Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Y Take a Chance

My favorite wrecks, of course, are the folks who cannot decide whether or not they want to get off of the freeway, so in their indecision they simply hit the EXIT signs. The signs are usually breakaways, or there are energy absorbing crash barriers, so any injuries are likely to be minor.

After crossing the Poplar Street Bridge (I-55,70,64,44/Mississippi River) when we came back from Missouri this evening (Tuesday), there was a crash in the westbound lanes on the Illinois side. It was right at the point where the westbound lanes separate into two parallel two-lane roadways. The highway splits because the approach ramps to the bridge had to be weaved through the supports of an existing railroad trestle. Since the two roadways rejoin again at the east end of the bridge, the giant green signs over each side of the split say “SAINT LOUIS ALL LANES” – there are also highways shields for each of the Interstates on each of the signs. You guessed it, someone hit the crash barrier right in the middle of the split. Why? I checked and could not find an injury report so hopefully no one was hurt. But why? How indecisive would you have to be to not be able to decide between, you know, A and A? In spite of the two thirty-foot or more big green signs that essentially say “it simply does not matter which lane you are in,” the driver of that car this evening apparently just couldn’t make a choice and smacked into the center of the "Y" instead. This is the four-wheeler equivalent of the hanging chad.

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