traffic stoppers

25 February 2009 at 5:45 pm 1 comment

There is a warp in the universe that exists only around University Avenue. I’m sure it somehow transforms regular run-of-the-mill drivers into traffic stoppers: people in cars who are willing to stop an entire lane of traffic to try and let pedestrians or other cars cross the road. While this gesture has some small town appeal and may seem polite — it actually causes more problems, rather than solving them.

don't stop for me!

First, if a traffic stopper stops one-lane of traffic on a two or three lane road, that doesn’t guarantee that there will be another traffic stopper in the other lane(s). This means that the person trying to cross (or PTTC, for brevity’s sake) cannot cross the street anyway. It also means that one lane of traffic is now delayed. This delay means that one lane is now behind the other. This means that any gaps in traffic that would have existed and would have allowed the PTTC to cross safely have now been relegated to the realms of parallel universes within sci-fi lore.

Second, all of this stopping when no one is expecting it only causes confusion. The PTTC is confused, because they weren’t expecting to be able to move yet and the drivers behind the traffic stopper are confused, because they weren’t expecting to stop in the middle of the road. Confusion in traffic is not good. I’m pretty sure about this one. In fact, I believe there is an ancient Taoist saying to back me up. It goes something like this:

Gathering many confused people together at high speeds can only lead to accidents many.

I personally hold with this principle. I’ve never enjoyed confusion, and one of my favorite pastimes is trying to clear the confusion or avoid it altogether. There is another Taoist saying that says it better:

Allow confusion to leave, and your next guest will be astounded.

…or something like that.

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Entry filed under: word of the week. Tags: , , , , .

post-adolescent earth and water make

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. snailmeister  |  26 February 2009 at 8:59 am

    My guess? University Avenue is cursed. It’d explain a lot… drivers stop when they shouldn’t, then mow down pedestrians in the crosswalk when the “walk” light is on. And there are always kamikaze students playing Real-Life Frogger to go get lunch….

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