Tuesday, January 11

SLOW DOWN, DAMNIT!!

My friend at The Glamorous Life of a Hausfrau wrote a post about people disregarding the slower speed limits in school zones and speeding through them with little regard for the children (or the adults who protect them.) She reminded me of a situation we had here in Raleigh some years ago.

At the entrance to my neighborhood before the stoplight was installed, people attempting to go straight across or turn left were taking their lives in their hands. Traffic wasn't heavy, but it was steady, and no one ever slowed down enough to let cars cross over. A member of our HOA contacted the NCDOT in hopes of getting a light installed, and he was given umpteen reasons why that was not a good idea....not enough traffic in the area, lights cost too much, etc. They would not budge - until - a car full of teens on their way to school got T-boned and one died. 

That HOA member again called the head of the NCDOT and was given the same song and dance about lights costing too much ($30K at that time) and then the HOA guy said..."Do you have children, Mr. ______?" And when he said yes, the guy asked him...."Then how can you tell any parent that the life of their child is not worth $30k?" Guess what?  We got our light.

I would surely hate to think that a child is going to have to be killed at that school before the authorities do something to slow down the speeders!

17 comments:

LL Cool Joe said...

Proving the point that it is possible to get things changed if you make enough noise about it.

Darlene said...

Having just cleared out last years accumulation of papers I have to admit that I am a pack rat, too. I am trying to reform and throw away the accumulation of hints on 'how to', but it's hard. I always think, But I may need this someday.' I guess I'm more of an addict.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Ir is really terrible that it takes the death of a child to make something happen that is such a traffic hazard. I know what you mean, Judy. At the bottom of the street going on to Outpost Drive....we had no STOP signs or anything, for years and years...And it was an extremely dangerous entry--You took your life in your hands every time you made that turn onto Outpost....Finally, STOP Signs were put in on about 5 streets going all the way up to the top of the hill....But, still, people on Outpost Drive---the main drag, often make what has become known as a "California" Stop---It is really a Roll Through.....Still extremely dangerous, for one and all.

Tabor said...

I agree that it only happens after a serious accidental death...then they look at the traffic light situation.

Fran aka Redondowriter said...

This is always a concern. I like the addition of speed bumps (we have them all across our campus and the neighborhoods we have to drive through to get here.) I also like the little Keith Haring looking rubber statue that some neighbors post saying SLOW DOWN.

I've been in work overwhelm for a while, but hopefully will get by more often now.

Kay Dennison said...

I like what you said here and glad you got results.

Arkansas Patti said...

Sadly, that is exactly just what they usually wait for. Too bad they can't put portable speed bumps out during school hours.

srp said...

Speed bumps work well... most of the time.
Sometimes they put in light after light... but forget to fix the timing of those lights so that traffic gets snarled in all directions. Good intentions, unintended consequences.

The places that really are annoying and hard to figure out are the mall entrances... the entering car has no stop sign but always stops... the others who have the stop sign have to wait until they figure out they are supposed to go. But in one of ours there is an entrance that is like a T with an off centered drive coming in at the top of the T and three have stop signs while the car entering the lot has a yield sign. What on earth do you do with that? Yield to who... the three with stop signs? Why? In what circumstance? They all have stop signs! The MOST confusing place in the universe... I go into that shopping center by another way just to avoid this intersection.

Peruby said...

I work with people in education and there is a school zone just about 500 feet from our parking lot. I always watch employees who leave ahead of me. You would be amazed at those that DO NOT slow down through the school zone when the lights are flashing.

Evil Twin's Wife said...

I think I am going to recommend speed bumps - thanks to your commenters! There is one little boy who flies out the doors every afternoon - he is accompanied by a teacher, but she doesn't have his hand. If his mom wasn't always there to catch him, he'd be dashing into the street. Those little ones are fast and full of energy!

Nancy said...

OOLOTH mentioned the "California rolling stop" at her local stop signs.

We have,or should I say HAD that same thing here until the local police put up this statement at every stop sign in our area.

COMPLETE STOP: FREE
ROLLING STOP: $125.00

Then they stationed a patrol car at a different stop sign every day.You never knew where they were,so everybody REALLY had to stop and things became safer for all.

Ginnie said...

A good reminder for all of us, Judy, and now (with the money crunch) it will be harder than ever to convince the legislators to keep our needs up front.

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Joy Des Jardins said...

People use to speed through our neighborhood all the time. Putting up a few extra stop signs has helped, but there's always those who don't really stop and kind of coast through them. That just infuriates me. We have several schools in the area; and although I no longer have children of that age any longer, I'd be concerned as a parent in general about this problem.

Pat said...

I hate the odd local bully boy who sits on your tail and tries to make you drive as dangerously as they do in a red zone(danger with a high number of accidents).

Bob-kat said...

Too busy with their eyes on the budget rather than providing a safe road environment.

Carmi said...

I often wonder why our entire landscape has to be so dominated by the car. I hope that within my lifetime, the psychology of urban design and common sense will evolve toward the kind of thinking that doesn't always place the almighty car at the top of the transportation food chain.

Until then, we'll have to content ourselves with risking life and limb whenever we're outside, all so that some uncaring, unthinking noob can get to the 7-11 42 seconds earlier.