Weekly Obsession: Traffic Ar-meow-geddon

Sunday, January 9, 2011 at 10:05pm

Nashvillians have to put up with a lot of traffic delays.

Our Southern sensibility of taking things slow and easy, combined with the wacky, decades-old decision to jam all of our interstates into a one big loop on the same side of the river, leads to the unfortunate result that a traffic jam on one interstate produces a citywide brake stand.

The suburban population boom means our collective morning ingress and afternoon egress are punctuated with the same day-after-day litany of slowdowns. It’s always going to be slow at Trinity Lane. There’s always a wreck at Hermitage Avenue. And it’s always going to take 25 minutes to get through Hickory Hollow, which seems strange because no one is ever actually going to Hickory Hollow.

Then we have our X-factor traffic jams, those caused not by heavy commuter traffic but by circumstances beyond our control. Icy roads are always going to cause a jam on the interstates and result in a shiny-faced TV reporter poking her microphone into the grizzled mug of a trucker. Vice presidential motorcades will tie up everything on the east side between Briley and downtown.

But the epic delay at McCrory Lane last Tuesday will forever go down as the Traffic Ar-meow-geddon.

Just beyond the Cheatham County line, a car traveling eastbound rolled over, shutting down both lanes heading into the Music City for nearly four hours and backing things up for miles. The culprit? A cat escaped from its carrier, causing the driver to swerve, overcorrect and flip. The cat was one of three traveling with a trio of Ole Miss students heading from Oxford, Miss., to Kentucky to visit family. Clearly, at least one of the felines was unimpressed with the impromptu pre-semester visit to the Commonwealth.

Each of the three human passengers was transported to Vanderbilt — two in serious condition, one in critical condition.

The cats, predictably, were unharmed.

2 Comments on this post:

By: caluttc on 1/10/11 at 12:21

Our over-privilaged society has caused us to elevate luxary animals to a level with humans.

By: townsend on 1/11/11 at 8:54

So what would *you* have done, O wise and mighty caluttc? Just turned them loose to fend for themselves while you go on your merry way for the holiday break, and hope they come back home when you return?

They were crated for the trip, which is the recommended way for animals to travel. Poorly crated, apparently, since one got loose in the car -- or maybe one of the students just wanted to hold the cat for a while (as it was probably making a lot of unhappy cat noises at the time). Unfortunately, cats are very determined to get where they want to be, and are not easy to hold if they want to be elsewhere.

I hope the students recover quickly, and find a petsitter service to use before the next trip home for a break.