The Traffic in Mayberry

The speed limit 25 sign disappeared from the edge of our yard. Stolen or otherwise removed, I don’t know. It’s the kind of object that you don’t recall most of the time because it’s supposed to be there all the time.

Local drivers use my road as a short cut. They ignore both the speed limit and the stop signs. One such stop sign (still) stands close to my house. Besides the obvious annoyance and safety hazard the sign-runners pose to me as a pedestrian, I think about the welfare of the little kids across the street and the peace that evaporates when drivers use this place as a speedway.

At a glance from a window, roughly a third of the drivers ignore or weakly brake at the intersection. Night drivers reign in negligence. All of them rushing to a hospital? Doubt it. All of them can’t be suffering from explosive diarrhea and in need of a toilet, now, either.

I took to my porch steps, watching and listening as traffic passed me. If I didn’t perceive the telltale noise of deceleration, I would turn my head quickly to stare then glare at the driver, and then lock my gaze on the stop sign.

My terrier alternated between co-sentry on the brick steps and resident of the porch swing.

The drivers don’t know I’m impaired and can’t read their license plates. They don’t know that what I’m writing is this blog post and not their vehicles make and model. Jokes on them.

For all I know, my actions go unnoticed by cellphone talkers or drivers actually with their eyes on the road. I’m honing my fake eye contact skills though.

All I know is this: for the lunch hour I spent stationed on my porch, a suburban shamer of speeders, only two cars failed to at least yield at the intersection. The vast majority slammed on the brakes.  Those who braked before my driveway received a smile.

My vision and that speed limit 25 sign might be lacking, but things are happening here people, things are happening.


6 Comments Add yours

  1. Trisha says:

    My narrow, windy street gets used as a speedway too. What shocks me most is the way people drive when taking their kids to the school next door. They have to know that many kids will be walking the same streets that they’re flying down. Good for you for sitting out there!

  2. johnmill79 says:

    Yeah, stuff like that happens in my neighborhood too. I often hear people come tearing through there, an already pedestrian unfriendly area, and hit those speed bumps hard enough to jar bones! I SA a little prayer whenever I dare to venture beyond the curb, especially with all of the distracted drivers out there. Good work you’re doing, I say.

    1. John: Why is it so hard for people to focus only on driving?! Good luck in your neighborhood with those bad drivers. I giggled to myself thinking about someone flying over a speed bump so fast the shocks squeak. I would love to see someone earn a flat tire for that kind of “driving”.

  3. Anonymous says:

    You go Susan! Your Dad, George, and Mr. A. were the sentries of our block in the days of yesteryear. Neighborhood residents are the most effective deterrents to crime, speeders, negligent dog walkers, and litter bugs. You go girl!!

    1. Nothing says “pick up after your dog” like a doorbell ring and a paper bag delivery of what was not picked up in your yard! Good memories.

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