4-ways to a dumb maneuver

There's a terrible stop sign in Milton that should become a full traffic light. Alas, it the intersection involves at least one DCR (formerly MDC) road, so it will never happen. The intersection, which joins Unquity Road from the Blue Hills to Blue Hill Parkway at Canton Street, often fills with long lines of cars, especially during heavy commute times. It is also a really wide intersection because it appears the road was laid out to be a traffic circle. At some point, construction stopped, and they just turned it into a four-way stop.

Like most four-way stops, this one routinely has great examples of Boston's crazy drivers. Anyone standing on the corner for 30 minutes would witness no fewer than three major goofball maneuvers. Tonight was no exception. As is often the case, two cars lined up side-by-side coming from Unquity Road as if they were both going straight across. One vehicle went straight, but the other one stayed that the stop line. I thought, "Wow. That was a real exercise in restraint." It was now my turn to go. I was driving straight along Canton Street. As I was making my way through, that second vehicle, a van belonging to Envirotrac (which is a multi-state company with its Massachusetts office on Route 1 in Norwood), started to make a left without even looking! I used my horn in disgust but didn't slow down. The driver, who I could see in out my window had to let go of the wheel altogether to throw a hand up in anger because his other hand was on the phone!

Envirotrac, according to its Web site, is a "full service environmental consulting and contracting firm." It has a very detailed section on its safety practices, but there isn't anything about the driving habits of its employees. Perhaps they should add "safe driving" to their safety standards, and give their employees a copy of the Massachusetts Driver's Manual, conveniently linked from this site.

UPDATE, July 12, 2006: A note in comments from an unknown person from EnviroTrac points out that their drivers have all completed a specialized driver training course, though not directly because of this post. I'm grateful for the update from the company and that it does take road safety seriously. Please read the comment, because it appears the situation was isolated to this driver.


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