Cumberland Times-News

May 12, 2013

Courtesy

We can survive traffic congestion on Interstate 68


Cumberland Times-News

— Aggravating as it may be for those who use the east-bound portion of Interstate 68 through Cumberland, the situation is survivable.

Work on the crosstown bridge is likely to continue for some time. It’s not unusual for east-bound traffic to be backed up all the way to what in the westbound lane is the exit to Seton Drive.

In the midst of this gridlock, we see indications that courtesy is still alive in our part of the world.

Cars in the main flow are stopping to allow other cars access from the entrance lanes. One driver stops, lets another car in, and goes on. The next car in line does the same.

This may slow progress in the main highway, but it keeps traffic from being stopped altogether in the entry lane.

How does one get around this? Northbound traffic on U.S. Route 220 can avoid I-68 by going straight into Cumberland on Greene Street.

However, between the bottom of Dingle Hill and downtown Cumberland, there are five traffic signals on Greene Street. The time one sits at stoplights on Greene Street might actually exceed the time one spends driving. You also can turn left at the bottom of Dingle Hill and use Fayette Street or Washington Street.

A little local knowledge is useful. Driving in Cumberland can be a challenge even for those who have been here for a while. And, of course, more traffic lights and more cars lie ahead in the downtown area, which often is congested.

Courtesy on the part of motorists will help. Don’t pull into an intersection and block it while you’re waiting for traffic to begin moving ahead of you, if your light is about to change. Watch for pedestrians and people on bicycles who may move out in front of you (and they should watch for you).

The road doesn’t belong to us. Others have an equal right to it, and we should act toward them the way we would have them act toward us.