The Gloucester Clam Presents: Tournament of Shitty Intersections

Remember our Tournament of Shitty Parking Lots? Well, we’re back again with the next installment of “vote until stuff happens”: The Tournament of Shitty Intersections! Gloucester has some of the most insane, death-defying, and infuriating intersections known to man. We shall, in the coming days, celebrate our miserable infrastructure by voting, tournament-style, on the shittiest of intersections. Join us!



Centennial & Washington vs Barn Ln & Eastern Ave

Centennial and Washington is first for a reason. It’s one of Gloucester’s premier shitty intersections, and it’s the first ones that tourists get a whiff of when they journey to see “the place from the Perfect Storm”. A few years ago there was talk about putting a stoplight in, but then who knows what went on but it never happened. It remains a gauntlet of suck – turning left out of there can take you twenty minutes on a weekend day or at prime commuting time, and if you’re driving down Washington, there are always two or three cars that will attempt to dash out in front of you, causing you to check how well your ABS and child restraint systems work. Even worse is when there’s people trying to pull out of that side street by Tony’s Variety. Every time I have to turn left from there, I say a prayer that Poseidon will just send a flood wave over the entire city because that’s more fun.

Barn Ln & Eastern Ave sucks almost equally as hard as Centennial/Washington, so this might be a tight race. Let’s add a bunch of beach travelers using a GPS to one of the toughest lefts, shall we? No one on Eastern will stop for you. Seriously, yesterday I had to go to Radio Shack (it still exists) and turning took 4 minutes and 32 seconds. At one point, a lady stopped for us, but the other lane of traffic refused and some angry minivan driving woman with her entire back liftgate smashed in beeped at her until she kept going. I always let people go if I have time, but it’s equally annoying when four or five cars take advantage of my good graces. The absolute worst is somehow being stuck at that intersection behind someone who has the space to turn left but stops to make sure left is really where they want to go. No. NO NO NO. JUST GO.

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Tally’s Corner vs Essex/Western/Kent Circle

Tally’s Corner. Oh, god, this might be a long one. Is it a rotary kind of thing? No. Does it make any sense? Hell to the no. Let’s start with the fact that when you’re coming down Washington, the most logical way to get downtown, you’re suddenly forced to take Angle Street to get where you need to go.  And at the end, no one’s gonna stop for you. They will look you dead in the eye as they roll past you. It’s not any easier approaching Tally’s Corner from any other intersection, either. You think you’re gonna get out of the Fort? Not today, bubs. Add in people who have no idea who has the right-of-way, and then a random island cut-through that no one really knows the correct purpose of, and you have the shitshow that is Tally’s Corner. And we’re not even getting into Fiesta week and that area.

Essex Ave and Western Ave and the straight line that is Kent Circle (WHAT EVEN IS THAT) is another clusterfuck worthy of our Worst Intersection. Especially with the bridge. Oh, god, the bridge. No one understands that Kent Circle is two-way because IT BEING TWO WAY HAS NO USEFUL PURPOSE except to make life .25 seconds easier for the people living on Kent Circle. And that’s the way we make our decisions in Gloucester. “Two-way traffic here is unnatural and could lead to a terrible accident!” “True, but if Jim over here has to make 2 quick lefts instead of a right to get home, I will be voted out of office, as is customary in this town.” Anyway, you add in the people trying to turn left amidst traffic hurtling by at Mach Bridgespeed, and it’s just a giant disaster that should go far more smoothly than it actually does. Oh, and biking there is terrifying, because no one, ever, is looking for you.


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Stay tuned for our next four contestants!

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  1. Centennial–Washington Street has new teen drivers back and forth to the high school to factor in. With their nerve-wracking mix of timidity and brashness. Stop. Start. Dodge. Stop. Ugh.

  2. You mean besides 5 corners in Rockport…

  3. There are some pretty decent selections, Barn Lane as the touristas leave GHB is my favorite, but I do not recognize the secession of Rockport from Gloucester in 1840 so I agree with Kevin Kiely that 5 Corners should be included.

    For pure mayhem, a local speeding up Broadway to exert her rights of free passage while tourists meandering about 5 Corners looking for Motif #1 has the highest chance for a road rage pile up than any intersection in Gloucester proper.

    Heading east on Rogers then deciding to pop into Stone’s Pub for a quick one and so a left and a left through Flanagan’s Square is exciting but the inevitable Gloucesterite waving in everyone, “no you go and how’s your sistah?” takes the sting and the danger out of it all.

    I would also run another contest on your font selection. Comic Sans and Helvetica new Gothic are better choices than this sagging serif impacted disaster. (My apologies if you designed this in GHS Font class.)

    ps. Wasn’t Kevin Kiely on the Match Game?

  4. I could hope a bracket like this could lead to blissful change, but who are we kidding? It’s Gloucester.

  5. Centennial Ave-Washington, omg. You could literally grow old and die, waiting to get out. I always sit there, envisioning my skeleton sitting in the car, cobwebs from my skull to the steering wheel, signal still blinking, while the cars go rolling by…

  6. FINE GUYS I’LL CHANGE THE FONT GODDD! (but you’ll probably hate the next one more.)

  7. The saggy font does sort of disappoint, but once you get past that letdown, the noble spirit of this challenging competition seizes your imagination and the sheer excitement of this winner take all horserace takes your breath away. Bravo KT! Font away! I can handle any font from Comic Sans to Toomey Saggy. It’s the race that matters!

    I’ve got a lot riding on my favorite, Sayward/Bass/Blindside. Bound to win big.

  8. Wattabout Hartz St. and Eastern Ave?! Especially when cars are illegally parked in front of Jeff’s and you have to inch out slowly, slowly, slowly…… until you force the traffic on your left to stop and the driver of the car coming on your right begrudgingly stops and waves you on with a wave that says “Hurry up asshole, cause I might blow your fuckin’ brains out if I miss that green light!”

    I have to squint to be able read the current font….

  9. By the way, you spelled “Flannagan Square” incorrectly. It has two n’s in the middle.

  10. Keep up the great work. This blog is hilarious.

  11. I was hoping, dreaming, I dare say, LUSTING for this very competition. I just didn’t know it until now. I understand now why I couldn’t concentrate on difficult problems at work or listen to conversations at the dinner table. Thank you!

    • And now with a readable font this competition has cleared up my dry skin problem. World Peace is closer then you think, maybe a weekly SPORT HORSE COLUMN and the Syrians will stop being so cranky.

  12. Well, I kinda miss that special Saggy Toomey font, but I have to admit I can actually read this boring one. Still have dry skin, however.

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