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A Reader Writes About Local Drivers – And Wonders What Things Are Like At Home

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Editor:

What is it with the aggressive people out and about these days, oh Great Guru of Traffic and Human Behavior?

I am astonished at how hard people push it in pretty expensive vehicles just to get one or two cars ahead at a stoplight, stomp on it going on a freeway ramp to merge way before the solid line ends and scream past me burning dead dinosaurs like crazy – is it that there are just more rats trying to navigate the maze and not having any good time of it?

I am also agog at the pass on the right shoulder folk, jumping in and out of an exit only lane to pass. Where are they going? What life saving or threatening emergency are they responding to?

Crossing a parking lot is always a treat lately. I try and grab a shopping cart somewhere near my car so I will at least have a weapon, whether or not it is from a store I am headed for. And the honking! I was backing out of a parking space at Ace Hardware in WC yesterday, half way out when a big work truck from across the lot came screaming down the lane and honked at me to stop and not slow him down. He got on the freeway exactly one car ahead of me going North on 680.

I used to think “What a doofus”, now I just wonder what a mess their lives must be if this carries over to non-driving time.

Candace McCorkell

20 COMMENTS

  1. As someone who has a 550hp car, on-ramps are one of the few places where I can really get on it for a few seconds. It’s fun.

    • You mean it’s not actually like the Porsche and Mercedes commercials, Jerry, with miles and miles of open road or test track and no speed limits? Is that frustrating for the owner of a performance auto? We would think it would be but… we drive a Honda.

  2. It’s hard sometimes, but I learned a long time ago we have no control over the behavior of others – we can only control our own reaction. You have to learn to change your own mind-set. I try to conquer these things with humor. Also – our tolerance level changes as we age, and we have to be mindful of that as well. Peace…

    • Yes, Danielle, but we’re not getting older. Our stylists and makeup artists assure us of this.

      • You’re not getting older – you’re getting better. I have NO stress in my life… I still live at home. Women can get away with that. Good things come to those who wait…

  3. I totally agree with the author. Don’t ask me how we’ve gotten to this place but we have.

  4. Very true. We try to drive during off peak hours and avoid the commute hours but that can be hard to plan.

    • We TRY to do the same, Layla – but we agree it can be hard to pull off. We remain in search of the Great Untrammeled Roadway, the one with intermittent 4-Star restaurants and antique stores with rock bottom prices.

  5. I believe there is direct correlation between the density of our population and this type of behavior. What say you oh mighty and powerful traffic guru?

    • Uh, er, ahem (fluffing up to full Bloviation Mode)… eh. Yes. We do agree, having seen firsthand how humans will fight for diminishing resources – especially parking spaces. That knowledge fuels our love for and time spent on Land Less Travelled.

  6. I’m not sure of the exact reason, perhaps it’s the fact that people here or most of them anyway are getting bigger salaries and feel more entitled to the road and to behave the way they wish while on it. My kids laugh at me when I complain about this and other stuff and they tell me I’m getting older. I tell them they’re getting their own dinner. That usually is enough to give me the win.

  7. Like too many rats in a box……they begin to attack and kill each other in the panic-filled need to jockey for space and the hope of a scrap of food that may or may not be forth-coming……and if no food is offered/found, then they begin to consume those they killed. Perhaps Soylent Green is just around the corner….perhaps a new venue on Lafayette’s touted Restaurant Row…..something to ponder…..

  8. Simple. Humans are not patient animals. At the end of the day, we are still animals. Animals need their space so when it’s too crowded, one will act out of frustration.

    It’s definitely a rats race in the bay area. If I didn’t have all my family here, I would’ve moved after college. Ever been to places like Hawaii or less dense areas? People are never in a rush and seem to be less stressed.

    Apparently, the bay area is just a battle ground. Maybe not physically but definitely mentally.

    I’ve learned to be patient and plan ahead. Like another person already said, you really can’t get anywhere fast because you’ll eventually get stuck (I guess this applies to life too… We all eventually die).

    • This caught our eye, James, because we lived in Hawaii during the 70s and returned to find it MUCH different than we remembered, perhaps due in part to our rapid aging process everyone around here hastens to remind us of. On another point: If the fam was not settled here, where would you go?

  9. Working from home now. MUCH better!!!! That commute was really a pain — I don’t know how people do it.

  10. I telecommute and life has been much better because of it. I don’t understand why we set ourselves up to all get on the road at the same time and tell everyone you have to be at a specific location by a certain time. I mean people are going to do dumb things. How often have you heard “I didn’t want to be late for work.” Tell everyone they can stay in place, video conference if necessary, and keep their car off the road. I know it SOUNDS simple but pretty soon the decision is going to be made for us.

  11. I have been commuting for ten years and I have seen people throw water bottles, beer bottles, coke cans and a wrench from car to car during my drive. I also saw a guy on a motorcycle rip a side view mirror off a car on 680. Looking forward to retirement.

  12. Had a man who was in his seventies at least make a bee line across the safeway parking lot nearly run down a family and cut in front of me just as I was pulling into a spot probably just so he could say he did it! Crazies thing I ever saw. The family yelled at him but he ignored them — or couldn’t hear them.

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