BMW driver proud to be last Koeberg lane cutter

As the new ramp from the M5 North onto the N1 North was opened this morning, with it ended an years-old tradition for many Capetonians – the opportunity to cut-in to the queuing traffic at Koeberg Interchange.

In a press release announcing the opening, a city spokeswoman stated:

The question, much posed in the local media and at parties, as to whether you would describe yourself as a “cutter” or a “queuer” is now no longer valid. The opening of this new ramp will end a great deal of animosity from those who queue, who have endured a great deal of ridicule from the cutting fraternity. This will reduce the negative energy during rush hour and make Cape Town an even nicer place to be: there’s also a wonderful view of Table Mountain from the new bridge.
Drivers will now be able to sail freely through this bottleneck and continue their journey towards Canal Walk and the Boerewors Curtain without delay. Motorists should stay left if they wish to join the N1 North, take the middle lane if they are heading for the city and choose the right lane for the M5 to Milnerton or just for old time’s sake.

The honour of being the final cutter was taken by Chantelle Wessels, a sales manager from Durbanville: a moment caught on the newly-installed Freeway Management System (FMS) cameras at the junction:

I are proud to be the one who is taking this honour. I think I can like to claim it not just for me, but for all the sales managers and aggressive type-A personality go-getters everywhere, and also for all BMW drivers – especially those with CY number plates.
We don’t have the time to hang around in these queues like sheep. We are needing to go out and make money in order to gaudily furnish our Tuscan-style mansions.  Only this morning, I have sold 2 boxes of folded paper towels and some hand cleanser: that sale wouldn’t have happened until 4 minutes later if I hadn’t cut into the queue.

However, Lester Swart – a former queuer – says he will miss the people cutting into the N1-bound traffic:

Yes, I will miss it. It gave me a challenge on the way to work: defending my place in the queue. There’s a great degree of skill involved: it’s clutch control and passive aggressiveness together that goes into pretending to be unaware of a vehicle on your left hand side trying to slip into the line of cars in front of you and blocking it. I would always count it as a big success when I stopped them getting directly in front of me and forced them to join the line a few cars ahead instead.
Now that opportunity for satisfaction has gone. I will miss it, yes.

But overall, the response to the new ramp and bridge was positive. With the city promising that it would cut up to 8 minutes off journeys to the Northern suburbs, many commuters said that they would prefer to spend their up to 8 minutes extra time anywhere but Bellville and were looking forward to up to an extra 8 minutes in bed each morning.

9 thoughts on “BMW driver proud to be last Koeberg lane cutter

  1. They shouldn’t feel too proud, we as Capetonians will still find a way to carry on the tradition.

  2. Oh wow ! Is it open ?

    I can’t wait to try it out… going to miss cock blocking the queue cutters, what will my middle finger do for the rest of its life ?

    If they can just finish the M5 up to Kromboom my trip home will be reduced by about 20 mins!

  3. T > It’ll never be quite the same though.

    Craig G > I hope you’re sitting down… The Koeberg to N2 work will only be finished in December. December 2012.

  4. Great post. There’s a serious cutting/queuing situation happening at the Rafikis intersection at the bottom of Kloof Street.

  5. biobot > Indeed there is. I believe the roadmarking system in place there inspired the Spice Girls’ song “2 become 1”.

  6. A little detail that might be inconvenient to some: Tom Vanderbilt’s (highly entertaining & informative) book ‘Traffic’ details studies that have established that there is an optimum ratio of cutters to queuers for everyone to get to their destinations in less time. I recall the desirable ratio being 1 in 5, ie. 20% of us should cut, in our own (and everyone’s) best interests (can’t find the book right now to confirm the figure).

    The problem, of course, is who gets to be that 1 in 5. Seeing as everyone mistakes self-interest for selfishness, widespread knowledge of this datum would no doubt result in what we have (ie. way too many people cutting). Vanderbilt’s blog is here, in case anyone wants to take a look.

  7. More than the cutters, the people who really made my blood boil – in that enjoyable South African as often evidenced way on Twitter – were the namby-pamby useless so-called queuers who having seen in their rear-view mirrors a collective of true queuers successfully block a cutters vile tendencies, would then allow him or her in.

    Just once in my life, just once, I wanted to see a cutter thwarted.

    My life-goals yet again thwarted by racist imperialist DA. Just another day in Cape Town really.

  8. Jacques > I can believe that. The M5/N2 junction works a whole lot better when there is no police presence picking off the people cutting in.
    Still damn annoying though.

    Stan > Yes.

    Mvelase > Spineless queuers were the bane of many a veteran queuer’s life. Send the cutters to Cape Town city centre.
    You make a good point about the DA though. Lest we forget, this project to remove divisive labels (“cutters”,”queuers”) was instigated by an ANC-controlled provincial government. Compare and contrast that with the Hospital Bend “lane pre selection” work, which actually aims to further separate those who would use De Waal and NMB inbound. That (obviously) was dreamed up by the DA-led City.
    Still – you can’t blame the DA for everything. After all, you did vote for them, didn’t you?

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