Things I Learned Moonlighting as a Flagger
A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to fill in for a traffic flagger on a paving crew. I believe that's what you call the person who stands with a road crew and helps direct traffic. Let me clarify that no laws were broken. I was not with an official Highway crew on a major roadway. You need to have experience and training to work on an actual road crew. I was actually trying to keep people from entering a parking lot that was being paved and it required me to stop traffic from time to time.
Now that all of that has been explained let me get to the point of this blog. While I was out there in the hot sun, standing on the hot pavement realizing that I should have put suncoat on my feet because my sandals were a bad choice of footwear a few other things became clear.
1 - People don't like you when you tell them the road is closed even for a minute. When they can't get through this can cause some drivers to be less than patient.
2 - Some people are polite enough to understand but hoped they could "just squeeze around" on the shoulder.
3 - A lot of people don't know other routes to their destination. I gave out a lot of directions.
4 - You can put down pavement really fast if you have the right equipment. But not fast enough for the people who can't wait for you to move the paver.
5 - You can stand in a road surrounded by orange cones and some folks think that means go faster and drive around.
6 - Hot payment will melt your shoes.
This fall, all over the Hudson Valley you will encounter work zones and road construction. At these locations there will be a flag person directing traffic. Please remember that they are doing an important job. Yes it sucks when you get stopped in traffic and it really sucks if you are running late but taking out your frustration on the flagger isn't going to make you feel better and could also get you a ticket. Please remember these men and women are doing a job and are counting on us to drive carefully in work zones.