I’ve been in Connecticut for seventeen years now, almost as long as I lived in Massachusetts, and long enough to think of myself as a resident of this place rather than a transplant from the Bay State.
When I first moved to Connecticut, there were many, many things that bothered me about this state. I have learned to overlook most of them.
The ridiculous practice of covering up alcohol under tarpaulins in grocery stores after 7:00 PM.
The paltry state of local television news.
The practice of referring to the Department of Motor Vehicles as Motor Vehicle, as in “I’m going to Motor Vehicle today.”
The existence of a one newspaper town.
But there are a few that continue to bother me, and two specifically pertaining to the rules of the road.
First, and perhaps worst, is the presence of a traffic light on route 9, a major north south highway running through the center of the state with an average speed limit of 65 miles per hour. It is possibly the only place in the world where one can be tooling around in a convertible at eighty miles per hour then suddenly find oneself at a red light, waiting in a half mile of traffic.
Stupid stupid stupid.
Connecticut also plants four way stops throughout their towns like dandelions, seemingly one on every corner. It’s impossible to drive for more than five minutes without encountering one.
In Massachusetts, the presence of a four way stop sign signals the location of a previous automobile accident where a car full of drunken teenagers undoubtedly met their untimely end.
There’s something reassuring in knowing that precautions are based upon historical precedent and not just wishful thinking.