Lane closure

low angle photography of orange excavator under white clouds

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I have said it in the past but I am going to say it again. Sorry if it sounds like I am a broken record, but WADOT (Washington State Department of Transportation) seriously has to do a better job – not just them, but the contractors they hire as well.

It was another painful travel weekend. It think it was three weeks ago I mentioned the reduction of lanes on a major interstate highway (it’s actually I-5, a federal highway) and how badly it affected the traffic on a Friday night. Well, this last Friday was no different. Miles and miles and miles of lane closures and not a soul in sight doing any work! While progress may be getting done, it surely doesn’t appear like it and they are in no hurry to get it done. It’s kind of ridiculous really.

So, yesterday (Sunday for those of you keeping track), a major north/south highway had ALL of the northbound lanes closed. That’s right, I-405 was closed with only one lane (a collector/distributor lane) getting by. That means five lanes diverted to one. To top it off, they didn’t close on-ramps that directly affected that one diverted lane, so merging traffic and diverted traffic had to fight for the same space. Ultimately, that mean five lanes got bottle-necked and didn’t have a steady flow. Kind of a CF if you ask me!

Look, I get that construction needs to get done. I am fully aware of the condition of the roadways. But, let’s be honest here. These days, there is never a good time to close highways and there is never a good time to avoid the hassle.

BUT, what doesn’t appear to be happening is that WADOT isn’t requiring construction crews to complete the work in the fastest time possible (overnight work, 24/7, until it is done). Traffic volumes are much lower at night and it affects for fewer people/travelers when work is done then. And, let’s face it, with the technology that is available these days there is no reason work can’t be done at night.

Get it together WADOT! You are costing people money and time.

Moving and grooving

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It’s that time of year again folks. What time you ask, there are lots of those “that time of the year”s you could be referring to? After a winter like this last one, I am sure you are familiar with following description.

You’re like a race car on the track before the race. You are getting your motor warmed up and you weave back and forth quickly, getting the tires warm too. You haven’t seen the green flag to start the race yet, but you are hoping eventually to get one and all these people will get left in the dust as you speed away.

Ok, so hopefully that painted a relatively vivid picture for you. Now, imagine you are that car, weaving back and forth…

…around potholes.

After a winter like the last one, the dang roadway is filled with potholes. I swear I have to weave back and forth like that race car sometimes. It’s ridiculous that you have to weave so much while doing 75mph on the highway. The roads up here in the NW are full of potholes.

My car is in gonna crack an axle or for certain I am gonna need an alignment after this spring driving.

What out for those potholes, folks! There are a few that might even swallow a small car.


How are the roads looking in your neck of the woods? I guess this is really for the readers in the northern states, since the southern states just don’t have the severe winter weather like the north.

Is that really necessary?

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Alright, if you are one of these people, I will not be apologizing for my attitude this morning.

If you are one of those people that has to ride on the back bumper, climb inside the tailpipe, or (a more generic term) tailgate – I really don’t like you.

I mean I REALLY don’t like you. You are a straight up jackwagon.

Do you think the world revolves around you? Do you think you are so important that you feel the need to try to push people out of your way? Do you think you are so high and mighty that you would risk causing an accident, or worse – hurting people, just so you can get somewhere faster?

Let’s be real. You aren’t going to push me out of the way. You aren’t going to make me move. You will, in fact, cause me to go slower, especially if there is traffic. Especially if there is traffic!

Maybe that makes me a jerk. Don’t care.

If you can clearly see there are cars next to me and in front of me, I obviously have nowhere to go. So explain to me how exactly riding my ass is going to motivate me to get out of your way? It won’t. Let’s be clear. I will make me more obstinate that I already am.

Listen, people, if you are one of those drivers that just can’t peel yourself off the bumper in front of you – pray you never drive behind me. Your head will pop, and I will smile.

Have a nice day.

The reminder I needed

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After two weeks of telecommuting because of weather (and some regularly scheduled days in there too), I am back at the office today.

I can honestly say that I missed my coworkers. While we kept in touch and worked together with the various technology aids we regularly use, it was just not the same as being in the office. There is something to be said for human interaction.

However, the drive to the office this morning reminded me why I like telecommuting so much. People are dumb. Just plain dumb.

So, which do I want to sacrifice? Face to face time with colleagues or stress from the commute? I think you know the answer there.

At least it is Friday and a long weekend.

Noisy road

brown asphalt road beside lake

                                 If only my commute was this nice to look at.                                         Photo by Nextvoyage on Pexels.com

You probably don’t think about it much because you are driving and paying attention to the other drivers around you, which you should be. However, there is probably one thing you don’t notice you’re doing as a result of a noisy road.

The surface of the roadway is kind of an important thing when it comes to highways. I mean, it gets thousands and thousands of cars driving over it every day/week/month/year. It has to be durable, but also something that withstands heat, cold, weight, collisions, rain, etc. So, I am sure there is science behind why they do what they do when they make roads. But, really, I don’t care.

I just want a road that is smooth and quiet. Road noise should be a low hum that you really don’t notice unless something is wrong with the car. Instead, half of half of my commute is across 40+ year old concrete that has been worn down to the pebbles used to make it and it sounds like a jet engine starting up as you drive over it as high speeds.

Thus, I have to listen to the radio really loud. All to hear the traffic report. And if there is another person in the car, well, you just have to yell, even if they are just sitting right next to you. That is annoying.

What small things do you notice as you drive the same route and sit in the car for hours each day? Anything only you would notice and have to point out to others when they ride along with you?

Zip it!

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NOT a zipper merge, but an example of how it feels when it is done wrong.

One thing I is for sure, Americans don’t like to merge on to highways. What’s worse is that we apparently also have no manners when it comes to merging, which stresses people out about merging even more. Thus, it becomes a never ending cycle.

One thing is also for sure, if the zipper merge was done correctly we’d all spend less time sitting in traffic. Look at the example below:

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Or better yet, take a look at the video below!

Come on, people, get with the program and we’ll all get to where we wanna go faster and more safely. Oh, and have a little patience already!

When you don’t want a chip off the old block

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Driving down the highway, perhaps over the posted limit, but minding my own business and staying my own lane when out of the blue there is a huge THWACK!! on the windshield.

You guessed it, a flying object made of stone but probably only the size of a peanut.

No damage this time, but is certainly gets your attention and most definitely riles you up. Rocks on the windshield, or anywhere on the car for that matter, are most irritating.

I commute millions of miles, it seems, and I hate it when that tiny little rock causes a chip in the window. Time and cold weather mean at some point the window is getting replaced. Who has time for that? Who can afford that? I suppose that is why you see cracked windshields everywhere…

Damn little rock.

Commuting Chaos

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I commute just under 90 miles every day. If that isn’t enough to drive someone nuts, according to surveys and studies, I also commute in the worst traffic in the country. Here’s the thing, it probably really doesn’t have to be.

I’ll just come right out and say it, I commute with a lot of stupid people, which is weird since a lot of them should be smart considering the whole population of Boeing, Microsoft, Amazon, and other tech industry companies in the area. Because I commute the at the same time each day, in both directions, I see the same people/cars (mostly) everyday. And, because they are doing the same thing as me each day, you would think that they would know better. Thus, they are stupid. This can be the only explanation.

Why are they stupid? Because they are the ones causing the problem. Yes, the roadway is packed with cars. Yes, the traffic moves much slower than the speed limit. BUT, when they drive stupidly and have little to no patience, they are the ones causing the problem. For example: cutting people off, not letting people merge, tailgating, driving distracted, weaving in and out of traffic trying to get ahead…etc, bashing into others, etc…You know the people. You have seen them, but hopefully you aren’t one of them.

Studies also show that when you drive with patience and courteously, traffic moves more smoothly and everyone gets to where they are going more quickly. So, let’s do that people!

PLEASE, STOP BEING STUPID.