Traffic light: heavy traffic

Earlier this week I had to take a trip out to a place a couple of hours drive from the city. It was a reasonably pleasant journey, until my route took me directly through the seething megalopolis of Worcester*.

This place forms something of an agricultural hub and is reasonably big by small-town standards. This basically means that you might find a computer shop nestled next to tractor dealership. It also means that they have planted traffic lights absolutely everywhere, even though there are hardly enough cars to warrant even one of the stupid things. The timing control routine seems to have been devised by some local madman, because they have been cunningly programmed to ensure that you stop at every. damned. intersection. This has the effect of creating major congestion with only a pathetic dribble of traffic. I can just picture the city fathers gazing fondly upon this unholy mess and finding it good, because it makes a town half the size of Butthole, Montana look really, really busy. Bastards!

It was a struggle for me to relax my jaw and remember to breathe when I noticed an octogenarian with an equally decrepit hound outpacing me on the sidewalk.

* For non-locals, it’s pronounced WUSS-DUH. Coincidence? Hmm… I wonder.

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15 thoughts on “Traffic light: heavy traffic

  1. Aah, but Mr Noord, you have missed the true genius of Worcester’s traffic control – revenue!

    It is all but impossible to even circumnavigate Worcester without accruing a pink slip to be redeemed at a cost of no less than R300. And this on the national road.

    This genius is not unique to Worcester however. Touws River, Sedgefield and many other South African towns have replaced their function as being railway stops with being toll collectors. Should it not be for the end of year Cape pilgramage, they would cease to exist.

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  2. iWuss-Duh indeed!!!
    Coincidence? I doubt it!

    Deleted comment up there must be someone from Worcester – then again, I doubt they would know what a blog is…

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  3. anne: Certainly more fun than sitting in a stationary car.

    IITQ: That may be true on the national road, but I had to go via the centre of the dorp to connect up with the R60 to Robertson. Let me assure you that the stop-start nature of the journey through Worcester made it nigh impossible to achieve a speed higher than 30 km/h.

    Caroline: I could have asked him, but he was too fast for me.

    tripeak: Dunno. All I could hear was the pounding of blood in my head.

    Spookie: I wouldn’t be so sure. As we speak, they’re probably sharpening their pitchforks and firing up their torches.

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  4. When I was growing up we lived near a country placed named Worcester too. Except ours was pronounced WOOO-STER.

    It was also a scary place with old men and cows. Many cows. Lots of farm land. And nothing to do.

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  5. I’m hoping you found an alternate route for your return trip so you could avoid a repeat performance of Worcester’s finest traffic ballet. Either way, the elderly canine and human duo were still probably on their walk.

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  6. Tammy: A fair question, indeed.

    juliana: The pronunciation is similar, but our Worcester is way too dry for cows.

    LiVEwiRe: Sadly, there isn’t an easy alternative route – unless you own a four wheel drive vehicle.

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  7. I remember Wuss-Duh well, I lost my cat there on the way down from Johannesburg once. The couple who found her were very nice and friendly, they wouldn’t even accept the reward we offered. Country towns are a mix of irritation and salt of the earth experiences. And trust me, I am speaking from 3 years experience.

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