It hasn’t rained much in Montreal in the last three weeks so I was wondering this morning while trying to make an 8:45 dentist appointment downtown what had caused this enormous sprouting of automobiles on our much-suffering roads?
I gave myself 25 minutes leeway for the drive but the moment I found myself on Côte-Saint-Catherine Road there was nothing in view but a long lineup of slowly moving vehicles all the way to Decarie Boulevard, not a long distance, less than two kilometers I’d say, but an eternity nevertheless.
But it wasn’t only the seemingly overnight profusion of cars that I noticed but the strange driving behaviour of the drivers. The men and women behind the wheel seemed exhausted, yet hyper, jerkily and recklessly moving into what they thought was the faster lane. Once on the Ville-Marie Expressway, with a few minutes to go before the appointment, I felt as if I was really on a race circuit, surrounded by desperate race car drivers eager to please their teams’ owners, taking chances that they never should have.
I gripped the wheel harder, constantly looking into my rear view mirror while seeking a way out into the lane closer to the Atwater Street exit.
Genetically, we are trained to look out for threats, this coming from the days of hunting for supper in dangerous jungles with the constant necessity to look out for pouncing lions and poisonous snakes. Still, I think that coping with the stresses of the modern urban jungle that is morning rush-hour traffic is too much for most of us, if you go by the stressed-out and manic driving behaviour that I noticed this morning.
I’ve written about driving before:
The Troops Swoop Down (October 2013)
Welcome to the Club (June 2013)
Bad Decision (June 2013)
The Tipping Point (June 2013)
Stacey’s Song (June 2013)
Driving Lesson (December 2012)
… and it’s not that surprising that I have. Unless you walk to work and to get all your groceries, you’re going to be very affected by what goes on on the roads around you. As populations grow, the crisis on cities’ road is only going to get worse.
I feel sorry for all of us caught behind the wheel, steaming inside and growling and snarling and cursing, pushing harder and harder on the accelerator.