Slow and Fast Lanes

Thank goodness I live in Vermont. I have no patience for traffic jams. And people don’t usually think of traffic jams when they think of Vermont. So it’s usually smooth sailing for me.

A lovely day for a drive in Beijing, from Bloomberg/Bloomberg via Getty Images.

I got the vapors today, though, just thinking about the traffic jam in Beijing, which has now lasted nine days and is more than 60 miles long.

Now, I lose it when traffic on Interstate 89 backs up for ten minutes. Or when somebody in front of me does 40 mph in a 50 mph zone on a two-lane highway.

So Beijing would kill me. I only wonder why Beijing hasn’t killed anyone else. I mean, how long can you sit on a highway? People are selling food and drink at exorbitant prices to people stuck there, but that only goes so far, assuming you have money.  What happens when you run out of gas?

And why are people joining this traffic jam? If you  heard Interstate 89 was jammed up, and wasn’t going to clear for days, wouldn’t you find another route, or just give up and stay home? Is Beijing so exciting that you HAVE to get there, even if it means sitting in a stuck car for a week?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Inquiring minds also want to find alternatives. Which is why I was excited by the column by Chris Bohjalian in Sunday’s Burlington Free Press. It was about a school bus with a rocket engine attached, so that bus zoomed by at 371 mph.

Watch a video of the bus:

My impatience on the road extends to school buses that must stop in front of every house on the street, instead of picking up a clot of school children at one spot in the neighborhood. So a 371 mph bus would certainly solve a lot of problems.

Bohjalian imagines the bus roaring at 371 mph through Lincoln Gap.  Anybody who knows how narrow, curvy and hilly the road through the Gap is can certainly appreciate the picture.

So anyway, I’m going to avoid driving in Beijing for awhile, no great loss for me, really. And maybe that guy who rigged up the school bus rocket engine can take a look at my 2006 Toyota Tacoma and see if he can make any improvements.

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