The Drive-Around Blues

Back in April 2022, I confessed my desperate bout with the drive-around blues. What Fresh Hell Is This? My Daily Commute From Star to Boise in Gifs is a playful dramedy of sorts. It's a woe-is-me rant spiked with sarcasm and truth only local road warriors can understand.

Since then it's been mind-blowing to see how much Treasure Valley traffic has grown. It seems the improvement of one road always compromises the five surrounding it. Until the Valley's municipalities complete their respective construction initiatives, it's one step forward, two steps back. But that's yesterday's news and tomorrow's traffic jam in waiting.

Most locals have come to terms with the Valley's expanding rush hour blocks and gridlock. What grinds my gears is how that chaos has infiltrated the early-morning drive.

A commute that takes place before most Idahoans are even awake is suddenly saddled with maladies that plague the midday and afternoon drives. Heavy construction vehicles, construction crews, and stoplights on Union breaks are the new norm. Without warning, my beautiful and pleasant morning drives are rapidly becoming extinct.

4 Special Road Rules for Idaho's Early-Morning Commuters

On what can be done to alleviate the stress and aggravation us early-morning commuters face, I have a few ideas. With respect to weather conditions and traffic volume, these solutions could restore some of what we love about the morning drive.

Between the hours of 3:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. the following road rules should be implemented:

- Early-Morning Speed Limits. Idaho drivers on main streets like U.S. 44/State Street or Chinden should be able to drive an additional 10 miles over the speed limit. Highway drivers should be able to drive an additional 15 miles over the speed limit.

- Stoplights. Minor intersection and back-road stoplights like the ones at Plumber and U.S. 44/State and McDermott and Ustick should be regarded as a stop sign.

- Far Left Lane. The far left lane should remain free of haulers, commercial trucks, and heavy equipment.

- Passing. It's typically easier and safer to pass a vehicle in the dark of the early morning. Passing should be permitted on flat stretches of straightaway roads.

Four simple changes won't resolve every issue the Treasure Valley's early-morning drivers face. But if they ease the growing pains, I'll take it.

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