A couple of weeks ago I was musing about how great of shape our road was in. Well maintained, smooth, probably too much so because it encouraged folks from the housing developments up the hill to come speeding down well above the 45 MPH speed limit.
Yesterday the county highway department went through, slapped some oil down and put gravel on top of it.
The work crew went by pretty quickly. One minute we had a beautifully smooth road, the next minute we had a bunch of oil and tar flung about with gravel plopped on top. Some folks slowed down to prevent damage to their vehicle, as there was gravel flying around all over the place, but others just barreled on through above the 45 MPH posted speed limit, dust and stones flying everywhere.
The enhancements to our road have covered up any lane markings and I’m sure the county highway department is waiting for things to settle down before painting the yellow and white stripes. You can still eyeball the middle of the road without an issue but folks in this area are too busy looking at their phones, shaving and/or trying to be stylish in their ride to be aware of their surroundings, so folks are now flying down the road hugging the shoulder. The shoulder is no longer discernible from the main roadway because the county just put stone over everything.
Since I’m not riding my bike this year (due to surgery recovery) I’m doing a lot of walking, especially before work and during two short breaks during my work day. I’ve had to jump in the ditch at least a dozen times in the past 24 hours.
I get that we’re rapidly moving into a “every man for himself” mentality in the United States but when I’m driving a vehicle I still have empathy for pedestrians and cyclists, no matter how annoyingly placed on the roadway they may be. As a pilot we must give way to aircraft types that are slower and/or smaller than what we’re flying. I wish the same applied to the rule of the road.
In the meanwhile, I’ll keep leaping into the ditch as a Kardashian wannabe comes flying through the gravel at 60 MPH.