Where I don't care what others think


August 19th, 2009 Posted in Life, Personal, Problems

I have returned from a short stint on Cape Cod.  They have a lot of rotaries there!  I don’t think I’ve seen so many in rotaries in one area in my entire life.  It works out pretty well, providing an adequate means for 4-6 different paths of traffic to converge without having to stop at a series of stop lights.  I heard somewhere that rotaries were better for gas mileage since most people don’t stop completely and you usually get in the rotary pretty quickly.

We have a rotary in South Hadley and its a pretty fun one to drive on.  Unlike most other rotaries, the traffic on our rotary doesn’t always have the right of way.  In one location, the traffic entering the rotary (coming off the bridge) is given preference and rotary traffic is asked to yield.  The sign that prompts people to yield isn’t placed perfectly, and sometimes people blow right by it thinking the sign used to be pointed at the bridge and got twisted… or they just don’t bother reading signs or listening to them.  What’s funny is when I’m yielding (aka stopped) and waiting for a gap in the bridge traffic, sometimes people coming off the bridge stop for me.  Usually I flash my high beams to confuse them in an attempt to encourage them to move along.

I also went to a beach or two whilst on “Cape Cod.”  South Hadley does not have any beaches that I am aware of for me to compare them to, but we do have a canal.

More often then not I find myself faced with, what appear to be, loose-loose situations where I can’t see very positive outcome being made regardless of what I choose.  As part of my life long attempts to avoid bad things, I frequently wonder if maybe I can just abstain from making a decision or weighing in on the subject.  Sometimes this technique works well, if there are 3 people choosing where to eat the other 2 may come to a conclusion before I need to chime in (though I would have trouble seeing meal consumption as a loose-loose type of thing).  Sometimes this technique provides less than desirable results, specifically when you’re the only person who can or needs to make a decision.  When I’m pretty sure that I’m going to loose. I’d prefer to loose by as little as possible; a calculation that sometimes hard to make on the fly.

After watching shows like ‘Defying Gravity’ I think to myself hrm, maybe I should become an astronaut…. where astronaut is a euphemism for person who works with physical things.  As a mostly software guy, I’m sometimes disappointed by how much of what I do only exists on a screen.  (Being in TV production doesn’t help much either).  If all of a sudden the worlds displays (CRT, LCD, LED, etc) magically died I would be out of luck.  I’ve always enjoyed how software is a very low-entry field… I don’t need to have my own huge space ship to do things…. but sometimes I wish my results were further reaching or involved something I could pass around and show people.  As a civil engineer, its pretty easy to see something my dad does… it probably involves lots of noise and digging.  As a programmer the extend of my resources might include a updated computer or access to someone else terminal… not nearly as inspiring as a bulldozer.

  1. 2 Responses to “Expressive”

  2. By David on Aug 20, 2009

    Typo Alert: 2nd to last line “someone else terminal”

  3. By Marc Ebuna on Aug 20, 2009

    The fact that Cape Cod has so many roundabouts is not surprising, especially considering that in addition to the benefits you’ve listed – better traffic mediation, faster travel times through the intersection – there’s no infrastructure upkeep beyond repaving every 5 to 10 years.

    With regards to the strange piece of infrastructure in South Hadley: this is actually not a rotary/roundabout, but actually a traffic circle. The significant difference is that at some point in along the circle, traffic entering the circle is given preference. This is the more common cousin of the European roundabout that you often see in Massachusetts, as I’m sure you know. The one I’m most familiar with is the abomination on RTE 135 just between Wellesley and Olin College. Then there’s the perfect example of a traffic circle in the form of Columbus Circle in New York City. I feel like there should be drivers seminars to teach people how to negotiate both traffic circles and roundabouts….or at least signs that alert drivers to the cocaine up ahead. This isn’t a problem in Europe because most intersections of this sort are roundabouts and drivers don’t have to worry about the anomaly you came across. Either way, drivers should be aware of their surroundings – the psychological effect of forcing drivers to do so is what actually makes roundabouts safer to negotiate.

Post a Comment