3-Way Stop Daydream

A DOT Engineer and City Traffic Engineer walk from their trucks toward concrete traffic barriers blocking an intersection. The intersection is two heavily-used cut-through streets between major traffic arteries in a dense suburb area next to a major mall. The flash of police lights can be seen far down each road where the detours have been placed.

“So, you didn’t put these barriers up?"

“No. And I am pretty sure you didn’t either."

“Yeah, right. What time did they get here?"

“Between 4:00 and 4:30 this morning, best we can tell. That’s when the first calls came in."

“Somebody hit one?"

“No. They just call 9-1-1 for anything. Traffic was already a pile by the time the PD got here and got the road blocks up. They had me up at 5:00 bitching about not being told about the closure. Surprise to me too."

“Some prank then, right? Drive a truck through, drop off the barriers, stick on the signs, and haul ass."

“Except for the hole."

“Hole wasn’t already there?"

“Nope. Too much traffic through here for a sink hole like that to be ignored."

“So part of the prank includes a few minutes with a backhoe. Makes them easier to track down."


“What do you make of the signs?"

“I don’t know."

There are two signs mounted on each barrier. One is larger and reads:

This is a dangerous intersection. No one driving here knows how to handle a 4-way stop. For ten years I have watched people go insane here. I will remove the barriers and fill the hole when the city hangs working traffic lights.

The smaller sign reads:

Stay away from the hole. It is deep.

“Too funny. Until they get caught anyway. So how long until you get that hole filled and these barriers out of the way?"

“I don’t know. My guys were out here this morning to drop a line down it. Then we got some people from State and UGA looking at it.”

He crumbles his empty Coke can and lobs it into the center of the hole. It falls silently into the darkness.

“They measured it as a perfect circle centered on the intersection and 2647 feet deep from the top edge. Smooth as glass except where the utilties pass through."

The DOT Engineer takes a couple of steps back from the barrier. The City Engineer grins and scratches his head under the back of his cap.

“Yeah, I think we’re going to hang some traffic lights.”

Imported from an old blog. Some links might be dead. Let me know if you find dead links.