The 18-wheeler was about 60 feet long and weighing several thousand tonnes. It was blue, with a white trailer, and was headed up Main Street in Springdale ever so casually.
Suddenly, it cut across the road in front of traffic, and comes to a stop, heading the same way, except now in the wrong lane, like the driver is from England or Australia, parked on the side of the road.
The first car on the scene meets the rig head on, and with traffic coming in the opposite direction now able to go out around and continue on in their free lane, he has nowhere to go. So he waits – as does the second car behind him, and the third, and the fourth. I show up somewhere around seven or eight, and join the string of vehicles sitting in the middle of our lane, now looking at the front grill of a transport truck stopped on the wrong side of the road, blocking all of us from progressing any further.
Just as I arrive, the driver of the truck decides to make his move. He begins in the reverse direction. Then forward again, turning ever so slightly into the other lane, and no doubt giving a hint of fear to someone who is passing by and suddenly sees the transport truck beginning to pull out in front of them.
He goes backwards again – no one has yet to move on our side yet, because we’re probably too scared to, although, more cars have now joined our convoy.
Then as the truck is reversing, he starts to turn. It’s now I notice someone on the road, that’s either guiding the driver, guiding traffic, both, or neither. Either way, a line has now formed, similar to ours, in the other direction.
The reason? Because the driver of this rig, all 60 feet of it, is now blocking the entire road, and then some.
Inch by inch he managed to maneuver the rig to be perpendicular to the road. Now, sitting seven or so cars back, I can’t even see what’s on the other side of the truck, because it’s become like a Berlin wall between lanes.
Traffic stretches way, way back by now – people between the battle grounds are trying to back out of businesses, and go about their business, while all this is going on. Sitting in my vehicle, I feel like it’s a mini-apocalypse, as 10 minutes in, you can tell that this is affecting people greatly.
The Berlin Wall is still across the road, and the truck still hasn’t backed into the alley it’s attempting to back into. The person is still trying to direct him, but I think they’ve forgotten about all of us by now. I’m almost at the point of laughing, this is so ridiculous.
It’s the middle of the afternoon, on the busiest street in the town, and one person has suddenly brought hundreds of people’s lives to a grinding halt, because he needs to make a delivery.
Finally, he manages to get the rig back far enough that traffic on the other side can resume. Then a few minutes later, traffic on our side can resume – that’s after waiting for all those people who insist on backing out in front of the convoy that’s on the way, despite the risk of fender benders.
Fifteen minutes later, I’ve reached a couple of solutions as I’m finally headed to my destination again:
One, Springdale has a slight traffic congestion problem, albeit I have no idea how to fix it. Two, people don’t really care about safety as much as I think they do, or should, or else they wouldn’t carelessly back out of somewhere in the middle of oncoming traffic.
Finally, three, there has got to be and easier way for a delivery truck to bring freight to the grocery store.
– Rudy Norman