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Travels of a Trucker Pet Peeves

January 28, 2012

I was traveling along the other day and there were so many things bothering me. I kept thinking to myself, I have to blog this out there or I will stew upon it everyday. So what was it that was bothering me? Well it was the way people drive. Living in the Vancouver area, we do not have the luxury of having every road or street being connected to another that will take you out of the city. No, unfortunately, Vancouver is surrounded by water every which way you go and the endless bridges required to get anywhere do nothing but create havoc. As a matter of fact some days I think out loud to myself and say where the f does all this traffic come from!!

Just off the top of my head in the Vancouver area, we have the Queensborough Bridge, Port Mann Bridge, The Alex Fraser Bridge, Pattullo Bridge, Cambie Street Bridge, Arthur Laing Bridge, George Massey Tunnel, The Golden Ears Bridge, Lions Gate Bridge, Iron Workers Memorial Bridge. I know I am missing one or two here, but for the purposes of this article suffice to say it is more than enough. The problem is the infrastructure of these bridges is outdated by at least 50 years for some of them. They have made the bridge decks too narrow for trucks to travel side by side even as a 2 lane bridge on either side. They have made each bridge with a twist on the end. A good example is the Pattullo Bridge which has a sharp 20-30 degree turn at the end making it a potentially deadly site for crashes and sideswipes by vehicles. (Especially a semi and a larger Cube Van trying to turn the corner at the same time. As a matter of fact, there have been so many deadly crashes on this bridge that at night they put out the orange safety cones and shut the middle lane of each side down because it is so narrow. In the picture below, you can just see the start of the turn, but look at the car and the truck, you can see they are already very close on a straight section. Now add a sharp turn and give that truck a trailer and he has to go wide which puts those other cars in danger trying to pass him.

Another view of the curve

But what gets me is that on the approach to these bridges, there are 4 lanes which become 2. Everyone figures it is their God given right to be in front of the truck and they will either not give way to a merge and allow a truck in or they will race up the lanes being pinched off to beat the truck regardless if they are going to fast to merge in safely anyways.

Secondly, the Queensborough Bridge. The engineers really fubared this one up. Originally there was a light on Stewardson way which allowed 2 lanes from 20th street and 2 lanes from Stewardson. If you were coming from Burnaby you had to go around. Now they made an interchange which allowed Marine Way access, but they made 4 lanes of traffic try to get into 1 lane. You have 2 lanes coming up Stewardson and 2 lanes coming down 20th street and 1 lane coming off 6th avenue. Everyone needs to share the merging and it is a nightmare. Traffic can be blocked literally during Rush hour from the top of 10th ave all the way to the Bridge Deck. It is an absolute nightmare and because I live in the area, it pisses me off that sometimes I can’t even get home. What I feel like telling people is go work elsewhere or move closer to your job…what you can’t find affordable housing closer to your work? Well quit your damn job and find something close to home. Too bad for you.

Webcam Image: Hwy91A_QB-W

If I was in charge of New Westminster….there would be a price to pay if you want to travel through this city. I would make every entrance to this inaccessible to people unless you lived in the city and charge taxes for running on our streets. You want to drive through New Westminster, please pay our tolls. That would be my philosophy. That would make a ton of people go drive elsewhere. yes I know, very Nimbyish, but hey, it;s my blog and it’s my thought…lol. If they don’t like it, don’t drive. Take transit!!

What my pet peeve is though is that during the morning and afternoon rush hour, everyone is trying to get across the bridge and lots of people are lined up all the way down Stewardson Way. Now the problem is the other lane goes into Burnaby and there is a solid no merge lane near the top, but faithfully guaranteed there are a variety of yahoos who figure they can go to the top and cut in making everyone of us wait longer for our turn. It never fails to play out daily when this occurs. I would love nothing more than to wring their necks and throw their licenses back into the cracker jack barrel they dug em up from. Not only do they hold up others trying to get into Burnaby, they are pissing everyone else in line off because they figure if they cheat the will be laughing all the way across the bridge. Now don;t play me for a fool, I know you do this a hundred times a year and one day it is going to bite you in ass!!! Someone is going to rear end you and kill you (Like a large truck) or your going to piss the wrong road rage person off….not me, but there is always someone out there who would do it.

The other things that Pet Peeve me…people cutting in front of me and stepping on Brakes. People who don’t clean their windshields off in the morning and expect everyone to see them when they make an ass of themselves cutting someone off cause they couldn’t see. People who race through a Red Light. People who don;t stop at pedestrian intersections. There are many more, but the bottom line is driving is a privilege and not your God given ancestral right. If people were retrained after every screw up, they may think twice if the screw up caused them to have to take more classes at their expense every time they screwed up. Say for example that a person is a classic Yellow to Red Light racer and they got caught…retrain them to drive the posted speed limits. If they cut in front of trucks…have them sit in a truck for a class at the $100 per hour fee it costs a student truck driver and see how that feels. Well thats enough for me for this article.

As always, my faithful readers, thanks for reading, keep those wheels shiny side up, drive safe and arrive alive. If you like what I write, be sure to follow along through email. You can also find me on Twitter or on Facebook. I am always looking for a sponsor and if you have any products for me to try or give away, be sure to email me at rogerdsims2002@yahoo.ca

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/#!/truckerofbc

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5 Comments
  1. We often ran a figure eight of the burrard, granville and cambie bridges.
    Drivers here suck. When I first moved here from back east, a friend put it really well

    “picture Montreal driving styles, but take away the skill”

    I sold my car after only 6 months. Walk or transit for me.

    • Hahaha good analogy Chris… there is a saying that if you move back East your moving back to Canada! Thanks for reading.

  2. It’s hard enough to drive a car here, let alone a big truck! I commend you for not being one of the tailgaters. It ticks me off when people cut in front of the big trucks and screw up the merging lane so bad. And when they cut in at Brunette/Columbia going towards Coquitlam at that right turn, they run all the way up the left lane and wait for a truck to come and then dart in front of him. Jerks. Good post!

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