Traffic jam galore!

So last night I was leaving to take Andrew and Kyle to karate. I go the normal way, down the street around the corner to the next block and back up the street to the light. Why go that way when there is a subdivision exit closer to my house? Well the other exit has a stop light which takes all the nightmare out of trying to turn left onto the major road. Plain and simple. So last night it took me 10 minutes to get from my house onto that major road! I kid you not! It is only 2 blocks and it took me 10 minutes to drive it. Why? Because of traffic! It would be “rush hour” time of sorts. That’s normal. But this was NOT normal.

We had parking violations galore! I was pissed!

If you read the TxDot driver’s handbook, it is clearly stated that:

1. On the roadway side of any vehicle stopped or parked at the edge or
curb of a street.
2. On a sidewalk.
3. Within an intersection.
4. On a crosswalk.
5. Between a safety zone and adjacent curb or within 30 feet of a place on
the curb immediately opposite the end of a safety zone.
6. Alongside or opposite any street excavation or obstruction when stop-
ping, standing, or parking would obstruct traffic.
7. Upon a bridge or other elevated structure upon a highway or within a
highway tunnel.
8. On any railroad track.
9. At any place where an official sign prohibits stopping.

[PDF –]

It seems pretty clear and easy to understand to me. All TX drivers had to read and understand this information to GET their driver’s license in the first place. This shouldn’t be an issue, right?


What did I see?

• Cars parked along the curb on both sides of the street, bumper to bumper…Notice the both sides of the street? Well that is clearly a violation of #6 as it was certainly obstructing traffic. You have a major entrance with a light that a lot of people use narrowed down to a single lane of traffic to go in and out of a residential area at going home time! You tell me was there an obstruction?
• Parking within intersections, on the corner part of the corner in the intersections, etc. A clear violation of #3.
• If you consider a cross walk the normal cross the street at the corners position, whether drawn or not…then yes, violation of #4. Crosswalk at the light was infringed upon.

But wait, there is more…

The TxDot driver’s handbook also reads:

DO NOT PARK OR STAND A VEHICLE(whether occupied or not): (Temporarily stopping to comply with signs, signals, etc., is not considered parking or standing.)
1. In front of a public or private driveway.
2. Within 15 feet of a fire hydrant.
3. Within 20 feet of a crosswalk at an intersection.
4. Within 30 feet upon the approach to any flashing signal, stop sign, yield
sign, or other traffic control signal located at the side of a roadway.
5. Within 20 feet of the driveway entrance to any fire station and on the side
of a street opposite the entrance to any fire station within 75 feet of said

[PDF –]

So here we go again…

• If hanging over a private driveway by 1-3 feet counts as parking in front of the public or private driveway, we clearly had LOTS of violations of #1.
• Parking right smack dab in front of the happy smiling fire hydrant. Yep, that is clearly a violation of #2.
• Since they were no more than 1 car length from the stop light and cross walk that is there…that is clearly a violation of both #3 and #4. Double bang for your buck there!
• Well not only were they only a car’s length from the stop light, let us remember that there is also a stop sign there. Yep, parked right under it, right all the way to the freaking corner. Clear violation of #4.

Now you’re probably wondering how I even got down the street. Well a little defensive and aggressive driving is necessary in situations like this. I am sure I ticked off at least 1 driver but I am sure they were plenty ticked before I decided I wasn’t sitting and waiting for anyone else to go, I was going!

So why all the traffic…well it wasn’t evident, at first…I thought it was just someone having a party. It isn’t uncommon for houses in that particular area, but I’ve never experienced traffic problems like this in spite of the parties…I was totally scratching my head on this one.

I drove the kids to karate as usual. Stopped at Walgreen’s to pick up my medicine. Then drove back by the subdivision on the way to Wal-mart to get another laptop cooler thing for Ben. The traffic was still a nightmare. You can only imagine how bad that intersection was backed up. I was mighty tempted to call the County Sheriff’s department. I didn’t.

I called a friend, Linn, on my way out of Wal-mart griping about the traffic. I just needed someone to understand my gripe and let me vent. She pointed out that there is a Sports Bar & Grill right there across the major road on that intersection and about how it was some championship game of some sort. Sure enough the parking lot for the sports bar was FULL. Must be it…

So I am rounding the curve on the major road and the subdivision is in sight again. What do I see? More traffic, of course…but better yet, not 1 but 2 Harris County Sherrif’s Department cars with flashing lights. One of them has the entrance to the subdivision blocked. There are 2 tow trucks sitting in the parking lot at the Sports Bar. I am all giddy with excitement. Finally something would be done.

I drive back over to the karate studio to get Andrew and Kyle. By the time I get back to the subdivision about 30 minutes later, the Sherrif’s Department is gone and I can easily turn into my own neighborhood without having to fight the traffic. There is still clearly a TON of misc cars parked along the road, but they are no longer blocking the intersections and they are not within 100 feet of the stop light. Good!

They had managed to clear up enough of the cars that you were able to see the sign there to remind you that the “model home” there at that entrance (still a new build subdivision) is having an “auction” of goods. My word!

So when you have a Sports Bar with an under sized parking lot on a championship game combined with a model home decor auction on a single intersection and a bunch of idiotic drivers, you get a major traffic jam and a lot of pissed off residents!

So people, if you have to park along a roadway, please be considerate of those around you. Even if it means that you have to park further away and walk an extra block, don’t completely hinder the flow of traffic because you MIGHT think you are getting a good deal, but are really still paying way too much for model home decor! You might want to refer to your Texas Driver’s Handbook before you hit the roads the next time. It looks like a lot of you clearly need a refresher course!

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