’Twas a fine afternoon for a bike ride.
I headed out to hit the trail along the river.
At Chestnut Street, the railroad crossing gates were down.. but there was no train in sight.
I went around the gates and over the tracks, and headed up the hill. About halfway up, I stopped and turned around to witness a wonderful spectacle that I think could only happen in Minnesota.
Chestnut Street is actually a boulevard for a half a block up the hill. That means that any cars that go past the intersection of Eagle St., toward the river are, in effect, trapped there while the trains go by.
In this case, there was no train, and as the minutes went by, that bit of road started to fill up with cars. The backup was getting close to 7th St. Finally, drivers waiting to cross the Eagle/Chestnut intersection got fed up and started taking Exchange Street.
Not the people trapped below. They were paralyzed. “What do we DO?”
Well, my answer is, you drive over the curb, and go up the other side! Not these sheep – that’d be illegal, after all.
Another ten minutes went by. Now the people started splitting into two groups: the first group was staying put, and the second group was getting antsy, and started getting out of their cars – but not to yell, but to reason with the other drivers that, gee, golly, maybe we should all back up, and then turn around in the intersection.
This discussion went on for some time, until finally, a consensus was reached, and backwards up the hill they all came.
This confused the living _ hell _ out of the people trying to come down the hill, resulting in several near collisions.
The people coming up the hill backwards turned around and drove away from there, and these new people, in too much of a hurry to ask why all of the other people were driving in reverse, simply filled in the road again, and the cycle started anew! No movement for ten minutes, and then another round of negotiations.
If this had been, say, New York, you’d have had sparks from frames and mufflers dragging over the curb, fisticuffs, verbal abuse, maybe even people driving through the gates!
I watched two more complete cycles of this strange social interaction – and then finally the cops showed up, hand waved everyone out, and blocked it off. All of the fun spoiled, I went on my way. I could have watched that for hours!