Thursday, August 5, 2010

Damn--This Traffic Jam...

I know that when you live in a major urban city, traffic comes with the territory.  I know this.  I have given traffic the benefit of the doubt more times than not.  BUT...I've just about had it.  TRAFFIC...you can suck it!

There used to be a time when there was a window of opportunity; when you could get on that freeway between, say, 10AM and 2PM and sail on through.  Or maybe if you left really early, like at 5 or 6 AM there wouldn't be a problem.  It was hard not to notice when that window of opportunity began to shrink.  Slowly, incrementally; but shrink it did.  Now it seems, that window is nonexistent.

Back in the day, a long, time ago, people in Los Angeles used to proudly say, "you can get anywhere in 20 minutes." I think that's an urban legend. I don't think that was ever possible. Maybe in 1920 Los Angeles, but not lately. Not in the last 20 years...that's for sure. Twenty minutes?  You're lucky if you can get in a mile or two in 20 minutes. I'm not exaggerating!

I simply cannot wrap my head around the psychology of a traffic jam.  I know I'm not alone.  Sometimes, the reasons are obvious: rush hour, accidents, idiot drivers who don't know how to properly yield or change lanes...yeah buddy, I'm talking to you! But when I sit in traffic for TWO HOURS, and can never get out of second gear (Yes, I'm still one of the proud but few who drive a stick-shift...big mistake in traffic!) I don't get it.  I don't understand how one second we speed up, getting our hopes up, thinking "finally, finally, I'm going to see some open road," only to be slamming on those brakes just as things are starting to pick up.

I wouldn't mind so much if I had to go slow.  Really.  If I had to creep along at 25-30 miles, it would be okay.  As long as we kept MOVING!  But the stop and start and speeding up just to slow down is KILLING ME! 

Bottom line:  there are too many people here.  Yes, we have a great climate, we have movie stars and beaches and all sorts of cultural stimulation...but we also have earthquakes and fires and mudslides and TOO MANY DAMN PEOPLE! 

I know...I'm being crabby.  And when that happens, it's time to do something about it.  It's time to go.  It's time to leave LA.  And where will I go?  Where can I find the best of both worlds?  Where can I find the great climate, the lovely beaches, and the cultural stimulation (don't really care too much about the movie stars...)without all the crowding?  Is there such a place?  If it exists, it won't stay that way for too long. 

Only one cool thing happened the other day as a result of my being stuck in traffic.  I was sitting on the I-5 at a dead halt.  Same thing on the other side.  I was in the far left lane and I used the opportunity of being stopped to pull my hair up in a ponytail.  I glanced across the freeway partition to see a fairly attractive guy watching me.  I nodded and he broke out in a wide grin. He said, "hi there cutie!"  I busted up laughing.  Traffic--the new Match.com. Love on the 5 freeway!  Maybe something good can come out of it after all. 

But I'm still leaving...

5 comments:

MikeB said...

Great writing. Even though the traffic is horrendous in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, and being stuck in heavy traffic is one of the worst -- and in the LA area one of the most common -- things one can experience during a "normal" day, your post made for funny reading in parts. When I drive from Northern California to Orange Country, it seems like no matter when I leave my home, I always get struck in the LA area traffic slow down (or is that "stop" down). Oh, by the way, where are you going? Be careful which place you pick, because maybe half of the LA population is moving there, too.

Anonymous said...

Another spot on, entertaining article!

I suggest you consider Portland, Oregon as your next destination. You wouldn't be the first Southern Californian to move up here...

Z.J.Ascensio said...

Well, at least you were able to find some kind of silver lining. Finding love in traffic jams; maybe there should be more research into that scene.

But yes, traffic jams are the worst. I guess that's something I don't miss from living in a city.

CntryJewell said...

Girrrl I feel your pain. DH and I moved out of Las Vegas (going on) 6 years ago, and back out to the lifestyle that I grew up with...

Weather isn't always the greatest, there are no celebrities (whew!), and the only rush hour traffic we see is the farmers hopscotching from one field to another... Better than Vegas any day of the week! =) Hope you find your perfect spot!

Jewell

YogaSavy said...

Please traffic jams here are so organized and well timed! India is the place for TRAFFIC JAMS, untimely, disorganized and all kinds of mode of transport.
There is a certain organized madness to the madness!