the corner office

a blog, by Colin Pretorius

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An internal dialog

An internal dialog (on the way to work)

Me: the biggest problem with bumper-to-bumper traffic is the concertina effect.

Myself: oh jeez, here we go again...

Me: when traffic comes to a stop, people start pulling away only some time after the person in front of them pulls away. So it takes a lot longer for the entire column to get moving.

Myself: ...wait for it...

Me: the best way to avoid this, is for people to stop looking at the car in front of them. If you look at the car 2 cars ahead, and start pulling away when they move, then your movements are more in sync with the car directly in front of you. Try it, it really works. Imagine if everyone did that? It would go a long way towards reducing the concertina effect.

Myself: yeah yeah, you saw a documentary about this in LA once...

Me: I think a huge education campaign is needed, encouraging people to do this.

Me: (and telling people not to let taxis and yellow-lane cars back into the flow. Make it difficult and expensive for them, they'd be less inclined to do it in future. But that's another internal dialog...)

Myself: you know what the problem is, don't you?

Me: Hmm.

Myself: it doesn't work if you can't see past the vehicle in front of you. Trucks and 4x4s and bakkies block your view, you can't see the car in front of them.

Me: very true. You know my opinions about status symbol 4x4 drivers and slow trucks. I think the best solution is to make a law that 4x4s and trucks should be relegated to a single lane during rush hour, or kept off the road completely. Common good and all that.

Myself: lovely, but enforcement would be a bit difficult.

Me: traffic cops doing their jobs is another internal dialog... let's pretend they do.

Myself: yeah right. Even if they did, all lanes on the highway are clogged. How are cops going to be able to move around to catch transgressors and enforce those rules?

Me: helicopters... ?

Myself: ...

Me: ... with big frickin' lazer beams...

I: Hmmmm. Today is the start of the Large Pizza Special at Roman's...

{2006.07.27 - 19:28}

Comments:

1 Ronwen (2006.07.29 - 13:24) #

Is that a true story?

2 Colin (2006.07.31 - 19:55) #

Absolutely :)

3 Les (2006.08.07 - 23:37) #

1. I think if everyone just lets the taxis in, that would help them stop driving like pigs. Say your job was to drive all day long, and everyone else was just there to try and stop you. Would you gradually become a better, more patient driver?

2. I take the bus now! I don't even bother looking at the traffic, I read all the way to work and back. It's like having a chauffeur, only you have to be more social. And when they start handing out the beers at the back, turn up the Classic FM on your cellphone!

3. Sharks with laser beams on their heads!

BTW: ta for the 2-car tip, I'm so dumb.

4 Colin (2006.08.14 - 17:26) #

Fair point re the taxi drivers - they often get a bum deal, but that shouldn't stretch to cases where they're breaking the law.

That gets to the bigger problem though: it's not just taxis, but other people too, who take advantage of the kindness of others. So instead of a person who genuinely made a mistake and deserves to be let in, you have dozens of people who're forcing their way in because they just don't care about anyone else. A pox on 'em all!

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