Saturday, April 22, 2006

St. Louis Highway Personalities

Starting my full time job at the Challenger Center has introduced me to the fact that each highway in St. Louis has drivers of certain personalities. For most of my tenure in St. Louis, I have driven highway 64/40. But now the CLC job has me driving highway 70 to and from work. I have now realized that drivers on 64/40 are fairly decent human beings with the occassional jerky driver while highway 70 is filled with selfish assholes! Prime example (though far from being unusual on 70):

While getting onto 70 on my home from work the other day, I was trying to merge onto the entrance ramp for 70. There was a brand new, fire engine red Mustang to my left and slightly behind. There was just enough room for me to turn on my blinker to nicely let her know that's where I wanted to go. So what does this driver do? SPEEDS UP and doesn't let me in. I HAVE to merge otherwise I'll end up exiting onto another road that I don't need to be on. So I let her get far enough up so I can pull behind her (where there is a whole line of cars BTW). As I pull in behind her, I beeped at her to let her know that I didn't appreciate her actions. She not only sped up to prevent me from merging, but she then, get this, sticks her hand out the sun roof and flips me the bird. I was pissed. Later that day, I thought about it and realized that if someone told me about that story I'd laugh my ass off, so I laughed it off and let it go. That's when it hit me that all my bad highway experiences have happened either on 70 or on the Poplar Street Bridge (which incidentally carries I-70 drivers over to Illinois).

FYI, I-270 is St. Louis' version of NASCAR. The speed limit hovers around 85 or 90, with people whipping around each other like they are Jeff Gordon or Dale Earnhardt, Jr. This includes little old ladies in their ginormous Cadillacs and hoosiers in their jacked up F-250's (you know, the ones that have Confederate flags and decals of Calvin peeing on Osama).

I have yet to drive I-370. Although, there have been a couple of wrong way driving accidents on that highway, so my guess is that 370 drivers are morons. Not certain of that yet, it's just a theory.

Please let me know about highways 44 and 55, as I don't drive them enough to know.


Bob Williams said...

Here is a thought, highways that go through low income areas tend to have to most amount of jerks on the road. Of course, I've found driving through ladue that many of the drivers there can be jerks about right of way and have no 'common courtesy' as Cobra Commander would say.

Nick said...

I don't really drive 370 any more now that the Page extension is done, but I used to drive it every day. I only know of one wrong way driving incident on 370, and Lisa already told you why I know about that one.

For anyone else that's reading, my intoxicated cousin was the wrong way driver. He ended up killing himself (University City police officer) as well as the Bridgeton police officer he hit head on. That one did get quite a bit of press though.

I don't know much about 55, but 44 is notorious for accidents (many with fatalities), especially around the Six Flags exit. So, if you do any driving in that area, be careful. MODOT and the police are trying to reduce the number of accidents in the area, but I don't know how successful they've been. Summer is almost here though and Six Flags will be open every day soon. That probably won't help.

Jennie said...

Nick, I'm so sorry about that. I thought that I remembered there being more than one accident around that time. Maybe it happened on another highway. I hope that you know that I did not intend to hurt you or your family.