The Joy of Driving in Circles

Posted on January 27, 2011 by Jeff

(From March 2006)

I am a good driver.  No accidents.  No moving violations in the past 6 years.  Not only have I not caused any accidents, but I’ve also prevented several accidents with my evasive stealth maneuvers and cat like reflexes.

People are really bad on the road.  I was stuck behind a red jeep last week that was swerving from lane to lane and moving very slowly.  One by one, the cars that were stuck behind the jeep made the daring move to pass it as it swerved from side to side.  As it was my turn to pass, I glanced over to see what category of bad driver this particular one fit in. (Yes, I confess that I have labeled certain groups of people as bad drivers) What I saw as I passed the jeep was a teenage girl, holding her cell phone up, right in front of her face and she was attempting to send a text message to one of her friends.

There are people on the news who say that we should ban cell phones while we drive.  Or ban eating while we drive.  Or ban all sorts of behaviors while driving.  I have a better idea: Ban dumb drivers.

I propose a global ‘survivor’-like competition where if you cause an accident, you’re out.  No more driving for you.  Eventually as the bad drivers get weeded out, traffic flow would be great, accidents would be down and every time there was an accident that would mean one less driver.  Of course the competition would eventually lead to the final showdown between the world’s final two drivers… probably somebody from Germany and of course myself.

Today I drove my daughter to the doctor’s office.  I love going to the doctor’s office because I get to drive through the new traffic circle they’ve put on the way to Ridges hospital.  I LOVE TRAFFIC CIRCLES.  I get so much satisfaction from these things.  Getting from point A to point B in the metro area is incredibly frustrating.  The main offense is our lack of freedom to make a left turn on a solid green light.  Lights, Signs, people… all are hindrances to progress in the auto world.  But the traffic circle is great because everybody keeps moving… the flow doesn’t stop.

I got a kick out a certain driver in the traffic circle today.  I will be careful to describe this person vaguely as to not add the “bad driver” label on people like them.  I’ll simply refer to this person as Mrs. X.  She had a look of terror on her face as she rounded the traffic circle for what I assume was the sixth or seventh time.  I smiled each time she went around.

The traffic circle is great because I believe we’ve dumbed down the driving standard out there.  If there’s an accident, a traffic light goes up, or a left turn lane gets closed or they cut off our freedom to make a RIGHT turn on a red light… (seriously?)  Well the traffic circle takes some ground back in the war against bad drivers, upping the difficulty and attention required.  It’s like taking all the bad drivers and poking them with a stick.  Wonderful.

So if you are in Burnsville, take a spin up 11 to the hospital and take a couple laps around the circle.  It will be the highlight of your day.