It’s time to start getting in summer driving mode

May 4, 2014

Dare I say it, think it, breathe it…Yikes! Run for your lives - beach traffic is coming. You’ve probably noticed traffic is starting to creep in slowly on the weekend. The line of vehicles to get into Rehoboth resembles a sequel of an action movie like “The Terminator,” where the earth is taken over by robotic pod people disguised as pharmacists causing a mass exodus of major cities after a debilitating garbage strike.

Now, for those of you who live year-round in Lewes, Rehoboth is located three miles south. And yes, you have to go out onto to Route 1 at some point, so be sure and bring your photo ID. Your driver’s license won’t qualify, since it will have expired twice over while you are sitting in traffic, losing red blood cells by the ton. There are a lot of obstacles on the highway this time of year too. Please, for heaven’s sake, try maneuvering around, not over, those drivers with their faces in the pavement kicking, screaming and even begging.

Surely, the quickest way to get to Rehoboth Beach from Lewes in the summer is to fly to North Carolina, rent a car and take the I-95 corridor north, then merge onto the 101 Freeway, then exit the ramp marked for Dewey Beach and backtrack back onto Route 1. I know many of you will disagree, citing Dallas as the easiest route. But I think the North Carolina route may be more scenic and certainly has better food. You will need to keep up your strength.

We’ve got to start getting in our summer mode. I know we are used to having the sidewalks to ourselves and parking right in front of the store. OK, that was the week we had five inches of snow and no city employee could find the keys to the one snowplow the city owns. Just kidding, of course, we all know the snow truck is just a rental.

But we need to start on a major adjustment now. In fact, I would recommend you answer one question to find out if you are ready for the summer invasion. Suppose you are behind a driver who is in the passing lane going the speed of a grand marshal at the start of the Rose Bowl Parade. In fact, one person walking on the side of the road, using a cane, has already passed this vehicle. Still, the driver will not move over and let other traffic pass.

Do you: a) travel patiently behind this car, understanding that eventually you will get to your destination or b) pass this vehicle on the right side, conscious of the driver’s feelings, since it’s obvious they aren’t aware of the three-mile backup they are causing, or c) call in a drone strike.

Of course, “c,” calling in a drone strike, is the correct answer, which means we have some work to do. You see, traffic is all about cultivating relationships. You have to view that mattress flapping up and down atop the car in front of you for the last 10 miles as one way of expressing itself that a family is on board. Cutting the strings that have it attached to the car at the next stoplight is one way for you to express your own self. Well, that and the fact that your brain has turned to particles of dust and the next relationship you will have is when you hear the phrase, “All rise.”

So you need to learn to relax. To help with that may I suggest a trip to New York City and a cab ride from the airport? Here you will attain speeds that will break the sound barrier, travel up over curbs and blow out an aneurysm as the cab narrowly misses two wheelchairs parked at the crosswalk.

After that, traffic here on Route 1 in the summer doesn’t seem so bad. Stay calm and carry on; it’s just the beginning.

  • Nancy Katz has a degree in creative writing and is the author of the book, "Notes from the Beach." She has written the column Around Town for the Cape Gazette for twenty years. Her style is satirical and deals with all aspects of living in a resort area on Delmarva.

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