One of my two new jobs partially involves driving a semi. So I get to see Chicagoans at their driving best and worst.
At a chronically-jammed off ramp from 55 to 94, most people stack dutifully in the right lane and wait their turn to experience the joys of facing Wisconsin.
Of course, some try to zoom up to the end of the line and merge late, saving maybe a minute of commute time. Seeing my truck, I am usually their betting target for a space to slip into, ahead of my front bumper.
They wait in the middle lane of interstate 55 for traffic to move and then squeeze in front of me. This stops traffic in an otherwise moving highway lane.
Some even jump into the left to cut in front of the cutters, slowing continuing traffic even more. These blockers are my target.
I bait them by letting one or two early mergers in front of me, acting like wounded prey. And there are studies that say some late merging is actually good for flow.
But these later lane-blockers are selfishly assuming they deserve a space while inconveniencing others.
I picked my victim today: a Jeep Liberty who blocked two lanes and is now trying to get in front of me at the painted triangle.
Trucks only seem slow in traffic. With shifting skill, a lighter load, and anticipation I can leave zero squeezing room between me and the car in front of me- but still keeping a safe distance at such a crawl.
I did this while Ms. Liberty persistently tried to dart in front of my truck. No quarter given. She approaches a drab parked car in the painted triangle that blocks her way. No quarter. Try behind me or continue forward on 55, please.
She eventually gives up on me, and merges behind- but only after almost hitting said parked car...
...which turns out to be the unmarked police car I thought it was.
Lights come on. Ms. Liberty's commute is extended by a lot more than a minute and by more than a few extra dollars.
Will she try that again? Was I a sanctimonious dick for making her morning miserable?
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