Friday, September 12, 2008

Slow down, people

I live in a suburban neighborhood outside of Boston. The kind of place where kids walk to school and we know all the dogs by name, even if we don't remember their owner's names. It's basically a peaceful place. We even live on a narrow 2-way street without a yellow line down the middle.

I've noticed in the past 2 weeks (ever since the kiddos started back to school), that the pace and aggressiveness of drivers has ramped up. This morning, I watched a large SUV ride on the tail of a sedan, honking its horn and nearly sideswiped it in its push to pass it on a small 2 lane suburban road.

Not 2 minutes later, another sedan plowed into the back of a subaru station wagon at the major intersection that all the neighborhood kids have to cross to get to both the elementary and middle school. It's a well signed intersection, with a 4 way walk cycle and brightly painted crosswalk AND a dedicated crossing guard. The light does warn yellow. Cars have plenty of time to stop. What happened is that both cars were traveling too fast and probably on 'yellow'. The lead car (subaru) stopped abruptly halfway into the intersection. The car behind slammed on his brakes and plowed right into the woman in the subaru.

Fortunately, there had not been any kids in the crosswalk and neither of the drivers had gotten hurt.

Slow down, people. How does it help you to live on such a hair trigger?

The more I walk, the less anxious I get when I am driving. When I walk with the dog, I never worry about reaching the crosswalk ahead of the changing light. If I have to wait a light cycle, I wait. I breathe. I pet the dog. It's all good.

Walk more.
Drive less.

Wag more.
Bark less.

Really. You'll feel better.

1 comment:

  1. I couldn't agree more. We stopped going in the car to school because the traffic meant it took look. And was so much more stressful being stuck in a traffic jam. Walking to school is a fantastic way to start the day, especially if, as we do, you get to walk through woodland on quiet mornings. We have a tricky railway tunnel to get through, though, and the big vans that come hurtling through despite the number of mums and kids using it is absolutely terrifying. Every time we get through safely I breathe a sigh of relief.

    I agree.

    Slow down. Stress Less.