Most days, my hours at work go from 11:30 AM to 8 PM.
When I first started in the middle of July, the sun was still up when I left in the evening. Each day, though, it’s been darker and darker when I leave the building.
Last night, I left the parking lot around 8:20. It was getting pretty dark by that time.
About a half mile after I turned on highway 64, I came up behind a car that was driving about 40 miles an hour — in a 55 mph speed zone. I knew I wouldn’t be behind him long because I would be getting on the interstate at Exit 78, which was just ahead.
He started hitting his brakes and I realized he was probably in an unfamiliar area looking for something.
His turn signal came on and I realized what he was looking for.
I started flashing my high beams on and off at him.
“Don’t turn there, fool! You really don’t want to turn there!”
He started to turn anyway. He probably thought I was some crazy person, flashing my high beams at him like that.
I pushed down on the horn and held it down and continued to flash my lights, while hitting my brakes to allow him to swing back into my lane — if he got my message.
“DON’T TURN THERE, FOOL! THAT’S THE OFF RAMP! YOU’LL BE GOING THE WRONG WAY!
He was almost all the way across the other lane of traffic when he jerked his wheel back to the right and turned away from the east bound exit from the interstate. After getting back into the correct lane of traffic, he drove just a little bit further and turned at the right point to get to the Exit 78 east bound entrance to the freeway.
The interchange at Exit 78 is rather unusual. When it was originally constructed, there was only an east bound exit and a west bound entrance. The east bound exit went right to the highway, while the west bound entrance had a different access point from the highway and had an overpass.
When a west bound exit and an east bound entrance was added a few years back, they were tied in to the old west bound ramp and overpass.
It can be confusing.
The guy I was following last night was obviously unfamiliar with the area. He probably had gotten off on the previous exit and was following the highway, looking for a way to get back on. He thought he had found it when he saw vehicles at the exit waiting for traffic to clear.
He was wrong… and lucky.
I’ve only turned down one way roads a couple of times that I can remember. Last year, I almost turned on to the west bound off ramp of Exit 78. The “new” on ramp is where the old turn was for a road paralleling the interstate that I sometimes use on my way home.
Have you ever made a turn and went the wrong way on a “one-way?”