BARRE – Police are asking drivers to avoid the intersection of Hill St. and Liberty St. in Barre, as two cars have been attempting to wave each other through the stop sign for almost 30 hours. The back-up began when two vehicles arrived at the intersection simultaneously, and each driver motioned for the other to proceed.
“I was there,” says Montpelier resident Jim Patients. “I was the car directly behind the grey Volvo. That’s the one on Liberty. Anyway, I pulled up behind the guy as he stopped, saw him wave the other car through, and then I sat there for almost ten minutes. I did honk a few times eventually, but after ten minutes I figured I’d better just turn around and go another way.”
Police say that there has been a constant back-up of about 4-6 vehicles on either road, rotating over the course of the stand-off. Drivers pull up, wait a while, and then usually give up and turn around. One car did try to pass the back-up, but was almost hit by an oncoming car that was turning onto Hill St. Fortunately, no one was hurt in the near-miss.
One local driver has recently assumed a position directly behind the red Subaru on Hill St., and has been laying on the horn for almost 45 minutes. We caught up with him in his vehicle, and were able to speak briefly before the deafening cacophony drove us away.
“WHAT?!” shouted the man, whose name we could not quite catch. “YOU WANNA KNOW WHY I DON’T JUST GO AROUND? IT’S THE PRINCIPLE OF THE THING! THESE IDIOTS NEED TO MOVE!”
The honking did not seem to deter either of the excessively polite drivers at the intersection, who smiled and waved back at the mad honker. When we did ask the driver of the Subaru about potentially moving out of the intersection, he said he was considering it, but the honking actually made him want to go slower.
Some joke! I once was caught in a traffic jam in rural Vermont at a stop sign in West Fairlee at the intersection of Rt. 113 & Beanville Road.
The car in front of me stopped at the sign to allow oncoming traffic to pass: one car traveling at the posted speed limit of 30 mph.
Well, I was stuck behind the car in front of me for at least 20 seconds!
That was about four years ago but I still can’t get over the wait…
Must be a flatlander. Old time Vermonters just get out of their vehicles and pass the time talking.