I was on my way to teach my Flash class across the river at Clark College. The last three times I’d headed out for class, it’d taken an hour or more to drive the eight miles between my house and the bridge over the Columbia, so I thought I’d try the longer route over I205’s crossing. Ran into a big traffic jam right after I’d exited I84 onto I205.
After 15 minutes or so of sitting in traffic and hearing OPB’s traffic report say everything was all clear (they seem to be about an hour late calling the traffic), I switched over to KPAM, which is difficult to stomach but has regular traffic updates.
So I spend another 15 minutes sitting in traffic listening to this Victor Boc and his callers whining about Tri-Met’s long-running ads stating that 249 cars are off the road because of each bus. Do these people just like to hear themselves on the radio or something? Because they sure don’t sound very smart. There’s a lot of whinging about how the buses pull out into traffic without warning, how they tie up traffic, etc. One guy complains that none of his employees can take the bus, so why should he pay the Tri-Met taxes? Victor agrees. Surprise, surprise. Dude, if other cars are off the road, that’s more road for you!
Finally, after sitting there with a wreck blocking all lanes up ahead of me at the Airport Way exit and watching MAX trains zipping past on their way to the Airport every ten minutes or so, I crank up the cell phone. I don’t seem to be going anywhere fast. I get through, amazingly enough, and I tell the screener that I’m pro-transit, that I’m in the traffic jam they’re mentioning every six minutes, and that I’m watching MAX go by. I think I hear a chuckle in his voice, but I’m not sure. He says to hang on.
I’m in the jam for a while longer. Traffic’s being let through on the shoulder past the wreck way up ahead, and there are four lanes of traffic jockeying for position. I manage after a while to escape on an exit, head back across town to I5. After about 25 minutes on hold, he’s into the middle of a long diatribe on his new topic: why drivers shouldn’t have to slow down for those pesky kids in school zones. Boc and a caller are wondering why police patrolling school zones would set up in the middle of the zone instead of on the edges. I think: “You’re not speeding unless you’re within the zone; you can’t cover both directions of traffic from one of the edges,” and after 25 minutes on hold I give up on the morons and shut off the phone.