The Big DumpTruck

Throwing Little Thought Pebbles at Your Windshield Since 1996

Time Stands Still

Apparently, there was a report of a pipe bomb on the side of the on ramp to route 2 from Route 12 in Leominster. We had made arrangements to meet my parents for lunch at UNOs at the Twin City Mall at noon, so we gave ourselves an extra 10 minutes to get there, assuming there would be some extra “NEXT TO THE LAST SATURDAY!” Christmas shoppers out there.

We did not anticipate route 12 being shut down while the police and the bomb squad dealt with the pipe bomb issue. We did NOT allow ourselves enough time to get through the horrific backups that the pipe bomb caused. For those of you familiar with the area, it took us an HOUR to get from the Brooks Pharmacy on Main Street (near Prospect St.) to Unos. We were just trying to go down Main, turn right on Hamilton Street, straight through the lights at North Main (Route 12) and up Lindell.

Problem is, everyone trying to drive toward Fitchburg on route 12 was being sent either up Lindell or down Hamilton. That is, when the cop directing traffic decided to actually let people from Hamilton Street move forward. Can someone explain to me what would possess the guy directing traffic to let us move 1/2 the number of cars as the other lanes? We were backing people up all the way to Main Street! Plus, with people trying to pull out of streets and parking lots (the Shaws back entrance, the cheerleading place), there was a level of gridlock forming that would not be relieved unless he actually allowed some of us to flow through the intersection. Dude, you see how they are all backed up? That’s because they can’t go anywhere. If you keep letting people take a left, and they get stuck, we will be blocked and nobody will be able to move for the rest of the day. Do you understand that you are CAUSING this problem?

Do they not teach “directing traffic effectively” anymore in policeman school? As we went into insulin shock in the car, I mentioned to Mr. Dump about the time I was stuck at “7 Corners” (or whatever it’s called) in Lancaster and the guy directing traffic literally let each street completely empty (like 4-5 minutes, no lie) before letting traffic on the next street move. I sat there TWENTY MINUTES without moving, and this bozo was actually directing traffic. And *I* was on the only street that actually had the legal right of way (no stop signs).

Do officers have to pass some kind of test on the best way to direct traffic at a major intersection before they are allowed to do so? I am not trying to be mean. I am trying to prevent them from being run over by hundreds of drivers experiencing police-induced road rage.

So I’m glad the police detonated the “bomb” (results pending) and nobody was hurt and my parents only had to sit in a restaurant for 45 minutes waiting for us to make the 5 minute drive over. But what a damper it puts on the day.

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  1. Smeg

     /  December 17, 2006

    Is that what it was! GAH!

    We we’re trying to get to the Petco at exit 31 on Route 2. Took us almost 15 minutes to drive the .5 of a mile to the store *grr*. This was with two antsy pugs howling and woofing in the back seat too.

  2. Nicholle

     /  December 18, 2006

    Well that would explain why traffic was more backed up on route 13 than usual….

  3. Christine

     /  December 18, 2006

    I was away this weekend and missed all the fun. And fun it sounds.

  4. Anonymous

     /  December 19, 2006

    The cops have forgotten how to do real traffic directing. They stand around on road jobs so much looking into a hole, they don’t know what to do in a real situation. It’s not much better when Doyle Field gets out either by Evergreen Cemetry. I did hear one supervisor yell at a newbie cop to “exercise your authority”.
    I need to remember that phrase when dealing with my teenagers. Jer

  5. Bill

     /  December 19, 2006

    Traffic-directing is not taught in cop school and bomb disarmament is taught to willing graduates.