Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Traffic In Complaints

If my morning commute was a Broadway show (and really, who's isn't?), then these chuckleheads would be in the chorus, singing off-key, making me crazy.

Dear Lincoln Navigator drivers,
Once upon a time, you drove Miatas and Honda Civics, and it was good times. Those autos sit low to the groung, hugging the curves. They felt sporty in your hands, no? You felt racy and silky, like the road was scant inches away from your upwardly-mobile ass. It was: if you dropped, say, a can of Pepsi Free out the window, you could have retrieved it simply by opening the door and leaning a slight lean down. No more than, like, 20 degrees.

Times have changes, amigos! Now you're driving what basically amounts to a tank, and it sits way too high, and frankly, I'm afraid of you. You remind me of nothing more than those pictures of overloaded bikes National Geographic is always running in an effort to be all like, "Those foreign people are so crazy!" The top of the car swings crazily over to one side or the other when you make a turn, and it seriously looks like you're driving on two wheels. If you dropped a Coke Zero out the window of one of these bad boys, you've have to disembark altogether.

Adding insult to injury in a smoggy and congested downtown, you also seem to be incapable of sharing a ride with anyone. Or getting off your cell phone. So there you sit in traffic: alone, wired to the gills with both caffeine and cellular technology, the top of your car narrowly missing overpasses, and giving me a coronary every time you make a right-hand turn.

Please remember that when you got your second-to-last raise and decided "What the hell, I like the way they look," you forgot to take into account the fact that this car handles way differently that a coupe, and to adjust your driving style accordingly. Please do that now.

Dear TTC and its attached Bus Drivers,
I totally respect your job and the way you do: driving public transit is a tough job. One small complaint. Why do you consistently show up on routes where I know - I've been on them - there are subway cars running underground?

In Toronto, there's something called the diamond lane, which is pretty much reserved for three vehicles: bike, cab, and bus. I'm not sure which PhD candidate thought it would be a smart idea to combine the most vulnerable, the most erratic and the highest tonnage into one lane, but dude? It's terrifying.

So it's always kind of luxurious to be able to bike in tandem with public transit without it getting all up in my grill the way streetcar tracks do. It's especially nice to walk or bike the Bloor Street Viaduct when a train is rumbling below - just feeling the connect, you know? So to see a bus roar into the bike lane when I know there's a subway car doing its job right below...sort of raises the hackles a bit.

Dear Dude I See Riding an e-Bike Nearly Every Day,
I swear to God, if I see you in the bike lane one more time, I will rip that faux-woodgrain ironic hipster helmet off your shaggy head and punch you right in the smirk.

Dear Practically Every Driver On the Road,
Yes, I signalled.

Dear Harley-Riding Men From Last Week,
I will totally cop to the fact that beating you in traffic made me feel good. I know it wasn't really me - seriously, biking is the fastest way to get through tough traffic. On the other hand, I was wearing a dress and a little sun hat and was riding a huge candy-coloured one-speed cruiser, and y'all were sporting leather vests and hair that hadn't been cut since Woodstock.

Obviously, I get weirdly competitive about and protective of biking as a viable urban transportation option, but this was just too funny to politicize. It was like if Little Bo Peep had beaten Andrew WK in an arm wrestle.

Dear Other Cyclists,
If you pass me (usually looking smug) only to slow down and slow me down, I won't hit you with that e-bike guy's helmet...but I'll definitely be thinking about it.


  1. I totally second you on the e-bike guy. For me, it's scooters. You choose a MOTORIZED vehicle, you get motorized privileges (i.e. get the fu&* out of the bike lane).

  2. I want to complain about fellow cyclists
    (I think traffic is one of those rare things that everyone, everywhere agrees upon: shitty)
    I hate the type of cyclist that you pass, and then at the red light you stop and they lazily meander through.. and then you have to pass them again, then they slowly blast through another red repeat. These cyclist are dicks. I do love a good passing, but it looses it's fun after the 4th time. Then I just want to run them down.