1.17.2006

Center lane exit

I have been driving Massachusetts highways for the better part of 15 years and a passenger for quite longer and in all my years I could never figure out exactly what causes certain accidents on the highways. Some days it can be blamed on the weather. In some cases it is alcohol or inexperience. But what about someone who has been behind the wheel for more than a few years, is apparently dead sober on a bone dry sunny day? This has always baffled me. I have chalked it up to not paying attention mainly. It could also be plain stupidity or arrogance, too.

I don't know what category this fits into, but it could have caused an accident. I was on 128 South recently in Reading (?), I'm not too familiar with the town lines on the highways to know if the 93 interchange actually sits in Reading or Woburn so forgive me. But I was attempting to go from 128 South to 93 South. Anyone who has done this at any time of day knows that this is akin to riding the go-carts on the Cape. There's about four different turning operations going on in less than 100 yards under the bridge that is 93. This is urban highway planning at its worst for sure, and it is difficult to maneuver when a steady stream of traffic from 93 North is coming down its onramp to 128 South to merge into the same travel lane that the 128 South traffic is using to access the onramp to 93 South. One misstep and it can be disastrous. A driver must be looking ahead to gauge the speed of the cars in front, to his side to make sure there is a clear opening and behind to make sure that opening is large enough to fit. It is very delicate but can be done easily.

Then enter a truck with a cracked windshield lettered with the John L. Ciman masonry company from Peabody. The driver of this truck decides he is going to attempt to exit 128 at 93 FROM THE CENTER LANE. And of course, he does it right in front of me. But the whole isn't big enough for us to merge together. I brake. The guy behind me, coming from 93 North and gaining speed, has to jam on his brakes and beeps. I beep, too for good measure. None of this fazes the good mason (who, by the way had a Peabody phone number with a 508 area code painted on the truck. Hasn't Peabody been in 978 for 10 years? I think it might be time to update, John). Perhaps it's moves like this that cause accidents that tie up traffic for hours. Just something to think about.

It is this type of maneuver that led me to start this blog in the first place. Here it is days later and I am still mad about it. Thank god I have this thing for therapy. It beats paying a shrink $250 an hour, or rather 50 minutes.

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