Mean drivers, traffic woes and more…Oh my!

Posted: August 24, 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

ImageTwo recent studies show that BMW drivers are the meanest on the road. One study came from the University of California and the other originated from The Daily Mail.

When I heard about those results saying that BMW owners are the most offensive on the road, I was a bit baffled. Only a few hours before I heard about the studies, a BMW owner was kind enough to let me pass him as I was jogging. There he was in his pristine black BMW letting me pass. These days with so much rain, it’s tough to keep an automobile so clean and sparkly. I digress. Well, wait a minute. The Daily Mail study showed that it is the blue BMW owner who is most offensive. Perhaps this BMW owner is a tad less offensive and lets joggers go by, but maybe he is selfish at the four-way stops.

It wasn’t just the BMW drivers cited in The Daily Mail study. Land Rovers, Audis and Subarus  were also included in the meanest drivers category. And those with cars that come in the colors of either black, silver, green and red were viewed as offensive.

Still, the blue BMW driver is seen as the meanest on the road. I pause to wonder if manufacturers of the BMW see that perception as a liability or an asset. Methinks it is the latter. There must be something about that “bad boy (and even bad girl) image” that is makes the BMW so successful.

On a somewhat related news item, I was not shocked when learning that Georgia is the most expensive state to operate a car. When it comes to insurance, taxes, fees and gasoline, Peach State drivers spend on average $4,233 per year to operate a vehicle. The national average is $3,201. This report comes to us courtesy of Bankrate.com.

 I don’t dispute Bankrate.com’s report’s findings. Certainly gas might be cheaper at the pump, but on average, most drivers in the Atlanta metro area have few transportation alternatives in a number of ways. When it comes to driving, there are few alternate routes to say, the Perimeter. Yes, there might be a few parallels to I-285, but honestly, those roads quickly clog up when the freeway is jammed. Further, anything that slightly parallels the Perimeter does not completely get the drivers to their destinations. Especially in the rush hours, everyone has to go travel somewhat in the same direction. Whenever I’m stuck in traffic I think that it’s like too much sand going down and through a funnel.

Since drivers cannot win on attempting to save gas due to the poor layout/planning of the metro region, our autos experience wear and tear. Certainly this wear and tear isn’t as bad as living up north where the cold and road salt eat the vehicles up, but our cars in the Southeast get beat up on these roads.

Speaking of beat-up, our roads and other infrastructure is quite beat up. Those potholes and metal coverings are bad on our tires as well as those who choose alternate forms of transportation like bikes, scooters and motorcycles. A work colleague ran into several unfortunate incidents on his scooter. Aside from getting mugged in town, his scooter hit some road infrastructure problems leading to one leaky scooter.

While I’m on the subject of alternative transportation, we all know that MARTA’s rail line is limited and the bus systems around the Metro are a bitter pill to swallow with their inconveniences and costs. Let’s face it: we are stuck with cars in the metro Atlanta area. For those who are on limited budgets, it’s all incredibly tough.

So here we are in a car-based environment and it’s only going to become worse in certain areas. In Peachtree Corners, there are plans to add retail shops mixed with high-end living quarters across from The Forum on Peachtree Parkway. While this could be a nice development, there’s no doubt that traffic will worsen on Peachtree Parkway which is typically jammed with a majority of North Fulton, Forsyth and yes, local drivers – especially at rush hour. I do hope that the good officials and developers find a good balance to lessen the traffic impact.  In the case of the Peachtree Corners development, it was indeed the lesser of two perceived evils. A developer was going to build an apartment complex on that land, an unpopular move with some in Peachtree Corners. 

In sum total, the” hodgepodge metro Atlanta development”  led to these traffic nightmares. I only hope that  local governments, developers and investors become more cognizant of these traffic issues as we all go forward.

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