Wednesday, May 25, 2016

But I’m Only Going One Way

The office window overlooks a section of a busy New Jersey state highway, which is two lanes in one direction at this point.  The two lanes going in the opposite direction are a block away.

It is a beautiful sunny afternoon, and we just glanced up in time to see a motorist headed the wrong way, dutifully minding the speed limit but blissfully ignorant of the One Way signs at every intersection.

From our vantage point this appears to happen about once a month.  Obviously it happens more often, because we can see just two blocks of the road and the one-way portion of this highway is several miles long.

We cringe every time we see one.  Will a driver moving in the correct direction fail to notice?  Will a pedestrian step off the curb, not expecting a car from that side?  Will a driver at a cross street also not look that way?

Somewhat predictably, shortly after the car disappeared from our view we heard the blare of a car horn, as another driver attempted to alert the wayward traveler.  No sounds of a crash, no screech of tires, so with luck it is likely that the problem resolved itself that quickly.

Anyone can make a mistake, but it is hard to be sympathetic to a driver who fails to notice not only the One Way signs but also the Wrong Way signs, the angle parking that serves only the other direction of travel, and the two lanes of oncoming traffic!   However, we have also seen drivers who have made a conscious choice to drive in the wrong direction on this road, deciding, apparently, that it is perfectly okay to do so.... if you use reverse gear.