Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Beep Beep!

Having been here for over two weeks now, I have had a chance to really observe how traffic and transportation work in Cusco. In all honesty, I do not understand how people navigate these streets via automobiles. For starters, there are few traffic lights. I have seen intersections with no signage where cars simply play chicken when they want to get across. Countless times I have witnessed near accidents at these intersections, but have yet to see any automobiles with damages. It blows my mind how wrecks do not occur often because cars are constantly within less than a few feet of each other and have no distinct pattern of movement sometimes. Where there are traffic lights, however, there are also clocks that count down how much time pedestrians and cars have to go or wait until the light changes which is a concept I find very useful.

Furthermore, drivers here in Cusco not only rely on visual cues to navigate, but auditory ones. Whenever someone is turning a corner, crossing a street, or simply wants others to be aware of their intended actions, they honk. In the United States, people only honk to alert distracted drivers or in near accidents. Not only do drivers here like to make themselves known, but they also have guts. Bus drivers will speed around corners on cliff edges only stopping at the last second to avoid other buses. Average drivers will disregard cross walks and come within feet of pedestrians trying to use the roadways. And taxis will stop in the middle of traffic just to flag down a prospective customer while simultaneously setting off a storm of honking.

Even though these observations may make a person want to stay out of Peruvian streets, they are actually relatively safe. As I have mentioned before, I have experienced the traffic in Cusco for quite some time and have not seen any accidents. I suppose the traffic flow here is well-learned by the drivers and may appear as reckless, but I believe the drivers are actually in good control.

Focusing more on the modes of transportation, Cusco actually has some nice cars. As a result of the altitude, the cars here must be able to endure more stress in order to function and therefore tend to be pretty decent vehicles. Even though I have seen a lot of cars in Cusco, I have barely seen any places to park them which is one of the mysteries I have yet to debunk. On a final note, carpooling is very popular here. Most cars tend to have several passengers in them, some of which may be sitting in the trunk or on laps. Overall, Cusco has a very interesting transportation dynamic. 

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