What I’ve Observed at Our 3-Way Intersection

There’s a 3-way intersection outside my window, which I watch during my morning Personal Power Hour. Under normal conditions, there’s a comfort in the procession’s rhythm.

But what most interests me right now are the couple things I’ve seen break that steady march.

One of the more astounding things is someone doing a full U Turn while the intersection is busy. Cars. UCSF shuttle buses. Trucks. Young. Old.

All things considered, it normally goes surprisingly smoothly, but I have seen people back up all 3 paths of traffic. Maybe there’s a cultural element I’m missing, but I’m completely astounded by the audacity of the move. You can’t use one of the many driveways in the area? There’s a side street right here with many turn around options. Is the 2 minutes worth the added blood pressure, scorn, and complexity to others?

The other thing I’ve noticed is how many near-ish accidents happen. Most often, this is 2 cars trying to cross the intersection at the same time. OK, it’s busy, people are preoccupied, and with defensive driving this should be easily rectified.

The real issue is often times neither car stops until they get close. Then they also find the time to honk while braking. Then we transition to the Standoff. They both start creeping forward, almost like the person who achieves front position is absolved of responsibility. Meanwhile, everyone else is waiting.

If either person took the responsibility and deferred sooner, then the situation would be avoided.

What I find the most unsettling is how many times this occurs during rush hour and then through out the day. This is just one intersection in the city.


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