RANT: Sioux Falls, Please Stop Being Nice When You Drive
Someone once said that hearing people talk about traffic is like listening to someone talk about their dreams. It’s never as cool or exciting as they think it is. However, having said that, we need to talk about traffic in Sioux Falls.
I’ve encountered this problem before, but have never seen it happen as much as I’ve seen it here. Sioux Falls, we need to stop being nice when we drive. Specifically, please stop trying to let people out!
Suddenly stopping and holding up a lane of fast-moving traffic because you think you need to let someone exit the drive-thru and merge onto Minnesota Ave is crazy.
This is not about politeness, it’s about safety. Keep it moving. There aren’t any places in town where parking is allowed in the middle of the street, so we shouldn’t be driving like it is,
A driver is not being helpful when they try to ‘let someone out.’ The hundreds of cars behind this supposed do-gooder have a reasonable expectation that traffic will keep moving. Especially in the absence of a traffic light.
Yes, it is on each driver to pay attention and maintain a safe distance. But, it’s also on each driver to act like there are other vehicles on the road.
If someone is trying to enter a busy street and they're not at a light, it’s on them to wait. Especially if they are trying to make a left-hand turn. They’ll be crossing at least three lanes of traffic. They can wait.
Stopping and surprising the dozens of cars in the lane behind you is dangerous. Plus, you're assuming that the other lanes of traffic will suddenly stop in a magical coordination of attempted kindness.
Often people will say, ‘If I do it for someone, someone will do it for me.’ You do not want someone to do it for you. If the only way to get onto a four-lane main street in Sioux Falls is to use someplace without a light then you have to expect to wait for the traffic to pass.
There are thousands of cars traveling the streets of our little city. It takes some forethought to get around. Sometimes you have to go around the block to get to a light. We don’t always get to go from A to B in a straight line.
It’s not about being rude or careless. Being a polite driver is about driving defensively, remembering that there are other people in the world, and keeping things moving.
Now that that's settled, let me tell you about this dream I had. Uncle Fester from The Addams Family and I were on a raft in a giant swimming pool. Oh wait, never mind.