Posted in Buffalo, NY, Commentary

Windshields are HD

So, I’m driving on Buffalo’s Highway 198 (the Scajacquada) at the new mandated 30 mph the other day and was passed by somebody who couldn’t contain his exasperation over the decreased speed and how crazy it was that I wasn’t moving faster. This, despite all the signs, and lights, bells and whistles about going 30. A few days later, coming up Ashland Ave, I spy a guy trying to parallel park a Honda in a cavernous space. Despite all the breathing room, he has a tough go as he chose only to look in his drivers side rear view mirror (no woman driver jokes are permitted to come from that dude). This, after I stupidly thought I had space making the previous turn only to pull out in front of a car that I didn’t see. No harm, just earned that motorist’s ire, deservedly

It’s a wind shield, not a tv.

That popped into my mind as the coverage over the terrible accident between a car that went off the highway and into Delaware Park, striking a family, killing one, as I write this. In watching the news coverage and watching the posts click onto facebook about changed that are perceived to be made, it does make you wonder. While barricades and lowered speed limits and well, taking steps are all good things, we haven’t cured anything truthfully.

We don’t look out for each other on the roadways. I mean, in simple ways, we overlook the little things that might make life easier. I live on a busy intersection, where there are numerous accidents each year. One last summer was caused by a driver who was going to fast and..wait for it, looked at her phone.

While the roads in the Delaware Park accident is deeply flawed, the calls for “returning it to parkway concept” ring a little hollow to me as a car careening at 40 miles per hour isn’t much safer, not that I’m clearer on what a parkway concept is anyway. Politicizing the death of a child in a horrible accident is already underway and unfortunate. The speed limit could have been 30 that day and not much would have been changed. The barricades are great, but we are missing the point in that you can’t legislate dumb.

Things do need to be safer, but we need to do better at looking out for one another. I’m as guilty as the next person to a little obliviousness and cacooned while in my car. I look at the way we all make left turns now and had I done that while taking driver’s ed in high school, I would have become very familiar with the sensation of my own cheek hitting the windshield as the driving instructor would have no problem slamming on her brakes.

Think about how we all treat somebody who attempting to parallel park. You are supposed to chill and wait, but pretty much everybody goes around….sometime into oncoming traffic as we are all in that imagined, yet false rush. I was riding in a car today and you could see folks in the left turn lane (provided they took the trouble to get their cars entirely into the left lane) and the bulk of those good folks are looking down, checking phones.

I was in taxi a few years ago and the driver was running a little amuck, traveling rapidly, too rapidly, at a brace for impact sort of speed up the FDR highway in Manhattan. Jerry Seinfeld once said of such rides, “It’s like it is happening on television, but you can’t change the channel.”

The folks wanting a slower road have a very valid point. It is a tall order to correct something that has generations of traffic going and there is much that can be done, but it wasn’t the culprit.

But we all need to be less buffoon like behind the wheel and at the handlebars. The truth is out there and so are other people.

Let’s be careful out there

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