Billy Reed’s Man Cave – Traffic


Nothing tests my patience quite as much as heavy traffic in my home city. You expect traffic in cities the size of Los Angeles or Chicago, but it used to be that one of Louisville’s charms was the ease with which you could get to work and back.

No more. At the peak traffic hours in the morning and late afternoon, Louisville is Congestion City. Trips that used to take 15 minutes now can stretch out to a half-hour or more. And the more impatient drivers get, the more they’re willing to engage in reckless behavior.

I hate drivers who get right behind me and stay there, his (or her) front bumper maybe a yard from my rear one. If I had to brake suddenly, it’s an instant crash because the driver behind me has no room to maneuver. Why do people do that?

Even more dangerous are those who drive drunk or while texting. They are the terrorists of our highways and streets. Back in the 1980s, the Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) changed our culture for the better. Now we need to also crack down on those who think they have the presence of mind and dexterity to drive and text simultaneously.

I must say, however, that one unintended positive usage of smart phones is that they act as pacifiers when you’re trapped in a traffic jam. The wait is more tolerable when you’re able to make a cal, text, catch up on the news, or play a game.

I have other pet peeves about driving.

I get quite agitated about people who throw garbage out of their car windows, knuckleheads who turn up their car stereos to the point the earth moves in the next county, and people who let their dogs roam freely, including sitting in the driver’s lap.

I’m not very big on hostile bicycle riders who take up a whole lane of traffic and dare anybody to challenge them, jerks who don’t muffle their engines and scratch off when the light turns green, and luxury car owners who believe they have a right to two spaces in a crowded parking lot just because their car is more expensive than yours.

And then there are the self-important people who are in such a hurry that they just have to whip around you, cut back in front of you so quickly that you have to hit the brakes, and then go roaring off to show you how much you were interfering with their need to be somewhere.

I think the worst drivers are city dwellers who own those gargantuan pickup trucks. To their drivers, they seem to be lethal weapons, the tanks of our highways. Who needs a truck that big in the city? Nobody, that’s who. But the blamed things seem to be proliferating at an alarming rate.

My fuse isn’t nearly as short as it used to be. I like to think I’m easy to be around most of the time. But in the interest of transparency, I must admit that boorish drivers can make me use the middle finger of my right hand far more than is good for me.