Well it is official. Driving in Edmonton is a frustrating experience. There was a time only a few years ago where a person had no real thoughts about the delays and the traffic nightmares that exist now. The founders of Edmonton had no way of knowing that it would swell to the population level it currently has, and the infrastructure never really developed with the growth. Well now the city has been forced to deal with the high number of cars on the roads by widening streets and bridges, and extending rapid transit lines to move people. A person can understand the need for all of the construction there is here. What a person has trouble dealing with is how long it takes to travel any distance because of the constant stopping, and for no reason. Here is a typical example. I leave a red light on a road that is marked 60 kmph. I do the speed limit and the next
light will turn yellow and then red as I near it. If I am patient, the light will change and the same thing will happen at the next intersection. By the time you get to the third light, a person is tired of stopping when there is no reason to and you speed up to get through the next light that will be turning red. But guess what?? There is a red light camera at that location that will snap a shot of your license plate as you angrily roar through the offending intersection. What kind of IDIOT!! Designed the lights to work this way??
There seems to be two different schools of thought. One is that the lights should be timed so that if traffic is maintaining the speed limit, it will flow without disruption. The other seems to believe that all people are inherent speeders, and should be slowed down by red lights. Well guess what????? all of those mistimed lights just make us angry and frustrated. Perhaps that is the plan… They can collect much more revenue from frustrated drivers breaking the law than
happy law abiding folk. Now add to the mix of angry drivers, construction everywhere, a large number of immigrants that have slightly different driving rules, people from other cities here for work and not quite sure where they are going, and the recent need for speed attitude of the young driver……AAAcccckkk!! I have to say again that driving in Vietnam may be a bit harder because of the skill level needed, but is is a lot less frustrating than in Edmonton. Anyway…. Have I raved enough??
Edmonton is one of the most northerly cities in Canada. If you had a globe and put your finger on Edmonton, then gave it a spin, you would see that we are almost exactly even with Siberia in Russia. Edmonton was a gateway to the north. People that came up from the south with the gold fever would use Edmonton as the final post to buy supplies and everything a prospector might need. At the time there was a fort made from sharpened logs and a small community surrounding it. The outpost was owned by the Hudsons Bay company. The Natives and the British colonizers would use Edmonton as a large fur trading hub that eventually developed into a major trading post and the last a city. Across the river to the south, a town called Strathcona developed and over time the two merged, and grew to the City it is today with about 1 million people in the city and it,s surrounding municipalities. Today it is a very modern city and hosts the largest shopping mall in the world. Inside West Edmonton Mall, we have 6 operating submarines, (More than our Canadian navy) that a person can ride in. There is also an indoor water park that rivals anything in the world. The mall also houses a full sized replica of the Santa Maria. Other mall attractions are a casino, driving range, mega theatres, an amusment park complete with roller coaster, mini golf, laser tag range, a skating arena, and many more that I cannot recall at the moment. Even though I may complain about the roads, as a tourist, this city is a great place to Visit. Besides WEM, there are other beautiful places to Visit. Perhaps tomorrow I will write on some of the things to see and do here.
This afternoon, my ex co-workers are throwing a party. I am expected to attend from 2 pm until 10 pm. It will make for a long day, and I will have to pace myself. It will be goes to see all of those that I had become part of my daily life. There are few things that I miss about my big move and they are one of them.