Today we’ll be finishing up our Tournament of Shitty Intersections’ semifinal round. If you haven’t been paying attention, we took 16 of the most irritating intersections in all of Gloucester and matched them up. Only one will be crowned the victor. Moving on to the final four are the next two contestants.
Maplewood/Railroad/Prospect vs. Sayward/Bass Ave/Brightside
Maplewood/Railroad/Prospect, a.k.a. The triangle of doom, reined supreme over its competitor, Pond/Witham/Eastern. Pond/Eastern had the velocity factor going for it – one wrong move and you’re plastered by a plumbing truck hauling ass from Rockport – but couldn’t pull off victory.
The Maplewood/Railroad/Prospect intersection is amazing not only for its sheer level of terrifying confusion, but that it’s how a lot of folks coming in from out of town get downtown. We have tourists walking off the train and the first glimpse of Gloucester they have is a man in a 1989 Buick Lesabre with a duct-taped bumper giving the finger to a school bus while everyone in the intersection honks simulataneously and someone is parked on the sidewalk. Awesome. It also has the distinction of being one of those intersections where one person can fuck it up for everybody else by blocking the entire goddamn intersection so no one can move until some idiot realizes he’s holding up traffic trying to turn left into a space his car can’t physically occupy and remembers the Pauli exclusion principal that states what he wants to do is impossible because electrons or whatever, so he continues straight until finally everyone can go again.
In the opposite corner, we have Sayward/Bass/Brightside, which beat the heck out of Poplar and Washington last round. As well it should have. I have to turn left at the end of Sayward twice a day on weekdays, and somehow I’ve never been in an accident. We’re all on borrowed time in this shitshow of an intersection. Not only do people coming from the Thatcher/Good Harbor area fly by at about 80 knots, but the blind curve that gives you 30 feet of visibility in the other direction is fun as well. It’s like Mario Kart, except I don’t even have a blue shell I can throw.
I think the thing that annoys me the most about it isn’t waiting for a break in traffic to turn left, but that sometimes people coming from Brightside will stop and then go, even though you were at the intersection first. What are the laws supposed to technically be? Isn’t it treated like a 3 or 4 way stop where the person who stopped first goes, and tie goes to the car on the right? Otherwise it’s just freakin’ mayhem. More mayhem, anyway. Fuck this entire intersection, honestly.