Friday, July 11, 2008


My worknight starts at about 2am and I crawl back into bed sometime around 6am. Strange hours, I know. But it has several advantages. One of which used to be driving in the middle of the night with no traffic. Some nights I would see no other cars on the road (save other newspaper carriers, maybe a taxi or Limo, the odd night owl near the highway). It made driving a joy.

The route I have now is the same one I had four years ago and the biggest change I've noticed is the millionfold increase in traffic. Seriously. I cannot leave a parking lot or driveway on any of the main roads without having to wait for some headlights to pass. The other night I thought I'd count them. Lost track before 30. And that was only the first 1/2 hour!! Why are so many of you not tucked up in bed at this hour? By 5am I expect the traffic flow to increase and plan accordingly. But at 3am??

I noticed that the front page of [one of] the papers I deliver had its daily photo and story of death by vehicular accident. There has been one every day this week. I thought about this post, and that maybe I was exaggerating, but no, buried inside the paper was a page devoted to just this sad state of deaths. There have been 20 deaths involving automobiles since May 25 (after Victoria Day weekend) and 10 of them have been in the past week (since Canada Day). And that is just this area WEST of Toronto. This most recent one involved a teen who was crushed by his parents' SUV while trying to steal it for a joyride in the middle of the night. A couple of days ago there was a well publicized road rage incident where a man was killed after being cut off on the 401. And a week ago a teen was struck and dragged under a car for more than 1/2 km. He is still in an induced coma and the perp has not turned himself in.

Driving has ceased to be a joy.

And I haven't even begun to complain about traffic during the day.

Forgive me if I am a little skeptical about the high gas prices forcing people to reduce their driving.


  1. I so hear you, very good post. I am VERY fortunate not to have to rely on a car to live. I sold it in 2001 and never looked back. Although I love driving, I'm glad I don't have to deal with the daily jerks in traffic.

    That road rage accident really took the cake you know. It angered me so much. And that person HAD to know what it did! I think people are becoming more frustrated by the high price of gas and it translates itself into road rage.

    But will it stop them from driving? I doubt it. But I do see more cyclist in the downtown core *sigh*

  2. UA: Is that a wistful *sigh* or a frustrated *sigh*?

  3. This is one of the main reasons why I moved out of NYC. I chuckle sometimes to myself when the locals here complain about traffic, though it has its moments from time-to-time.

    I started going to Toronto back in the early 80's, and every time I go back these days, I am amazed at the explosion of construction traffic, etc. Then again, like every major metro area on the planet, this is not unusual. When I go home to NYC, it seems the traffic is worse than ever.

  4. Yes, and I would hate to live and drive in Toronto again. The town I live in is having an explosion in construction. Of condos. NOT road widening. So it will only get so much worse.


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