Mike’s Musings: A little more patience on the roads, please?

The kids are out of school, the tourists are in town, and it’s roadwork season. Let’s all slow down

Everyone knows that Campbell River, surrounded by the beauty that made us want to move here in the first place, draws flocks of visitors in the summer.

It also so happens to be road upgrade season.

And sewer and waterline upgrade season.

And replacing or upgrading traffic signal season.

Yet, with all these factors, people still seem to think they can leave at the same time they always do and get where they’re going in the same amount of time.

At least, I assume that’s what’s happening, because not a day goes by that I don’t see someone put themselves or someone else in a dangerous situation because of impatience on the road.

Whether it’s squeaking between two oncoming cars as they turn left where there’s not enough room unless the second car slows down, passing someone on the right as they wait for pedestrians to cross in a crosswalk – which, by the way, is going to literally kill someone one of these days – or laying on their horn in frustration at another driver for actually waiting their turn to do something, spurring them to do something dangerous themselves, it’s pure havoc out there on the roads sometimes.

Now, I’ll admit that I’ve found myself guilty of it myself. It turns out that I’m no saint behind the wheel.

There are times that I’ve caught myself weaving through traffic along Dogwood Street because the cars around me are only doing the speed limit and I want to be doing just a little bit more than that.

I’ve been known to get frustrated (and express it out loud) at someone’s failure to use their turn signal, which, had they done so, would have allowed me to turn left at a corner in front of them but now need to wait for them to turn right before I can go.

Or maybe I could have moved into the right-hand lane on Dogwood knowing that they needed to slow down for their upcoming left turn, which I can’t do now, because there are cars over there.

But you know what I’m not going to do?

I’m not going to swerve around that person who is waiting to turn left, cutting off the person in the other lane and forcing them to slow down to avoid hitting me. And I’m not going to just pull up behind them and honk angrily, possibly making a new driver nervous and go when it’s not safe to do so.

I’m going to mutter to myself, and try to remember that if that’s the worst thing to happen to me today, my life is really pretty good.

I mean, I don’t think I’ve ever needed more than about 15 or 20 minutes to get all the way across town, and that was when I forgot about the single-lane alternating traffic situation near the Maritime Heritage Centre this past spring and still took the old highway.

And as much as I, too, wonder at the terrible timing of the Dogwood lights, even if I have to wait at every single one along the way, I’m maybe losing three minutes of my day by waiting in traffic because of them.

Ever found yourseld in the Colwood Crawl down in Victoria or accidentally gotten off the ferry to the mainland and tried to get through to the Interior between about 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.?

We’ve got it good, even when it’s bad.

So let’s have a little more patience out there on the roads, shall we?

This means you, too, Davies.


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