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Waiting in Line (or, how humans are lemmings)

I live near this small town in Delaware named “Middletown”.

At the intersection of 71 and 299, there is a single stop light, 4 way (with turn lanes) stop in the middle of town. Everyday I drive North on Route 1 to get to work and South on Route 1 to come home. The closest exit to where I live is the 299 exit off of Route 1. So, I would be approaching town from the right (headed West). Now, since the overwhelming majority of people that live in Middletown and Townsend work in either Dover or Wilmington, most people use Route 1 or 13 for the commute. (If you use 13, you just don’t want to pay the toll and are a cheapskate).

Anyway. Everyday, when I get off the exit headed towards Middletown, there is a line... A LONG LINE of people waiting at the light at 299/71. Like, a mile long... Now, as you can see from the above map, Middletown was built with the logical “Block” concept where the roads are in squares surrounding the main intersection. One way streets and everything. Aside from Lake street, which is not really the best street, the rest of the streets are normal small town neighborhood streets. Why oh Why do all these people wait at the light like 1984 zombies waiting for the light to change? Why doesn’t anyone go down the side blocks? Wouldn’t that make life so much easier? Or, perhaps, spend the 2 miles it takes to learn the shortcuts to avoid the intersection in the middle of town all-together and save alot less stress.

It makes me sad to make the turn to avoid the intersection, like I do everyday, and see the long line of people waiting... So sad.

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