Human overconfidence, hubris, distraction cause traffic peril

Dear editor,

After 20 years of working out of home, I have for the past three months been commuting in the Comox Valley's traffic.

Dear editor,

After 20 years of working out of a home office, the latter part of it surrounded by an airplane noise, rooster crowing, and lawn tractor loving demographic, I have for the past three months been immersed in, and commuting, in the Comox Valley’s traffic.

Every day I travel the Ryan Road corridor from the base through the Lerwick intersection.

Rarely in the 80 km/h zone do we do 80; 70, 60 or 50 is more the norm. In the posted 60 km/h stretch from Costco to midway down the Ryan hill, 50 or less seems to be most favoured.

On the way back up the hill does anyone really read the sign before the Catholic Church that says Keep Right Except to Pass.

And it doesn’t say “unless you are turning at the college, Home Depot, Costco, or just going to little river or the base.”

I guess I could pass on all this driver dementia and ride my bicycle and get in better shape, and save some money for the lawyer when the person who can’t stay out of the shoulder runs me off the road.

Shoulders are for leaning on, or stopping in an emergency, or to answer your cell phone; so why do so many of us drive in them?

Maybe it’s because we didn’t pull over to answer our phone, look for that CD, touch up a hairdo, or wait till we got home to stuff our faces with the fast food from the local drive-thru?

There are not enough cops and traffic courts, red-light cameras, or radar, to deal with human overconfidence, confirmation-bias, hubris, and the ensuing distraction and operational complacency we constantly display while driving.

We can see you munching down in your mirrors.

Mayor Jangula is right to propose an alternative Ryan Road and Lerwick traffic exchange.

It is not a speeder, but an indecisive or overaggressive five-km/h left-turner who is going to T-bone and maim me, or put me in my grave.

I’ve ridden a motorcycle as a vehicle for over 30 years, and realize my 35 times risk of catastrophe every time I turn my ignition key. I guess I like risk.

Maybe I’m crazy, but I suspect lessening the risk of catastrophe and suffering is the driver behind the mayor of Courtenay’s bold Ryan/ Lerwick traffic circle proposal.

I’ve seen plenty of confusion and befuddlement at our existing roundabout circles, but have yet to see any collisions, broken cars, or broken bodies.

We’ll figure it out. Humans have been walking and thinking, painting and drawing, circles for hundreds of thousands of years; far longer than we’ve been driving in them.

Motorcycles are all about risk. If one is worried about safety, a car with seat belts, a steel body and airbags is a better choice, I’d suggest; or working at home might be a low-risk option.

But I don’t work at home. So I’ll keep playing probability and making my commute; sitting on a deck in silence is golden, but that doesn’t mean I want to die on your grill or your hood.

So I calculated the risks like Mayor Jangula has, and it didn’t take me long to realize that a traffic circle would be a smart, cheap, long term investment, in minimizing the potential of the meat-grinder intersection of Lerwick and Ryan Road. to continually produce, violent collisions, and life-altering, untold, and unnecessary human suffering.

As opposed to eating a hood, I’m into hearing out the mayor.

Steve W. Hodge,

Courtenay

 

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