Traffic: Surprising Fast, Until a Truck gets in the Way

A photo of the obstruction.

July 16, 2019

It has been far too long since I last posted a blog post, so let’s just pretend that it hasn’t and I’ll get on with writing about the actual topic.

Today, I was waiting for the bus at about the location where I took the above picture from and enjoying the cool air of the day, when I noticed delivery truck had stopped in the middle of the street. Now, this street wasn’t just any street—it was a small, crowded street in downtown Guelph at just past 5 PM on a Friday evening. It wasn’t the first time that I had seen a delivery truck parked there for dropping some supplies off, but I’d never seen it there when there were cars parked along the side of the road as well.

The placement of the delivery truck, straddling the middle of the street, combined with the slant-parked cars managed to completely block traffic on one direction of the road. Just after the truck had stopped and the driver inside had started to unload things, my bus arrived as well, in the blocked direction.

One thing that I realized about traffic is that it’s normally quite fast. A red traffic control signal usually doesn’t last more than a minute or two, and otherwise, you’ll usually be moving. The same goes for walking around and other methods of transportation. I guess it just makes it more jarring when something like a truck blocking the entirety of a traffic lane happens.

I wasn’t in any particular hurry to get anywhere, so I found the whole experience mildly humorous, but I imagine the people who were stuck behind the truck for close to ten minutes considered it less so. It felt surreal: a bus full of people just stopped there, cars waiting behind it, other busses taking detours at the previous intersection—so much disruption caused by a single person unloading a truck.

The deliveryman responsible for the truck eventually noticed that traffic had been blocked, and went to discuss with the bus driver. They talked about something, and then the deliveryman continued unloading.

By the time the truck moved, the next bus along the bus route had caught up, and I was treated to the experience of two busses that went to the exact same stops, right next to each other. It was quite the reminder of just how little it can take to disrupt a lot of stuff.

That's it for this blog! A short one, granted, but hopefully, a return to semi-regular posts. The astute reader may have noticed that the picture at the top takes up more space than usual. Such is the power of editing each blog in raw HTML (Don't worry, I've automated the creation of the HTML documents). Until next time, dear reader!

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