Monday, February 11, 2008

Kate's Traffic Report

Traffic reports annoy me. I used to be a commuter, and faithfully listened to the reports to figure out which of the 3 routes into downtown Baltimore I would be taking that day. Yes, knowing where tie-ups and accidents are is an important part of a commuter’s life. HOWEVER, I find them very, well, vague. What I want are honest traffic reports that tell it like it really is.

What they say: We already have slowing southbound 270,
What’s really going on: S 270 has an inconsiderate blockhead riding in the left lane going too slow to allow passing.

What they say: N 270 blocked all the way through to Germantown.
What's really going on: Some moron is blocking the HOV lane, traveling the same slow speed as everyone else stuck on the highway. Let’s hope that jerk in the Prius moves over soon.

What they say: The inner-loop of the beltway is slow from….
What’s really going on: The same 9,000 people who were there yesterday are back on the road this morning, same as EVERY day. Get used to it.

What they say: There are 2 lanes closed on the outer-loop at the 395 exchange.
What’s really going on: Construction is a permanent condition around the 395 interchange, so expect the same ridiculous slowing and stop honking your horns.

What they say: 66 east and west stopped.
What they mean: DUH.

What they say: 29N is really slow this afternoon.
What’s going on: The traffic lights are out of sync and Granny in the sedan and the weaving Smart-Aleck in the sports car are managing to tie up both lanes, be careful.

What they say: 70 heading west out of Frederick there’s an accident off on the shoulder. All lanes open, but it’s slow through there. Also, Eastbound 70 is slow in that same area.
What’s really going on: There’s an accident off on the shoulder – JUST an accident, nothing to see there, and if the idiots on eastbound 70 weren’t so nosy then there wouldn’t be the slow-down on that side!

What they say: Eastbound 70 is tied-up as you approach 40
What’s really going on: There are 2 ignorant tractor trailers riding right beside each other, completely blocking the flow of traffic. Someone call that number on their bumper sticker.

What they say: There is a power-outage in downtown.
What’s really going on: Some drunkard hit a traffic light pole last night causing a power-outage in that area. Be careful, try to find another route, and for crying out loud don’t drink and drive.

What they say: Major stop-and-go on the 270 spur.
What’s really going on: Yes, it’s busy trying to get on and off the beltway, just like every day. Why do you people insist on gunning the gas just to slam on the brakes in 10 feet?

On Saturday I was listening to the report, and was struck by the length of a SATURDAY report. For those of us on the road it’s wonderful to have “traffic on the 8s”, thank you WTOP! However, why list all the open roads? Correct me if I’m wrong, but with the exception of rt. 66 (in the DC area) aren’t most roads open on a Saturday? I mean, not that it’s a consolation for those who have to be commuting as opposed to sitting drinking coffee in their slippers, but there are far less cars on the road. So, instead of “this road open, that road open” how about “29, 270, 355 all up to speed, enjoy!” Or what about “270 is the best route south today, as we’re all moving the speed we want to be!”

Really, just one day I’d love to hear them tell it like it is. Just once. That would make my day.