Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Random Acts of Douchebaggery

This is a RAD that has been stewing up my rage for years.  Local Minnesotans will know what I'm talking about when I say metered freeway ramps.  For those not local to the 'Sota, I will explain.  Some idiot decided a long time ago that during rush hour traffic the freeway entrance ramps should be metered by traffic lights so that only one car would be allowed onto the freeway from an entrance ramp every 10 seconds.  Or sometimes it's every 5 seconds.  And sometimes it's every 2 seconds.  I guess it's a real technical sort of science. 

These metered ramps have ENRAGED me for so long and for so many reasons.  Here's what pisses me off the most.  First, you cannot tell me that this actually makes a quantifiable difference in traffic.  No matter how you meter the traffic, the same amount of cars are going to need to use the freeway, and while I understand the theory, I just don't believe that it actually makes any difference in the flow of traffic.  Except that it just slows down how fast the back-ups can happen.

Secondly, the timing of the lights seems so arbitrary to me.  Sometimes I have been in totally backed up traffic where the entrance ramp is packed with cars and the green lights are blinking on and off every other second, but no cars can go through because the traffic is so bad.  Other times I have been stuck at an entrance ramp's red light for a good 10 seconds even though there is literally no traffic on the freeway.  I never know if you can go through the red light or not, but if there's 5 cars waiting on the entrance ramp and no cars on the freeway, is it really necessary to wait almost a minute for all of those cars to enter the freeway? 

Thirdly, people are such assholes about the whole thing.  If everyone would just get in the lineup and wait their turn, I wouldn't be so mad, but then you get people who just blow through the red lights or who aren't paying attention and don't go when the light turns green and my road rage goes from mild to severe in one second. 

Finally, why in the world does Minnesota need this much traffic control.  Folks in the TC area, we do not have bad traffic.  I've been in LA on the 405 at 2:00 in the that's bad traffic!  I just don't think that we need metered entrance ramps for the 2-3 hours a day that the freeways get backed up.

What I'd really like to do is strangle the person who came up with this crazy idea in the first place.  But, since I can't do that, I'll just passive aggressively RAD him.  Yes, sir (I'm assuming it was a man), you are a douche.

P.S.  Does anyone remember when Jesse Ventura was our governor and he thought that the lights were stupid so he ordered that they all be turned off?  Those were glorious days when our governor could go on the Dave Letterman show and talk about how all those drunk Irish in St. Paul designed the street grids. 

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