There’s one main two-lane road into town. Right at the border, the city is putting in two roundabouts. The traffic flow stops for 10-15 minutes, first in one direction, and then the opposite way. Because I just escaped from megalopolis, this kind of delay is nothing much to write home (or to you) about. I’m used to sitting in eight lanes of traffic that may become immobile at any time for up to an hour. However, it was interesting to observe that these drivers aren’t used to that. The small delays trigger the same behaviors here as the big delays do down in El Lay.
People began flashing their lights. They tapped their horns. They rolled down their windows and poked their heads out, craning for a look ahead. A few people made U-turns and screeched away back the way they had come. Most weren’t taking any chance of getting out of line. Because no one was likely to be coming into the Urgent Care, which is inconveniently located right on the main road, I walked down a couple of blocks to a local roadhouse for breakfast.
Everyone in the café was complaining about the traffic situation. They were trying to affix blame, to determine the culprit for this outrage.
“The city just cheaped out. They shoulda bought a traffic light.”
(That would have required a tax increase to pay for it.)
“I can’t get in to see my doctor!”
(I suggested to this person that they remain parked at the café and walk to the Urgent Care. They were our only patient all morning.)
“I can see one roundabout, but why two of them, blocks apart?”
(Ya got me there. There’s probably some traffic diversion study to answer that, but pragmatically speaking it does look dumb to the casual observer.)
Small towns have all the same problems that big towns do. The difference is one of scale. I’m grateful for that difference.