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4 Way Stops

I live in a town of about 30,000 people with approximately 20, 4-way stop intersections. For those of you who live in a big city, you’ve probably never heard of them! They have nothing at all in common with that wonderful , functional, and very practical traffic control invention, the clover leaf, or its namesake the lucky 4 leaf clover. My town is a 4-way stop haven, the place where all abused, misused and rejected ones are sent.

So you arrive at one of these little wonders that are supposed to make the traffic run smoothly, and you are the first of two cars to arrive at the same intersection. Does it really matter? Scenario number one sees the other guy butting ahead of you, and you either have to yield to him or strike him in the driver’s door.

Scenario number two is even more frustrating. The other car has clearly arrived several seconds before you, but, being a senior in a town full of seniors who think we are all just out for a Sunday drive, he doesn’t go. You wait a few seconds, wondering why, when you notice he is motioning you on with the friendly index-finger wave (a Canadian thing). You are infuriated by this show of courtesy, because you both would have been long gone if he had just taken his turn, then let you follow. Just what did that accomplish?

Scenario three is a real fiasco! Four cars arrive at the same time at the intersection. No one can decide who should go first, but then you remember that your driver’s manual said that the guy on your right has the right-of-way, so you give the Canadian finger wave again to him, but notice that he is isn’t seeing you because he’s waving the guy on his right ahead who is waving the guy on his right ahead who is waving you ahead. And then the traffic dance begins. You finally decide to be proactive and start through the intersection, just as each of the other three decide the same thing. You all abruptly stop, then start ahead, stop, start, until you’re gridlocked in the middle of the intersection and wracked with whiplash (We know a good chiro if you need one). By now, you each have several cars behind you waiting, so you can’t back up either. With a remarkably coordinated motion, all four of you pick up your cell phones with one hand to inform your boss/wife/doctor’s office that you’ll be late because of some numbskulls, as you each use your free hand to give a more universal signal with your finger.

Nice day for a walk!



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Comment by iloverain

Posted on 19 June, 2015
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