Rhode Rage*

roadrage Bitching about Rhode Island drivers is nothing new. If I let every infraction bother me, I’d have higher blood pressure than a bomb defuser with chronic hiccups. But the blocking of intersections digs at me. Yes, I get that you should be able to drive when your light is green. Unfortunately, that’s not always possible. I too wish Ye Olde Providence’s civil engineers and urban planners had the foresight to avoid intersections 20 yards apart, but we gotta work with what we have. So how do so many Rhode Islanders (this goes for all ages, genders, commercial vehicles, school and city buses, state plates, civilians and police alike) fail to realize, when the cars ahead of them aren’t moving, that pulling into the intersection will only block all crossways traffic once their light quickly and inevitably turns red?

I’m one of those aggravating jackasses that won’t drive through a green light if there’s nowhere to go. I’ve been in the other people’s shoes too often, waiting for a green light only to be unable to go anywhere because my path is blocked. Judging from the leaning on horns and screaming of obscenities, my refusing to drive into the most clogged of intersections is inexcusable behavior. Fine, I’m a bitch. But I’m a damn sight better than the guy in the baby blue pickup piled high with unsecured construction debris who, when I wouldn’t enter a non-moving intersection this morning, forced oncoming traffic off the road so he could pass me on the left, drive through a now-red light, and securely block the path of the people on the cross street—all while holding the quintessential cup of Dunk in one hand and a cell phone in the other. I’m sure he’s someone’s hero, though.

*OK, the title is a copout. So is using the Dose to vent. I promise the editors I won’t make a habit of it.

9 thoughts on “Rhode Rage*”

  1. Thank you sister! I’m with you. I’ve lived in DC, New York City, Kalamazoo, Boston, and freaking Guam, and nowhere are the drivers more ass backwards than here in Providence.

    I blame it on the urban planning, which is mind-bending at best. No signs, streets that disappear, streets that turn into exitless highways, multiple streets with the same name, streets that curve back into eachother, streets that have one-way signs going in the opposite directions.

    Driving in Providence is like wandering the maze outside the Outlook Hotel in the Shining. Except I seriously feel like every driver is wielding the axe.

  2. It’s SO TRUE! I’ve been saying this to myself — if ONLY they would ticket for this crap, we might not have A) such a budget hole, or B) so many accidents.

    But don’t get me started on who is in charge of painting the road lanes/putting up signage, etc., when they do decide to. And not shoveling sidewalks so pedestrians have no choice but to walk in the slippery street. And having a city where no one in a wheelchair stands a chance of using sidewalks.

    There, I have vented…

  3. We should have been using those infractions to plug the budget for the last decade! I’m one of the few, proud, sane drivers here. It amazes me that people don’t even know what I mean when I yell back ‘I won’t block the box!’

    Providence Police -do not- make stops for any but the most egregious of traffic violations. In 2004 they made only -twenty four- DUI arrests. Twenty four in an entire year, in a state notorious for drunk driving.

    I’ve accidentally blown through a red light in front of a Providence Police officer and haven’t been stopped, and I’ve seen -terrible- drivers get away with things that made my blood boil in front of the police, like littering, ignoring lights and stops, blatant speeding, etc.

    We need to find a way to incentivize the Police to pull over and ticket drivers that break the law. It will increase safety more than any other thing we can do, and it will help plug the budget in a -fair- way, one that penalizes the unlawful.

  4. I agree with everything on this page. I also do not pull into backed up intersections and often receive my ration of crap. In NYC you get fined for blocking the square on a red. We need that here.

  5. Go ahead and vent. The Rhode Island Pullout should be on the state flag. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I first moved here from NY. Stop signs and lights don’t mean crap here, cause no one understands the concept of “right of way”, you just drive into an intersection and see who stops first.

  6. This post made my morning. We’ve all been there…dealing with angry drivers because we’re actually following the rules of the road. If I had a nickel for every time someone flipped me off, cursed or honked because I actually slowed down at a yellow or tried to merge according to the zipper rule, well gee, I suppose I could pay down RI’s deficit.

  7. First of all, you have the law on your side, as well as common sense. Also, you are not the first Doser to vent about drivers. I recall a lady with the plate SPIDEY getting an unfavorable review a while back. My only complaint is you didn’t get his picture! Let’s bring back shaming and shunning.

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