stinging sleet. People move to Oklahoma and put up with the hot, humid summers so they won't have to put up with these types of things in the winter. So. If you're the one who invited this mess, "uninvite" it and get it on out of here. And if you like this kind of stuff, if you think winter has to involve ice and snow, move to one of those places where weather like this is the norm. Those of us who hate winter have pitifully few states in which to live as it is. We don't want winter invading one of the few places we can live in relative warmth!!!
You may not be able to tell, but I'm NOT a winter person...