The mystery of traffic

Highway traffic

I imagine every city has sections of road like this one. No, I don't mean sections of road with a breathtaking view of the mountain - we can't all be that lucky :P ... I mean sections of road that have frequent and utterly inexplicable traffic jams.

This is the N1, near Bellville (one of Cape Town's northern suburbs), heading in the direction of Cape Town. The left fork is the offramp that leads to Durban Road, Bellville CBD and Tygervalley Shopping Centre.

For some reason that continues to elude me, traffic on the small section of highway from this offramp to the corresponding onramp that joins the N1 on the other side of the bridge almost always slows down to a crawl. This photo happens to have been taken on one of those rare occasions when it was relatively free-flowing.

And it's not that there's a bottleneck because of the cars coming from the onramp - there are more than enough lanes on the other side of the bridge, and the traffic is always free-flowing by the time I get level with that onramp. It's utterly bizarre - all I can think is that people must sense some kind of weird voodoo in this dip and therefore instinctively slow down...

3 thoughts on “The mystery of traffic

  1. Marius

    Kerry-Anne, this is one of those cases where they have to squeeze 3 lanes into 2 to get under the bridge. It is exactly the same on the other side from Cape Town to Paarl under Durban road.

  2. Kerry-Anne

    Post author

    The thing is, the cars in that disappearing third lane (the one on the left) are usually all taking this offramp, so I can’t see why the loss of this lane should have *that* much of an impact on traffic flow here. *still puzzled*

    The other thing, of course, is that people stay in the fast lane when they reach the other side of the bridge (and chug up the hill at 80km/hour) instead of pulling over into one of the middle lanes to let faster cars go past. But that’s a whole post on its own, isn’t it? :P

  3. Beverley

    Well of course Kerry-Ann if it’s a tourist driving the car then they would be slowing down just to look at this special view and maybe even wanting to get a photo of it as you have with this one!!

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