Picture it. It’s somewhere between 8am and 9am, the dreaded morning rush hour when hundreds if not thousands of commuters are heading into the city for their daily employment.
The cars are like rats from a burning ship, hordes snaking their way from the southern and western suburbs onto the main arterial road that is Stewart Avenue. Lined up for almost the entire length of this stretch of bitumen, from King Street all the way back to Glebe Road, each anxious to reach their destination despite the constant red traffic lights and commuters changing lanes, not to mention the congestion caused by the monstrous railway gates further down.
There you are sitting in your car, listening to the radio in the hope that it helps you pass the frustrating time as the car in front finally begins to move. Sometimes, they take just few seconds too long and you miss the green light at Glebe Road, swearing to yourself as you accept that you have now another round of lights to wait before it’s your chance again to creep forward. You look around at the cars beside you, their drivers experiencing your frustration too. Make up is being attended too, phones are illegally used, someone is open-mouthing on their hands-free. Time is ticking. You sigh, resigned to counting down impatiently until the traffic light masters feel it’s your turn again. Then, after what seems like a ridiculously torturous delay, the light is green and you go.
Off you zoom, at the front of the pack . . . until you catch up to the line of traffic before you, moving slowly but, at least moving. You’re in the right lane so things look good from here.
“To all those ignorant enough to turn right on from Stewart Avenue on the way to work, here’s the RIGHT thing to do. If you are coming to Stewart Avenue from Glebe Road, don’t!”
Then it happens. Just as you pass the fork in the road that is the Gordon Avenue turnoff, the traffic is banked up. Why? You crane your neck to see what is holding up what should be a smooth run to the office. Is it an accident where some poor person, already at risk of running late, is beside their bingled vehicle on their phone, either calling the police or their boss to explain why they won’t be on time. NO! It’s some inconsiderate SOB who decides that turning right from Stewart Avenue in peak hour is okay. The cars jolt to a halt behind them and the whole journey for many morning commuters comes to a grinding, selfish and unnecessary halt.
Every morning it is the same, as it seems the majority of offenders want to turn right near the primary school on Jenner Street. Do these people realise the chaos and enduring misery they are causing by their actions. This is a main road. There are zillions of cars. Stopping to turn right will impact on most of them and, as if the sheer volume of traffic isn’t enough, these right-hand turners make it worse. Deliberately!
It would be somewhat bearable if there wasn’t an alternative. To all those ignorant enough to turn right on from Stewart Avenue on the way to work, here’s the RIGHT thing to do. If you are coming to Stewart Avenue from Glebe Road, don’t. Stay on Glebe and turn left at National Park Street – here you will get to your destination easily without inconveniencing others. If you are coming from City Road, simply turn right into Glebe at the lights and then left down National Park Street.
If you take either of these routes, you will not cause the extended delays and frustrations you do now for many of your fellow commuters.
No doubt there are some who will just ignore this and continue to put themselves ahead of everyone else and continue to create chaos – and that’s disappointing.
Perhaps even more disappointing is that, even though everyday they can see the long line of frustrated commuters in their rear vision mirror, they didn’t think to change their route before.
Unless consideration is given, like most things, the law will take over and remove all chances of turning right from Stewart Avenue at any time. It’s a shame the offenders don’t consider this before they ply their ignorance and everyone is affected.
Dr Phil S. Styne is a contributor to Newcastle Live. If you would like to contribute articles, photos or any other form of media to Newcastle Live please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org