Saturday, July 25, 2009

Something about traffic

Maybe you have heard of the Gotthard Tunnel in Switzerland. I mean the Gotthard Road Tunnel not the one for the railway. It is the third longest road tunnel of the world (16.9 kilometers, roughly 10 statute miles). It was built between 1970 and 1980 and it is one of the three major transit axis through the alps and part of the shortest motorway link between Hamburg an Sicily. So you can imagine that everybody who thinks it's not to be topped to spend summer holidays together with 2 Million other intellectually challenged at a beach in Italy has to pass that tunnel (and back). That's nothing special except that the tunnel back then was built with one lane per direction only. The motorway leading to the tunnel has 2 lanes each direction. What does that mean? Right, traffic jams. Now, since 1980 this is pretty much predictable: you don't wanna go there southbound at the beginning of the easter weekend, the ascension day weekend and the pentecote weekend and you don't wanna go northbound at the end of those weekends. Furthermore you don't wanna go anywhere near that tunnel during the summer school holidays, neither south- nor northbound. So far so good. Now if you listen to traffic reports you hear about traffic jams of 4, 5, 9 and sometimes 15 kilometers in front of both portals. 5 kilometers means roughly two (TWO) hours of waiting time... Now here is what I don't understand: What exactly do those people think? Something like "you will see, there was ALWAYS a queue on this weekend for the last 29 years! This year they will all go on Friday and we will go on Saturday and it will be FREEEEE" ? Or what? Fact is it doesn't matter what day you go, IT'S ALWAYS BLOCKED! So my conclusion is those people just don't care and don't mind sitting in their cars on a motorway for 4 hours in the heat with the kids in the backseat moaning. But when I think about it now, it probably doesn't male a difference: Those guys just spend 4 hours on the motorway together with the same 2 million of idiots they will see again at the beach in Rimini or Jesolo.

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