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043 Speeding 2009-02-09

speeding car

I walk, run, and bike the streets of town daily. In my urban travels I often see drivers endangering themselves and others in their reckless maneuvers. Some of which are talking or texting on mobile phones, not looking right before turning right, running red lights, not stopping at stop signs, tailgating, and .... well, people have figured out many ways to add excitement into their lives through their driving skills (or lack thereof). I complain about drivers interaction with non-fast-moving-vehicles but, for now I only want to talk a bit about speeding. I don’t mean speeding on some non-congested interstate (where there is no one to kill but yourself), I mean speeding in town.

On one end of the street where we live is a busy throughway and on the other end is a local bypass. The speed limit on the throughway, bypass, and our street are all thirty miles per hour. Without speed calming devices, the driver basically goes as fast as they want through our neighborhood. When in fact a driver is probably driving recklessly if they drive the speed limit on our street, much more so if they are actually speeding.

Oddly enough, I never noticed neighborhood speeders until I actively practiced self-powered transportation. Runners are able to judge the speed of an approaching car much like a batter judges the speed of a fastball. Bicyclist try to gauge the speed as they attempt to change lanes for turning. Walkers see all traffic and all else that is happening around them, because walkers are generally not in a rush to be anywhere.

So why speed? I’m late. I’m in a hurry. Or I speed just because I can.

But wait, don’t you know there are children who walk the sidewalks and cross the streets? Balls that roll from behind cars into the street, followed by retrieving toddlers. Youngsters trying to learn to ride a bike. Skateboards and scooters weaving for speed. Animals and pets live in the area and feel obligated to cross the avenues. Delivery trucks stopped in front of houses. Cars backing out of driveways. Inexperienced and over-experienced drivers needing to be somewhere. And the list for "please don’t speed" goes on and on.

Zrooom, there goes another one.

It is sometimes easy not to practice good judgement, as you are behind the wheel of a heavy, big, powerful, fast moving vehicle impervious to the world around you. I go fast because I can.

From street level your driving looks different. It’s scary and you know the expression "speed kills" , but the problem is in town it probably will not be the driver who is at risk.

Slow down, please.

Happy asphalt trails.


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