Traffic transitions make patience an even bigger virtue

We all know it’s coming:?the influx of traffic as the weather gets warmer and the summer season swings into gear. And this year (and for a few years to come), we have an added complication to our high-traffic times:?the Route 26 improvement project.

The end result will be a safer and swiffter commute to work or to the beach, but until then, we can expect a certain number of headaches, as lane closures cause traffic backups and a little more time spent behind the wheel. Those who already know the ins and outs of the area’s back roads will be weighing whether a longer distance traveled might make for a quicker trip, and others may be lamenting that they’re not quite sure how else to get from place to place, until they decide to go off the beaten path (and maybe find a scenic detour they’ll take for years to come?).

With changes in traffic patterns already beginning and others on the horizon, it’s a good time to remind ourselves of the value of patience.

We’ve all seen it, and many of us have done it:?A driver pulling out quickly into oncoming traffic to get on the road a few seconds faster, or a few cars ahead, or exceeding the speed limit to make up for time lost to traffic, or sliding through a stop sign or a yellow light, or nosing into the backup so they don’t have to wait as long as did those guys they’re trying to meld in with.

Plain and simple:?It’s not worth it. Those 10 seconds, or three minutes, you save by jumping out into oncoming traffic aren’t worth the risk to you or the other driver, and the accident that might result will not only cost you more than the time you might have saved but more, in terms of money and hassle, or worse. Nor does losing your temper with a driver who, just like you, is trying to get somewhere, help anyone. You’re more likely to make a mistake, and you never know how the other driver will react.

We’re all in this together, trying to enjoy life in this great place through all the little hassles involved in making it even better.?So lets give each other, and construction workers, a break. Drive safely, let the other guy into traffic and wave a thank-you when you get a kindness shown to you. Relax. You’re at the beach.

And let’s also be patient with a little delay, so we can still visit all of our great local businesses, which are well worth the extra few minutes it might take to get there.