Tar Heel Fan

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Fireworks at State Fairgrounds; Traffic Chaos Ensues

So for the Fourth of July, Tar Heel Fan took the Tar Heel Family out to the North Carolina State Fairgrounds to witness the most impressive fireworks display involving no more than two explosions at a time in the country. Of course extracting yourself afterwards is a complete disaster leading me to wonder why, after all these years, someone in the Raleigh PD or State Highway Patrol has not figured out how to empty the parking lots at the fairgrounds without total chaos. I actually had the kids and wife in the car before the fireworks ended but as soon as they were over every car made a move. We were in a parking lot by the fairgrounds of Trinity Rd and needed to get back on Trinity turning right and then left on Blue Ridge Rd to get back to Lake Boone Trail and the Beltline. So I was able to exit my row on the the road heading out to Trinity and so did pretty much everyone else which create a situation where about four cars where attempting to line up in the same spot. In addition to the traffic all of the people who were inside the fairgrounds started walking through creating a car/pedestrian nightmare. At this point I move my van up close to the side of another van to seal of my front and force the walkers to go elsewhere. Traffic is barely moving it at all and at one point I look to see this woman standing in front of my car as though she is directing the pedestrian traffic. As the cars move I am unable to since she is standing there and it permits an SVU to push in front of me keeping me in place. My wife gets out of the can and goes to ask the woman to move out of our way. She then says she was in the SVU that is now cutting in front of me and that we "came from behind" and was attempting to cut them off. A driver from behind me comes up to yell at the woman and says he would have hit her had he been in my place. Eventually a Raleigh cop who was walking around doing everything she could to earn her overtime pay told the woman to get back in her vehicle. A second driver told me he wished I would have hit her. Click on diagram to enlarge: Eventually we straighten out into two lanes with the Tar Heel Van behind SUV in question but the SUV's move proved to be bad one and the lane we are in is being pinched off and cannot move. So I starting pushing right and a very nice driver let me in allowing me to move into their lane which was having more success in getting onto Trinity Rd. We passed the SUV and exited the lot first claiming a small victory. So it's over right? Not entirely. When I get onto Trinity Rd there are two lanes moving down to the police controlled intersection at Blue Ridge Rd. I was unsure whether both lanes were turning left so I moved to the left lane from the right lane. About that time the right lane on Trinity moves up quite a bit because some drivers a turning right on Blue Ridge. The SUV, which has exited the lot, drives by in the right lane and the woman turns her head to stare at us the whole time they are passing by. At this point I could care less since the traffic would eventually move into Blue Ridge. We make it down to the light a turn left and traverse past Wade Ave where the left lane we are in really opens up and we pass numerous cars in the right lane(which is moving slowly) including the woman's SUV, who honks furiously at us as we go by!!!! Now in a situation like it is pure chaos. All you can do is protect the six inches around your vehicle, do your best to slide into the best space or lane available and hope that(like me) you get a nice person who will let you in their lane to get out. The question I would ask that woman now was whether gaining one spot ahead of my vehicle based on the notion that I was cutting in from behind worth acting like a complete jerk in front of her family and having countless numbers of people who witnessed her action walk away talking about what a completely worthless human being she was for standing in front of another vehicle to prevent them from moving so your vehicle could slide in ahead. I would think not and the results speak for themselves and because I did nothing to impunge my reputation with the drivers around me I was given a courtesy to move over and ultimately exited the lot ahead of someone who acted like idiot in the middle of total chaos. I do not believe in karma, but that looked an awful lot like it.

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