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Rush Hour Social Club

Putting a human face on a stressful condition
  (+6, -1)
(+6, -1)
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One of the things most antithetical to a pleasant life that modern society has produced is the traffic jam. So I propose this idea to help combat this hazard to our social health.

As you inch your way down the crowded freeway, you see several “exit only” lanes, which veer off the freeway into the cities and towns. But after a particularly long stretch of this mess, you look up, and you see another exit lane:

91 FWY West -- Afternoon Rush Hour Social Club Only

If you commit yourself to this lane, you will veer off, straight into the parking lot of a most wonderful place. You get out and go to the entrance, and receive a nametag, with a photo of your car on it. You mingle with the people here, all of whom are seeking relief, respite from the tension and stress of the rush hour traffic. You meet them, exchange stories, talk about your lives, your loves, your losses and your hopes. You break bread with them, perhaps a glass of wine to help the relaxation along. After however long of this you feel you need, you go back out to the freeway, refreshed, lightened, in a good mood, ready to endure the elements of the trip home in far better spirits.

This club could house recreational facilities, massage parlors, beauty salons, a gym -- anything any weary rush hour traveler may need to ease the strain. But it is only accessible to those who are on this freeway, at this time of day. The “club only” lane, along with the club, would be closed every other time except the busy time on the freeway. And there would be no other access to the club.

People who drive these freeways home all tend to do so at roughly the same time. Imagine, given the presence of this club on your rush hour trip home, how different your trip could be. A car ahead of you in the lane to your right turns on its turn signal – it wants to cut in front of you. Instead of thinking “like hell you’re getting in front of me” and flooring the pedal, endangering the lives of all around you, you look at the car. You say to yourself, “Hey! Purple PT Cruiser! That’s Marsha Davis. I wonder if her mother came out of the operation successfully. I sure hope so. What a kind lady Marsha is.” And you back off courteously and wave her in front of you. Because she has a name and a face and joys and sorrows, just like you, and you know it. You know it, because you met her the other day, at the Rush Hour Social Club.

globaltourniquet, May 09 2002

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       "Truck stop" with social amenities, perhaps. This is not just a cafe. I envision more of a "club" atmosphere, with scheduled social programs, perhaps special interest seminars, poetry readings, art classes, what-have-you. Like other social clubs, but exclusively for rush hour travelers, and focused on their lifestyles and needs. I never have seen a truck stop like that.
globaltourniquet, May 09 2002
  

       I was hoping for a 'Party Bus'.
phoenix, May 09 2002
  

       I wonder about the wine bit, though.
beauxeault, May 09 2002
  

       Is this not just motorway services.?
arora, May 09 2002
  

       I thought most people nowadays had flexitime, and didn't work fixed hours. I've never gone to work or came home at the same time every day.
pottedstu, May 09 2002
  

       [bliss] True. Also, it does seem that the opportunity for infidelity would be enhanced...   

       [phoenix] baked.   

       [beauxeault] If only all the folks on the road were slightly relaxed by the influence of a single glass of wine. As the judge in the criminal trial I juried was careful to point out, it is not illegal to drink and drive. There is no law against it. Perhaps the club could enforce a one drink maximum somehow.   

       [arora] no.   

       [pottedstu] If that were the case, we wouldn't have these terrible traffic jams at particular hours of the day. Although I quit my last job for other reasons, one thing I despised was that they refused to give me or anyone else flex time, and in fact acted like they had never even heard of such a thing. Most employers are still living in that dark age.
globaltourniquet, May 10 2002
  

       "The time I like is the rush hour
'Cos I like to rush
The pushing of the people
I like it all so much..."
  

       The problem I see with this idea is that commuters are "rushing" to get home as fast as they can. I know I'm not going to want to pull off and waste time along the way, even for a social club. I get home late enough as it is. This would just make it later.   

       I disagree about the wine bit, too. True, its not illegal to drink and drive. But it's irresponsible to give people alcohol and then put them behind the wheel.
waugsqueke, May 10 2002
  

       It's not irresponsible to give people alcohol and put them behind the wheel. If the bar *only* served wine, maybe beer, and at a one drink maximum, drivers would come back on the road a little more relaxed and just as able to drive.   

       I think this is a great idea. Some people really do want to rush to get home--but many of the rest of us don't have spouses or SOs or kids to come home to, so why not stop along the way and meet some new people and unwind a little? Sounds awesome to me.
disbomber, Apr 09 2005
  

       //it's not irresponsible to give people alcohol and put them behind the wheel //   

       ...no, just very, very open to abuse.
moomintroll, Apr 09 2005
  

       //no, just very, very open to abuse.//   

       That's why one puts limits on it: like, for example, one glass of wine only. It's not that tough to enforce something like that, especially in a 'social club' atmosphere where everyone's encouraged to get to know each other. "Hey, I remember you; you're buying a new house on Grand Street. No, you already had a glass tonight, sorry."
disbomber, Apr 10 2005
  

       Why not just drive directly to your bar or club of choice after work? Take a chum or ask out Sarah from accounting. Seems people already do this and expecting them to socialize with complete strangers off the side of the road sounds sketchy, but a bit funny.
lowbot, Apr 10 2005
  

       This is different, lowbot--this isn't a planned bar run, this is a spontaneous decision to stop off while mired in traffic, if you get too stressed out. Much different from "Hey Fred, want to go hit Drunkard's after work?" "Sure, Sam, let's do that."
disbomber, Apr 10 2005
  

       How about preventing the traffic jam in the first place? There is a much more elegant way of doing this whole idea. Charge people for slots on the motorway (variable road pricing). While waiting for their slot, people can then spend time in the social club OF THEIR CHOICE (ie. their family most likely).   

       I hate defeatism. So a thumbs down from me.
kinemojo, Sep 05 2005
  

       Hah, I would do this.++
xandram, Jun 07 2007
  

       I think I speak for the transit users here when I say I wish this were possible on the subway.
punk_punker, Jun 07 2007
  
      
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