Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Summer Traffic

Summer is the time I always start thinking about moving to a smaller town, maybe even someplace less scenic. After the lull that follows college graduation, tourist traffic comes as something of a shock. Suddenly the main roads are packed and it takes 25% longer to get anywhere. Add to that the fact that summer is contruction season and Bozeman is growing, and you have a recipe for a truely ugly driving experience. Our downtown is under construction, with not one but three projects going on; if we are lucky, Main Street has one lane of traffic each way. Worse yet is the changing pattern of side-street closures: just when you think you know how to wend your way around the Road Closed signs and get where you are going, they all move and you have to go around and around again, trying to figure out today's pattern. I'm starting to feel like a rat in someone's experiment on how much confusion drivers can stand and still drive well.

The cherry on top is Sweet Pea. Every summer, the festival takes over the east end of downtown with cheerful chaos. This year will be more chaotic than usual, since at least one of the construction projects was not timed so as to be done in the area during the festival. One of maybe three critical chokepoints for festival-goers headed to Lindley Park is nearly closed off; I have no idea how the parade will get through the intersection. With luck, the contractor will get things cleaned up in time for the weekend. I would cheerfully avoid downtown this weekend, but one child is in a performance for the festival, so I'm stuck. I will just have to remember that being stuck in traffic is a chance to practice Zen calm...

2 comments:

Valli said...

Road Rage!!

The Magpie said...

The surprising thing is how calm drivers downtown have stayed. Every time I have needed to cross Main Street, they have stopped for me just as they are supposed to. Even the four-way stops have been working. On the other hand, it might be different on the side streets!