Monday, July 27, 2009

On The Road Again: The Ticket II

Heckuva a way to start a week.

I got a ticket this morning. Let me spare you the drama by saying I was, um, guilty of the charge (more on that later). But what cheeses me off is not the fact that the officer was professional, personable, and younger than me, but that it blows my regular rhythm of a ticket every four years or so. Worse yet, it happens in the same neck of the woods as my LAST ticket.

OK, I've mentioned that I often use Lake Washington Blvd instead of I-5 heading north. It is calmer, more scenic, and often faster than the main drag. And, according to the highway department, perfectly cool, as long as you obey local laws. So I keep my speed down, my eyes open, and, after my previous experience, make full stops.

But Lake Washington Blvd parallels the rail line, and trains have right of way. So when a train carrying at least three airplane fuselages pulls into the crossing, I come to a stop and wait for it to pass.

And then the train stops in the crossing, blocking traffic.

I'm sitting there, and a number of cars start pulling to the left, using the Gene Coulon Park access roads as a way to get around the train. I wait for maybe thirty seconds, then follow them.

This, it turns out, is illegal - the official term is "Avoiding an Intersection". The roads in Gene Coulon are not real roads (that is, public thoroughfares) but rather access to the park, and using them to get around an obstruction is like cutting through a corner gas station to avoid a light.

Anyway, the people who cut AHEAD of me got away with it, but by the time I got around the blockage, there was a motorcycle officer who pulled me and another car off to the side. And I had to do the parking perp walk, though he gave me a municipal citation as opposed to something that would ding my insurance (which, I suppose, is something). And the fine, which stings enough to make me think twice about pulling this type of stunt again, is not excessive.

But it does leave me cranky this fine Monday morning.

More later,