Another one bites the dust

Summer traffic — and we’re now in peak summer season — tends to be horrific.

Motorcycle wreck, Atlántida, Uruguay
Though other vehicle is removed, not too hard to parse: note the skid mark. Posted speed limit: 60 km (36 mph)

convergence of eastbound traffic

We live at the convergence of Punta-bound traffic from all points west. Punta del Este is the glitz capital of the southern hemisphere in January. We avoid it like the plague, but people who want to be there don’t want to be anywhere else. Especially slowed by congestion in Atlántida.

Prime accident location: Atlántida, Uruguay

As I pointed out almost four years ago, the new overpass in La Floresta means pretty much open road after Parque del Plata traffic lights at the river. However, everything between Ruta 11 and there is pretty much one huge clusterfuck: a densely-populated area with numerous intersections. It very much merits caution. But don’t tell that to people racing in from sparsely-populated rural Ruta 11, or the Ruta Interbalnearia from Montevideo, who have just passed through several sparsely inhabited kilometers. Don’t tell that to the Porteños (Buenos Aires) or the BS drivers (see previous link) or testosterone-stoked motorcyclists, all of whom consider it their god-given prerogative to drive as fast as possible, regardless.

Because of the distance between traffic lights, in Atlántida the stream of traffic has often merged into a continuous flow, and trying to cross here can be an exercise in patience with small margins of safety. But crossing options exist: the Ruta 11 bridge is only 800 meters away.

One person tweeted that a motorcycle was run over:

IB accident tweet

No, sorry. Someone going way the hell too fast on a motorcycle slammed into something considerably larger, and possibly became an organ donor in the process.

It’s been over 30 years since one similar slammed into my BMW in a construction zone in Germany. Hast Du mich nicht gesehen?* he asked, lying on the ground a dozen meters from the point of impact. As if I, driving especially cautiously because my parents were in the car, should be responsible for his (typically reckless, according to neighbors) behavior. No sympathy. Even later, hosing off from the crumpled fender a tiny piece of flesh.


* Didn’t you see me?

UPDATE: same time, 24 hours later, a few hundred meters up Ruta 11, another fast bike — bright green — splintered into pieces on the road. Had to keep moving, did not see other vehicle/s involved. Two ambulances on scene, another coming quickly with siren as I drove on.

3 comments

  1. Syd Blackwell says:

    We passed the same accident scene, probably within minutes of your photo. The car that the motorcycle hit is the grey one on the far right of your photo as you can see by the crumpled in back end. Seems the red Kawasaki was greatly exceeding the posted 60 kmh, but unless the traffic prevents it, so does everyone else, including, of course, the policia. Also, I am guessing the usual tailgating driving style was occurring before the grey car suddenly stopped, possibly because someone was taking a big risk trying to cross over the interbalnearia. Traffic was absolutely brutal downtown last night. We headed home (from pizza at Kim´s) at around 8pm. Were blocked on the Rambla, blocked on Artigas, took the one way Calle 3 from downtown up to Circunvalación, and then could not turn left (police blockade) towards the Rambla or the tunnel (our original target) and were instead lined up for the traffic circle. Actually that worked, as we got across the overpass and up Ruta 11 and in the back roads of Villa Argentina norte. What a fucking mess! Don´t think we will venture downtown again in a car in the evening until maybe March, when all the turistas have to go back to work or school.

    • Doug says:

      Thanks for the explanation! That also explains why it stopped ahead of the crossing, which I couldn’t figure out.

      We avoid going anywhere at night. And much later the character of the town changes a lot, and not for the better. Jesse used to (sometimes) tell us stories.

  2. Paul says:

    Reckless bike driving here in UY. We can hear and see them almost every weekend. They start with green light, at the traffic lights in Parque del Plata, hidding east.
    We can hear them speeding up and changing gears up to the 7th gear with unbelievable noise. They have a “free” (they think) and straight racing track for about 10 kilometers to just behind Guazuvira.

    A German friend checked their speed once, with a speedometer he had, at the hight of Bello Horizonte. Speed around 240 kilometers per hour. JaJaJa… as we say in Uruguay.

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