Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Has no one noticed all the pretty little stop signs around here?

I think I am an okay driver. I have been behind the wheel of a car since I was 18. I was in NY then and decided the time was ripe to learn and so I called a driving school that advertised its services on the back of a matchbox and asked for a couple of lessons. The instructor came over to where I was living in Manhattan, sat me behind the wheel and said “drive!”

Since then, I have logged in what seems like millions of miles on several continents, in bad weather, poor road conditions, amidst tractors, cattle and bicyclists, in the glare of broad daylight and in the middle of a pitch black night. I have never had an accident. My driving is so calm and predictable that it puts most passengers on long hauls to sleep. I stop for pedestrians on crosswalks and I try not to run over little critters on the road.

But I am at my wits end when I negotiate the newly constructed little curving drive that snakes past the west-side Borders in Madison. This stretch of road seems to defy even the best of the best. No one drivers correctly here. Drivers pull out of  parking lots (which, unfortunately, surround you on all sides) and side lanes without heed to convention or rules of the road, in the way that you would when you have no idea who has the right of way and you don’t care.

If I stuck to my guns and did what the good book told me (I mean the driving manual), I would be the proud owner of a pulverized heap of metal. So, in case you are reading this blog, let me send forth this little note:
Dear city planners and road engineers, 
You suck.


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