A few things about Seattle traffic...

January 18, 2017

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Traffic in Seattle is pretty bad and it's only getting worse.

"You think traffic is bad here? Try moving to New Yo-" Shhhh.... we aren't talking about you right now, we are talking about us. 

Ever since somebody decided to build a fricken' freeway through the middle of downtown we were pretty much doomed. But that isn't the only problem we have as Seattleites. As the city continues to expand and certain businesses...you know who... buy up all the real estate and start developing, we lost more and more parking, gain more and more commuters and lose portions of our roads to construction projects. 

It's the perfect storm to create a major urban fustercluck, but what are some of the worst things that contribute to that perfect storm? As I sat in my car for an HOUR AND A HALF to 4.4 miles from my home in Greenlake to the studio, I had plenty of time to think about that answer.

Taxi's and ride-shares stopping wherever they damn well please
Do you need to pick someone up? Great, find a place to park, or an alley to pull into, as long as where you end up stopping isn't in the middle of the lane I am trying to drive through. Your spontaneous roadblocks are doing more for my road-rage therapist than they are doing for society as a whole, so just stop it. If  it takes longer than five seconds for the person you are picking up to realize you are there, go around the block.

Also, if you are waiting for a ride, GET OUTSIDE AND WAIT FOR IT! Saying "I'll be right down" doesn't mean you should just now start putting on your shoes and brush your teeth. Just plain rude.

Fremont Bridge (and all other drawbridges)
Oh I'm sorry, does my evening commute interrupt your return trip home through the Fremont Cut from a day of sailing and sipping champagne on your yacht? Wait, I'm actually not sorry. While I sit backed up all the way to Mercer on Westlake waiting for your yacht club to pass under the drawbridge because you decided to play hooky today, I am dreaming about how possible it would be to jump from the shore and swim to your boat and pirate it to sail up the street to my front door.

Zipper merging
I know it goes against your sense of justice to allow the people in the lane ending next to you to merge in nice and easy, but did you know that if everyone filled up that lane, your life would be SO much easier? Zipper merging is the future (and technically the past) and we need to stop being so passive aggressive and just let them in. When cars get up to the front of the closing lane, let them in one-by-one.

Fill both lanes, let people in. Put your vigilante lane-blocking ways behind you and just do the dang thing.

Amazon's Balls
Located in the sinkhole that might be a new entrance to hell emerging between 6th, Blanchard and Westlake, Seattle's gigantic new balls are a place Amazon employees can take their families who visit from out of town, that is if anybody can find parking anywhere near the giant orbs between cranes, construction fencing, rerouted roads and completely closed off intersections. You know, what we really needed there was probably MORE CONDOS. 

...Seattle Drivers
We are bad at driving. OK, well not me, because I am from Maple Valley, but everybody BUT me is bad at driving in Seattle. We can all agree on that, right? We have everything from overturned fish trucks on Sounders matchdays, fender benders on a side street alleyway that cleared up half an hour ago, but starts the worst version of a traffic butterfly effect that keeps everyone driving downtown on the road for three extra hours and the fender benderingtons end up sitting in the traffic they created, and light rain that brings an already constipated traffic flow to an even less fibrous halt. 

Moral of the story is that we leave it to the professionals and take the bus (except for me, the most excellent driver in Seattle). 

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