Christmas shopping and a quest for a replacement for my dead Airport wireless router has taken me to Augusta, our fair capital city, a couple times recently. Could someone tell me what is up with the Cony rotary?
Having lived in England for a while as a kid, I think rotaries, or roundabouts as the Brits call them, are the bees' knees. They're ecological and fast. No one has to stop unless absolutely necessary, saving both fuel and time.
The trouble is, the ones with more than one lane are counter-intuitive. Drivers going around farther than one exit are expected to dive into the center lane, drive 'round, signal and squirt out at the right place. Actually, the counter-intuitive-osity appeals to me, too.
Since there are two two-lane rotaries in Augusta, it is easy to tell the drivers who took driver ed somewhere free from similar traffic patterns. They have a panicked look on their faces as they circle the rotary in the outside lane, endangering the people who expect the outer lane to be empty or at the very least taking the same exit.
Lately the entrance to the rotary next to what used to be Cony High School, the one on the east side of the Kennebec, has three, count 'em, three lanes. The geniuses at MDOT have posted signs about six yards before the rotary's entrance explaining the concept of a rotary, long after a driver ought to have made a decision about which lane to take.
Apparently the logic is that the far right lane takes the driver east, out Cony Street, the middle one heads up Route 9 past O'Connor GMC to Waterville, and the far left lane points drivers to the rotary's center lane to spin around to either of the bridges crossing the Kennebec. Great in theory. Is it just me who thinks it would have been nice if some clue could be offered before driving past the high school parking lot?
Now the drivers circling the outside lane look closer to traumatized, their blanched faces and knuckles can be seen from space, and those of us following the rules on the inside lane have to use the eyes in the backs of our heads. Oy.
A long time high school English teacher, now mostly writing, I wish I could say I love my new vocation.
I don't. Though I have loved a steady news reporting gig, I've apparently outlived that work and haven't quite made the leap to monetizing by page views.
It's as if I hit my stride as a horse and carriage driver about the time Ford popularized the Model-T. My particular skill with a buggy whip seems a little redundant, at least in Maine where excellent writers are thick on the ground.
For now, I produce feature copy for a highbrow glossy real estate shopper called OpenFences, and am picking away at My Mother's Recipe Box, a project/paper meant to get me to the last stage of a ridiculously protracted master's degree in American and New England Studies.
However, I do love to travel. I've been to four of the six continents, every state in the Union but Alaska, and five Canadian provinces. With some luck, maybe I'll find a way to wrangle some writing assignments out of my devotion to the road.
On this blog, sometimes I write about high quality education, food, safe homes and workplaces, and reliable health care for all. Other times I don't.