User of Jefferson Road – Almost Accidents and Witness to Accidents

I have been using Jefferson Road for as long as I started work in Rochester NY, about 2 months ago. Not long, but long enough to know it is a dangerous road.

It is a very busy road, especially in the peak hours, 7-9 and 4-8, and a very straight road. It is a very convenient road that brings people from the East straight to the West on the suburbs of Rochester, and many from SouthEast to join the highway to the city. But seriously I think people love it because it gets us straight from East Rochester to West Rochester, and vice versa with no hassle. And it is also a one-lane road.

Much as it is useful, joining Jefferson Rd is like fleeing for your life that involved accelerated heart-beating, the occasional car horn and the risk of getting into accidents and endangering your life, if not high blood pressure from all that stress. Driving along Jefferson Rd is like being in the hot seat; you constantly look out for inconsiderate users and sudden brakes, tailgating car boot sniffers. Because it is such a convenient road, people expect it to be fast and smooth, anyone trying to break the flow is “pushed aside” for e.g. people trying to get off Jefferson Rd. They slow down and the car behind –that’s me, can’t wait and use the shoulder instead to continue my journey. This is very dangerous actually, because part of my view is blocked by the car that is turning. Some cars turning into my road thinks there is a break in traffic flow and now hits into me. But we do it all the time. I do it all the time. We don’t have an additional lane to overtake.

Recently a construction started in the middle of Jefferson Road, intersecting Clover Rd. It will provide green arrows at all left-turns (turning into Jefferson Rd) which is what I wanted. Building sidewalks along Clover Rd is also very essential for the cyclists crossing to the canal. But meanwhile, traffic is still dangerous and perhaps made worse by the human traffic lights and occasional trucks reversing. Did I tell you I am waiting for the day when I don’t have to pray for at least a second place in line on the left-only lane so that I can stick my car as close as possible to the car boot infront and prepare to step on the gas when the light turns red? There is no green left arrows at left-turns. The opposite traffic on Clover Rd is never-ending at green light so there is no chance to steal a turn at traffic flow breaks because there is no traffic flow. So we can only wait for the our red light and squeeze in 2 seconds for a turn before the cars perpendicular to us reach our butts.

I’ve almost gotten into dangerous situations (sudden braking e.g.) a few times on this road but none as alarming as this morning’s. I know I have to charge out to join the traffic on Jefferson’s because sadly, 1, there is no traffic light to direct me, and 2, the breaks in traffic between the two opposing lane is often just… too small. I turned out and was blasted with this loud, continuous car horn. In shock and not knowing where the sound came from, my wheel swerved off to the shoulder for a while. After the sun stop blinding, after i regain my position on the road, i saw, in my rearview mirror, a white car driven by a woman with both her hands in the air, swearing. I cursed at the color of the car. White– what an opaque color, especially in the blinding sun. Stupid tall jeep was blocking my view before I turned out.

Second incident. Same morning, same drive. I was driving in a daze, still replaying the previous incident in my head when a silver dodge neon (the one with the ugly round headlights like a bee) went off the road, couldn’t brake in time and bounced softly on the back of a red hatchback small-jeep look-alike. The red hatchback rolled a few metres to a halt, absorbing the shock I suppose, and came to a stop on the shoulder. I imagine the driver getting ready to confront the silver. I don’t know, I drove too fast away.

A total of 4 cars was involved. The reason the red jeep gave a sudden brake (that caused the silver neon to hit into it) was because 2 cars was trying to turn out from a side road to my road to the side with the opposite direction of traffic. The first car that tried to turn out had its boot somewhere in the middle of the road, it stopped right there when the accident happened and drove quickly away as soon as the accident took place. It was perhaps a neutral color car, maybe gray. The second car that tried to turn, followed closely behind but my view was blocked. I wasn’t sure if the jeep hit it but when the accident happened, it was placed anywhere between the side road and half of the road on my direction of traffic flow. If anything, it should be this car that’s largely responsible for the the red jeep to go off the road and hit the divider and for the silver neon to crash into jeep’s car.

I think this is my first time, in my entire life so far, witnessing an accident this close, first-hand in real-time and not being a participant of it.

On a totally different topic: I want a holiday. Sobs.

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One response to this post.

  1. I live in Seattle and we have a freeway just like that – 405. When it’s not backed up (which is often) people drive fast and recklessly, especially after 6pm at night when things open up. It’s the quickest way home from work, so I still use it, but would love to have another alternative.

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