Adjusting to Driving in Hartford

Skyler Simpkins ’23 

Opinion Editor

When you finally reach your sophomore year at Trinity, you are given a reward for such perseverance: the ability to purchase a parking pass for $220 per year. Most people succumb to this added debt because – let’s face it – Trinity bangs the need of a car into you your freshman year. Inaccessibility of food on weekends and the questionable food quality when it is provided pushes students to either starvation or exuberant Uber Eats fees. Oh, but the saving grace of this debacle of the pocketbook is the ability to have a car on campus, but that must also have a fee because…college. 

There have been many articles submitted to the Tripod Opinion section throughout the years detailing the horrendous selection of food at Mather addressing subjects like the lack of food for those with dietary restrictions and the inability of the food to be digested. I actually believe crawling to the bathroom after consuming Mather pizza or powder eggs is part of the Trinity matriculation process. Putting this tricky situation aside, I want this article to discuss the adjustment to Hartford driving. 

I am from Arkansas, so the big, open roads back home called for speeds upward of 90 miles per hour and fast turns. Down there, driving is a NASCAR race to test the traction of our tires and the duration of our lives. When I came up here with my car for the first time in my Trinity career, I had to make quite a few adjustments. First off, I had to slow down and pay attention to what was going on around me. While Hartford drivers do tend to disregard all the rules of the road, the pace down here is much slower due mostly to the narrower roads, tight turns, and – apparently – the traffic lights’ lack of lawful enforcement. I do think it is important to note, however, that when I am talking about slowing down, that is due to the high speeds of where I am from. People at Trinity come from all over the country and world, most from the Northeastern US but nevertheless we come from everywhere. Some new drivers at Trinity may have to speed up in general because the most critical thing about Hartford driving to understand is its flexibility and requirement of extensive attention. 

Slow on Broad Street, fast on Farmington Avenue, acceleration at the change of a light, quick brake at a stop sign—all these facets of driving in Hartford require precise measurement of the speed of those in front of you. This all means that I believe the adjustment to Hartford driving will be applicable to everyone, so what is the best way to adjust? 

I would recommend driving as much as you can, specifically to grocery stores, fast-food restaurants, et cetera. Driving to the places of frequent travel helps you adjust to the driving patterns of Hartford versus West Hartford versus Farmington. Connecticut cities are small and, thus, you will probably find yourself driving through two to three cities each time you embark on a journey to a grocery store. When you begin to drive through these small cities and make the travel on a weekly basis, you will learn the intricacies of fast versus slow and caution versus acceleration.  

Hartford driving is a very aggressive experience, so always keep your eyes on the road, and take any chance you have to embark on a vehicular journey, even if you are just needing some bread. 

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