The old expression, “Getting there is half the fun” apparently wasn’t talking about driving in some of our larger cities.
I grew up on the East Coast and I have fought my way through some of the toughest rush hours. It’s not always the number of vehicles on the road or the distance you have to travel. A bigger part of the problem is the attitude of the drivers.
I was impressed with Asheville, North Carolina because the politeness of the people. They actually stop at stop signs and traffic lights. They will smile and motion for out of state people to go on ahead of them.
I spent a whole summer at Cape Cod on a travel nurse assignment and at the beginning of the season things were not that bad, but as the summer progressed the drivers became more rude and aggressive. One of the locals made the statement that described the situation perfectly. He said, “ People come here on vacation and leave their common sense at home.” It wasn’t always the younger drivers.
From driving on snow packed roads in mountains of Vermont to the sun baked highways of Texas, I think one of the worse places to drive in Baltimore, Maryland. The traffic is so bad that the staff at the hospital were unofficially given a 30 minute late, grace period because of traffic, The popularity of cell phones to report to charge nurse made this acceptable.
Baltimore has a thing about turning the service lanes into another traffic lane at certain times. This gets traffic that are planning to exit the expressway to move more quickly out of the traffic pattern . Of course there can be problems when the service lane is used for the purpose for which it was intended. It is also a little unnerving when all at once a car goes whizzing by you as it is passing you on the right. That can take some getting use too.
I almost think drivers in the bigger cities have a death wise. They make instant decisions and execute moves that would be deadly in any other place.
Drivers in Baltimore also have a way of changing lanes when their bumper is 6 inches away from yours. I think they might do that just once in some parts of the country because such behavior is not tolerated in other places. At every moment you are driving on the expressway, you have to keep an eye on the driver in front of you and both drivers on each side of you and the big guy behind you. It doesn’t matter if you are having car trouble or running out of gas because that character behind you is going to be on your bumper. He is going to see that you keep moving. You may not get where you want to go, but you are definitely going to be going somewhere.
I know I drove from Cockeysville to Good Samaritan Hospital and every time I got close enough to see the big emblem on the side of the main building of the hospital , I felt like I had won a survival contest.
There is a story about a taxi driver who died and when he arrived at the pearly gates Saint Peter greeted him.
He stood there as a simple man and replied to Saint Peters questions. “My name is Joe, I am a cab driver” He said.
Saint Peter got out the “Great Book and looked up Joes name and he smiled and said, “ Come on in Joe, you get a Gold Crown , a gold robe and a golden staff”.
Joe had not been gone long until a very well dressed man who was obviously very proud of himself, was standing in front of Saint Peter. The newcomer smiled a perfect smile and introduced himself as “John, the pastor or the Mega Church in Big Town.. Once again Saint Peter got the Great Book down and looked up John’s name and said, “ Come on in John, you get a silver crown, a silver robe and a silver staff.”
John looked disappointed and didn’t hesitate to show it, “Sir!” he said to Saint Peter, “I think there has been a great mistake. I am John the pastor of one of the biggest churches and I get a silver crown, silver robe and a silver staff while that cab driver gets the gold? I don’t understand?”
Saint Peter leaned over and said to John, “Sir! When you get here it’s about the bottom line. When you preached people slept! When Joe drove, people prayed! That is why he got the gold.”
A lot of people pray in Baltimore.