The first thing that comes to mind when you see a massive traffic jam is how much fuel is being wasted here.
You may have other worries too if you’re caught in stop-and-go traffic that lasts for many miles, as it did on I-5 northbound near Glendale on Friday afternoon.
For instance: Am I going to run out of gas? What if somebody gets sick, or has to use a restroom? How long is this slowdown anyway? Will I have to spend the night in my car?
On TripCheck, ODOT reported at 4 p.m. Friday that a commercial truck crash had closed the right-hand lane near milepost 80 but the fast lane was open and there was little or no delay. But about an hour before, there was a great deal of delay as the line of trucks and cars snaked for several miles to the south.
I-5 is the main artery for commerce and travel in western Oregon. From Salem south to the California line, most of it is two lanes in each direction. So when something happens, like a truck overturning on one of the sharp curves in the mountainns between Canyonville and Grants Pass, traffic stops.
It can’t be helped. There are no detours.
So that’s when the waste of fuel comes to mind. All that $6-a-gallon diesel oil being burned without going anywhere fast. All that equally expensive gasoline going out through thousands of exhausts. (hh)