Musings from the ever-changing, ever-amazing and occasionally ever-baffling Fort McMurray, Alberta.

Friday, April 15, 2011

No Right Turn

You know what I love about this city? Never a dull moment. Things that in other places wouldn't get a second glance become topics of debate, argument, fights, discussion, and downright mayhem in good ol' Fort McMurray. Today's topic? The line-ups at the Tim Horton's drive-thru, of course!

If you live here you already know the deal. The issue is that people trying to get into the drive-thru at the two Tim's locations in town have a terrible tendency to form a line-up that extends out onto the city streets, blocking traffic and just begging for collisions. This is particularly pronounced at the downtown location, where those making a left turn from Highway 63 onto Hardin Street can find themselves turning directly into the Tim's line-up. This leaves them with nowhere to go as they cannot complete their turn, often stuck in the middle of the intersection as the light changes. I've had it happen to me several times, and it drives me nuts every single time. And making a right hand turn off the 63 at that intersection? Forget about it. Just keep driving, folks.

For years people have been asking for some solution. It's intriguing, though, because I've had people defend those line-ups (don't get between some people and their Timmie's - it's bloody dangerous). They say it's just the way it is. It's just the reality. There are no better options. Suck it up, buttercup. Wonder if they'd still say that after they'd been rear-ended in that line-up when someone plowed into the car at the back of the line and caused a pile-up? Because that will happen some day, trust me. Someone won't be paying attention, will make that turn...and boom. Doesn't matter that they are at fault - it's still your car that's been rear-ended, and whoever is "right" becomes pretty immaterial.

So, after years of pleading the city decided to put up some signs. What did the signs say? "No right turn", meaning no turning right from Hardin Street into the parking lot where the Tim's drive-thru is located. Yes, that simple.  It seems, though, that the signs have had an exceptionally short life and have already been covered up. Those Tim Horton's fans are potent lobbyists, apparently. Now the municipality is "in talks" with Tim Horton's to "co-ordinate". I imagine they are trying to find another solution. I can think of a couple. Uncover the signs and, well, suck it up, buttercups. Or, and here's a shocking idea, people could park, get out of their car, and WALK into the Tim's. I get that some people might have to use the drive-thru - but for some it's pure laziness, and they may as well just admit it now (hey, I'm guilty, but just at other drive-thrus - I'm trying to reform). 

Any place else this story would be a non-starter. Here those new no-right-turn signs have been twittered about, facebooked about, blogged about, discussed on local radio, and written about in the Fort McMurray Today. Like I said, never a dull moment in this city, even when it's really a pretty dull story. Only in Fort McMurray, folks. Sometimes I think we really need more to do....

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