Today I am departing a bit from my normal subject matter to talk about a huge waste of my life. Since the middle of November I have seen a huge increase in commute times and traffic congestion, particularly during my morning commute. As I searched for a reason why for this traffic increase I not only found the answer, but found some support of my claims as to how bad it has gotten to be around here.
Every day I have to brave the Portland, Oregon traffic. Although I have really wanted to keep myself as generic as I possibly could on this website, I just have to find a pulpit from which I can yell, “THIS IS BULLSHIT!!” from when needed. Normally, I leave my home around 5:30 in the morning and it takes me about 25 minutes to get to work. Of course it can vary a bit, but I am usually walking in the door between 5:55 and 6:05 almost every morning. This has changed as of the middle of November. For no apparent reason my morning commute went from around 25 minutes to almost an hour. There has been no news related to the traffic increase and I can’t visibly see that much change other than even worse driving habits than normal.
Let me quickly interject the main issues associated with traffic in the Portland, Oregon area. The drivers here tend to be so self absorbed as to cause 99.9% of the congestion through their own arrogance. Before you yell obscenities at your computer and surf away from my website, let me fully explain myself and my observations. If you have ever watched the TV show Portlandia, you have at least a basic understanding of the Portland area. That show is not just dead on with regard to most of the Portland residents, but it could almost be a documentary. The people that live here have a weird mindset. Everything they do MUST make themselves feel better on a personal/spiritual level and MUST, without exception, turn them into a special little snowflake unlike all other snowflakes. For example, the bicycle riders around here will get into physical altercations with people if you don’t recognize their “sacrifice” for the planet. There are, not joking at all, people that walk around chastising others for having pets. They believe that all animals should be allowed to be free, but they defend and support the rights of people to have service animals. Again, this place is full of self righteous assholes that transfer their attitudes over to the road. If you don’t believe me just take a look at the people merging onto or off the freeway. They will cut right in front of you while going 20 mph slower than traffic and then flip you off for almost rear ending them. These same people not only think that their turn signal is a force field where everyone must move out of their way so that they can go where they want without looking, but they will slow down and speed up to stay right in you blind spot as a way to honk at you for “almost hitting them.” This gives them something to complain about for the next 3 weeks while they get a group of protesters to go and put up signs around a neighborhood “for your safety.”
These guys are a joke.
Now, as I try to research the traffic increase, I find out that there was some little known deal made at the Port of Portland that pushed a lot of the shipping across the bridge to Washington. This means that all that downtown and Highway 30 traffic will decrease drastically while the traffic on I-5 and I-405 will increase exponentially.
Then I found something else out that helps to add more salt to my wounds. Even though Portland metro area is 26th in size, it is number 10 in terms of the worst commutes. After more research I discovered that PDX ranks between number 9 and number 13 since 2012. No wonder I hate my commute and get so stressed out after my work day.
I guess I will have to leave an hour early to avoid the congestion during my morning commute. That just seems like a silly solution to a problem caused by allowing people to purposely cause traffic congestion due to self important driving habits. A lot of our accidents and traffic would be decreased if people were forced to stay right except to pass, were ticketed for inability to maintain a constant speed on the highway, and were also ticketed for entering the highway below the speed of traffic. That would fix about 50% of our issues in a single movement.
Too bad I couldn’t be made king for a day…. Just saying.