Our Northwest

Seattle traffic creates depressed persona

Thursday, April 30, 2015by  Jon Osterberg

Seattle suffers from horrible traffic flow, and because of it, our collective persona has been diagnosed as depressed.
     That's according to Carol Poole, a psychotherapist and writer, in an April 29 Crosscut.com article.
     Poole notes Seattle's "wasp-waisted geography" and an inability to escape traffic jams because our hills and water preclude an orderly grid. Diagnosing Seattle as if it were a person, she identifies five symptoms, topped by "a pervasive sense of being thwarted."
     That's an apt description. Thwarted. Exactly how I feel when, driving alternate routes to avoid a jam, I find even side streets blocked.
     Being thwarted leads to anger, but the article notes we're passive-aggressive drivers. It cites a 2014 PEMCO Poll saying as much.
     Noting the difference in temperament between Northwest and East Coast drivers, Poole says that in Seattle "people get anxious about even mild signs of anger."
     Could be. When I read that and visualized a madhouse East Coast turnpike, I felt a little anxious.

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