The Shocking Traffic Violations I Saw in Bozeman Today
Is it Mercury Retrograde or something? No wonder everyone bitches about Bozeman drivers. Today's errands brought forth no fewer than four major traffic violations that I witnessed personally.
WTH is going on? Some of these were so blatant that they were clearly done on purpose, signs and other vehicles be damned. Others were sheer ignorance of appropriate traffic flow. And the most dangerous of all are the mistakes made by simply not paying attention.
We've discussed the worst intersections in the valley many times over the years. In fact, we've made on-the-scene videos about them. (Thankfully a few of those intersections have since been updated and are MUCH better.)
But this morning was next-level. Rarely do you get to witness SO MANY poor driving decisions in under an hour. It was nuts. Let's start with one that has been a sore spot for Bozeman since time began...
The intersection of Wallace and Babcock: This one is difficult because two lanes of Babcock can turn left and neither of them have to stop. Everyone else at the intersection has to stop. It's a disaster for newbies and still a problem for locals who should know better.
Merging onto the highway, thinking you have the right of way: We'll get into this one in depth soon, but hear this—when you enter the highway, the vehicles already on the highway have the right of way, not us. We have to adjust accordingly to enter the highway. An SUV almost got smushed into the guard rail on the East Main entrance this morning. A tractor trailer COULDN'T move over even if he wanted to.
Not stopping for pedestrians at crosswalks: Mendenhall has to be one of the worst streets for this violation. Don't like stopping for pedestrians who are waiting at clearly marked crosswalks? Too bad. It's the law. Take another route that doesn't offer the possibility of pedestrians at every intersection.
U-Turns at 19th and Main: Of all the places to make a U-turn, that intersection is a pretty bad location. Not only is it a MAJOR intersection, but you've got cars turning ONTO it from every direction, plus a few brave souls trying to cross the street on foot.
There were also several people who were clearly not well-versed at navigating roundabouts this morning, but at least that's not major or particularly dangerous. It CAN be dangerous but usually it's just annoying.
Everyone please have patience, be alert, and stay safe out there.