Being a runner, you never know what kind of things you are going to run into.
Surprisingly, I have never “hit the wall.”
I have run into cars, poles, and trouble, but I have not yet hit the wall. But I digress.
Recently, I went running in a suburban area of Phoenix and saw some funny things.
Traffic calming? Are you serious? Traffic and calm should not be in the same paragraph together–nay, the same blog together–let alone the same sentence or on the same sign. Thank heavens it’s just temporary! After one mile, you are free to go back to being an uptight driver.
Being from Pennsylvania, though, I had no idea of what this traffic calming is that you speak.
So I continued running. I would have done that anyway, but now I was a runner on a mission. I needed to find out the secret to calmer traffic.
Here it is:
I know what you are thinking. (I have ESPN.) Actually, I am assuming that you are thinking the same thing I was.
What the BLEEP is this?
It’s a traffic circle! My cell phone doesn’t take great pictures but the YIELD sign instructs drivers to yield to cars already in the circle. The circle is apparently a calming shape appropriate for driving. You have round wheels. Round tires. Several rounds in the shot-gun. Why not a round road?
What the BLEEP were they thinking? All they need to do is drive around Boston, with its infamous “circles of death” to understand that traffic circles are not calming. (They call them rotaries, but I suspect rotisserie might be a better term.) Sure, if you know where in the circle of traffic you want to be you are okay. But if you are a lost tourist–beware! I swear I saw a car driven by a skeleton in Boston going around in the circle. The poor guy died before he could figure out how to get out of the circle. (Don’t ask me how he never ran out of gas, because it would ruin the humorous image this is supposed to elicit.) I followed his remains for three days myself.
The theory is that these “circles” slow traffic down. Isn’t that what the speed limit signs are for? Can’t we accomplish the same thing with a STOP sign to keep people from raging down the road at unsafe speeds? How about a speed bump (although they call them humps in Arizona?) How many taxpayer dollars were wasted on this project? I am anything but calm here.
Worse yet, as a runner, I now had to run outside the circle lines because I was pretty sure the vehicles weren’t going to yield for me!
And then I finally ran all the way to Paradise. Well, Paradise Drive. And it was a DEAD END!