The 8 Thoughts That Go Through Your Mind While in Traffic

Traffic in and around Seattle is about to get really, really bad
By: Lauren Mang | Posted July 16, 2014

Today is the day that will go down in local traffic infamy: All westbound travel along I-90 will be reduced to ONE LANE near Bellevue Way Southeast as crews repair expansion joints on the bridge. Officials have said this closure could potentially create backups of up to 10 miles. Thus, The Seattle Times has warned Eastsiders to just stay home.

For up-to-date traffic information, visit WSDOT's traffic map.

Last Saturday night at 10:30 p.m., I sat in the worst traffic jam I've ever experienced-- an hour and a half--after picking up my husband and stepson from the airport. And I narrowly avoided what The Stranger called "the worst traffic weekend in Seattle history."

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If you're wise and able to, you'll heed the Times' warning and not dare to cross the great divide until this mess clears up on Friday, July 25. But if traveling across the pond cannot be avoided, you'll likely come to these 8 realizations while starting, stopping, sitting, freaking out, starting and stopping again. At least I did last weekend.

1. It's not that bad.
At this point, you see brake lights ahead of you, but you're in denial. There is no way that the people in charge would allow you--a very important and busy person with places to go--to sit for inhumane periods of time in one spot.

2. It can't be this bad.
You're inching your way along, but surely this can't continue on much longer. Surely. *finds uplifting playlist on iPhone, perhaps featuring a Steve Winwood tune*

3. Crap, it is this bad.
Your elected officials have failed you. You will sit in your car, on this road for all eternity. *snaps traffic selfie, tweets using hashtag #thanksObama*

4. I can walk faster than this.
You consider abandoning your vehicle apocalypse-style and setting out on foot. Note: Do not abandon your vehicle apocalypse-style and set out on foot.

5. Why am I not on public transit?
You endlessly praise our busses, trolleys, monorail, etc. Tomorrow you vow to only ever take public transit regardless of how many transfers, hours or crowded rides it takes.

6. I hate everyone.
You have no direct person to blame for this mess, therefore you hate every. single. person. in your line of sight, especially the other drivers/passengers who appear to be having a good time, have their music up too loudly or are hanging out their windows taking selfies.

7. I would never have scheduled this closure/designed this road this way/created so few lanes.
You become an armchair urban planner and traffic engineer. "They" have been so wrong to not have contacted you for your input.

8. Did I need to cross this bridge to get my eyelash extensions?
You question all of life's decisions. By the time you are finally free of the traffic jam, you have pledged to donate half of your paycheck to charity and volunteer every Saturday night at a local soup kitchen.