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There are a lot of things in this world that I hate and have no tolerance for. But nothing, and I mean NOTHING, can possibly be more aggravating than traffic. Worcester’s got WAYYY too much of it for my liking and it doesn’t HAVE to be this way. Whoever put some of these streets together should be taken out back and shot. Luckily I’ve lived in the Woo my whole life so I’ve figured out how to avoid these cluster fucks of traffic debauchery. Side streets. Like you read about. I know em all. So understand that everything you’re about to see is NOT something I’d be dumb enough to do normally. It was all done specifically for this blog.
So we had our Turtleboy elves out today delivering hot takes of Christmas joy in the form of Turtleboy Sports 2014 Naughty List Christmas Special to turtle riders everywhere. They went out around 10 AM thinking they wouldn’t hit as much traffic that way. Boy were they wrong. When they were running late we told them to take pictures of the traffic and we’d put together a blog we’ve been feening for for a long time now – “The Top 5 Worst Streets in Worcester” blog. Here they are……
5. Grafton Street
If there’s one thing that grinds my gears when it comes to traffic it’s unnecessary traffic lights. There are TONS of them out there. Pleasant Street and Chandler Street are the first ones that come to mind. But another one that I avoid like the plague is Grafton Street. I used to lay some of my turtle eggs over by the fruit stand at the end of this God-forsaken path of concrete. It sucked. First you had to go by the plaza of terrible stores like Stop n’ Shop and Building 19.5. Then after a series of unncessary turns you came across the nightmare that is Rice Square. Then you go by what first appears to be a prison, but later you find out is Worcester East Middle School, before coming across the giant clusterfuck rotary at Hamilton Street.
Even though you’re almost done with the whole street, the fun is just beginning. It’s probably a quarter mile to highway from there, but it’ll take you at least 10 minutes if you time it right. This light right here…
is ALWAYS red. Why does it exist? I have no idea what street this is, nor do I care. All I know is it’s a side street that ends right there. No one turns left onto that street unless they’re going to buy heroine. As for people that are trying to turn ONTO Grafton street from whatever street that is – not my problem. The world shouldn’t stop for you because you can’t figure out how to figure out a shortcut on your own.
100 feet later you come across another completely unnecessary light which is always red:
To add to the depressingness everything on this street looks like poo. Can someone please plant a tree or something?
4. Main Street
Don’t let the name fool you – there is absolutely no reason you should ever have to drive on this street from Webster Square to downtown. Nothing is there except a bunch of mom-and-pop churches, cash checking spots, Clark hipies, prostitute union meetings, and restaurants you had no idea existed. And for whatever reason the city buses that go up and down Main Street literally idle themselves in traffic:
You better hope you like the car in front of you because you’re gonna be looking at their ass in stop and go traffic for the next couple of miles:
And I’m always amazed by this light:
So like, whoever the big wigs were who planned this city, were they drunk when they drew Hammond Street and May Street? Why the hell do these streets NOT connect? Geez Louise, they came SO freaking close. Do you understand the nightmare that this causes? I mean, look at the scenery you’re surrounded by at this “intersection.” The first thing I wanna do when I see that is get the hell out of there. But you can’t. Because you’re stuck in that hell hole and more than likely you’re on your way to the DMV for an even bigger nightmare.
3. Park Ave
If you drive on Park Ave regularly you’re either a moron or you’re not from Worcester. Only possible explanations. I figured out as soon as I got my license that there are a million different streets that run parallel to Park Ave and none of them have lights. Lovell Street, Florence Street, Mason Street, Dewey Street. All of those bring you where you wanna go.
That’s why I laugh when I see nudnik degenerates stuck in Park Ave traffic. But for the sake of Turtleboy research we decided to give Park Ave a ride today, and we were reminded why there is no reason to ever, ever drive on this cesspool of a street. The problem with Park Ave is it pretty much intersects with every street in Worcester. The fact that it’s two lanes is irrelevant because there’s always some asshole that is turning left onto Main Street and basically makes it a one lane road.
But by far the worst part of Park Ave is the 300 meters of cement in between Pleasant and Chandler Streets. That’s because the WORST light in the city of Worcester is the one at Chandler and Park Ave. (we’re probably going to do a Top 5 worst intersections in Worcester blog in the future so I’ll refrain from going off on that intersection for now). Let’s say you just left Planned Parenthood from your 1:00 abortion and you turn left onto Park Ave from Pleasant Street. You will come across this:
Our goal was to turn right to go up Chandler Street and get some delicious D’Angelo’s, otherwise I would’ve hopped in that left lane. So we waited at the light until finally it turned green.
I could just taste the Buffalo chicken. We started driving and then suddenly….
Oh for fuck’s sake. People who don’t speed up when the light turns yellow in traffic are the spawn of satan. That’s who drives on Park Ave. Morons who don’t seem to be in a rush to get anywhere. Sometimes I feel like I’m the only person on the road who actually has to be somewhere on time. I am honestly in awe of people who can drive in such a relaxed manner. “Fuck it, I’ll just slow down and wait for the next green light in five minutes. I have nowhere to be. Life is easy.”
But these dooshnozzles don’t realize that their laissez-faire attitude to driving is fucking over the rest of us who have no patience.
2. Cambridge Street
Cambridge Street can’t be much longer than a mile long, but it will take you half an hour to navigate through this shit show of organized chaos. If you like big rig trucks, tons of unnecessary lights, and urban decor then Cambridge Street is right up your alley.
First, to get onto Cambridge St is no easy task. Coming from Southbridge Street, which is on our honorable mentions list, have fun trying to turn left at this light:
It’s alright if you’re one of the first two cars, but anything after that is a nightmare. Like CLOCKWORK, the guy in front will not be paying attention when the green left hand turn light comes on. He or she will sit there right until it turns yellow while they figure out what they’re eating for dinner tonight on Pinterest. Finally when it comes your turn to go you will not be able to because of two lanes of angry Southbridge St traffic coming directly at you.
Once you finally complete this leg of the journey you will start to see brake lights and have no idea why:
The reason is because there is a light at some street called “Douglas Street” where you bought dime bags of shwag back in 1995:
There is absolutely NO reason a light should exist there. None. Douglas street takes you absolutely nowhere unless you’re looking for a place to dump off a prostitute without being seen. And it’s ALWAYS red, presumably so the Maranville Park All-Star handball team can cross unimpeded.
Now Cambridge St is the ideal street to take you from Webster Square to 146. But for whatever reason the dingleberries who designed it decided to make it extremely narrow and jampacked with fun curves designed to slow down traffic. Like this one:
Luckily there’s a lot of beautiful scenery like this along the way:
The cones, painted over grafiti, and cracks just waiting for weeds to sprout up in the springtime are a nice touch.
Finally you’ll make your way around the bend and find this:
at 11 freaking AM!!! This street got a million times worse as soon as they built that Goddamn Price Chopper. That stupid light is always red, which you find out after taking 20 minutes to navigate through the monstrosity that is Webster Square.
1. Highland Street.
It was hard to pick which would go 1 and 2. They’re both just so terrible. Both Highland and Cambridge were not designed to have this sort of traffic, which is fucking weird because they both bring you directly to and from major streets. If you ever wanna get to Shrewsbury from the West Side then you pretty much have no choice but to deal with this cesspool of humanity. But coming from downtown is an even bigger nightmare.
It all begins when you’re coming form Lincoln Square. Whoever set this up should be buried alive. As you go UP Highland Street you will see that there are two lanes:
You will notice that no one is in the left hand lane except for the dumbass from Connecticut. Can’t blame them though. They don’t know what’s about to happen up ahead, because as you can see, there are NO INDICATIONS that that lane is for left hand turns. None whatsoever. This schmuck will not discover that until he’s over the hill and it’s too late. So idiots like this just travel right along in that lane, thinking to themselves, “Gee I wonder why everyone is lined up in the right hand lane? Oh well, guess I’ll just keep driving and see what happens!!”
Then of course this happens:
Notice dooshnozzle McGee has cut us off at this point because he freaked out as soon as that big old left land turn only sign appeared out of nowhere. And see that dingleberry in the left hand turn lane? Guess what he’s not planning on doing? Turning left. Nope, he’s just gonna wait until he finds someone to cut off. Newsflash – it ain’t gonna be me. I’d give up my turtle before I let some idiot like that beat me in a match of wits.
When you do finally get through that light you’ll be greeted by more brake lights:
followed another completely unnecessary light at West Street:
Then you have to dodge trust fund assholes who are pulling out of the Boynton or the Sole Proprietor from a business luncheon:
Finally you may come to the point where you say, “fuck it, I’m turning around,” only to find out that traffic is JUST as bad going the other way too:
Anyway, we’ll probably be doing some follow up blogs to this one (worst 5 intersections, best 5 streets). So if you have any blog ideas send us a message and we’ll see what we can do.
P.S. Here’s the honorable mentions: lower Chandler Street, Southbridge Street, Belmont Street, Lake Ave (from Plantation to Belmont), Pleasant Street, Salisbury Street, Vernon Street.
Feel free to share your terrible Worcester driving experiences in the comments to keep the conversation going.