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Blue Earth streets ‘gone wild’

September 18, 2011
by Chuck Hunt, Register Editor
I'm crabby. If you don’t want to hear me crab, then move on to something else in the paper this week.

Maybe a good story in our agriculture section.

What has me so upset?

Drivers.

Is it just me or has everyone slowly slid away from whatever driving skills they once had?

Allow me to list just a few examples.

People seem to slow down at some stop signs and look one way only, then pull out. They never come to a full stop and they never look the other way.

Listen, I drive a big red van. It is hard to miss. Yet other drivers fail to see me coming all the time.

And, what happened to using turn signals? Does anyone use them anymore? Some folks use them just at the last instant.

Courtesy seems to have gone out the window as well. Someone trying to pull out of a parking spot has to do it fast and takes their life in their hands doing it. Other drivers don’t seem willing to stop and let someone else pull out and go.

Are we all in that big of a hurry?

Now don’t even get me started on the drivers who are busy yakking on their cell phones. Or worse, texting, with their heads bowed over the steering wheel and their eyes definitely not on the road.

My next complaint. Mufflers. Or rather, the lack thereof.

There seems to be several pickup trucks and motorcycles that either came without a muffler or had such item removed. And, they all want to cruise up and down Main Street in Blue Earth.

Plus, because they no longer have any type of exhaust system, and because they want to make the loudest possible noise they can, they roar from one stop sign to the next, even if it is only one block away.

Want proof? Walk Main Street any evening. It happens nearly every night.

One night, during an Art in the Park performance it was almost embarrassing.

The performers were young kids in an orchestra. They were not real loud to begin with. Then they played bells. During their orchestra performance an excessively loud pickup took off from the stop sign at Main and Sixth. When they were playing the bells a motorcycle took off from the same intersection and absolutely roared for the half block before he had to start deaccelerating for the next stop sign.

Granted, he probably had no clue there was an Art in the Park performance that evening. But did he really need to roar as loud as he could in a downtown area?

I guess he did. Others do as well. There seems to be a whole lot of roaring going on.

While I am on a roll here, let me continue.

There are a lot of instances of poor driving habits everywhere. I guess I was used to it when on trips to larger cities, such as Mankato and Rochester.

Now though, it is everywhere.

Why is that?

Could it be that people are no longer paying attention? Is it because everyone is a lot more tense or crabby than they used to be?

I don’t know what the reason, but one sure does not have to drive very far to see instances of it.

Some mornings while on the five block drive to work I come across several cases of people pulling out in front of other cars, not stopping at stop signs, not paying attention to the road, daydreaming, or whatever.

Drivers of motor vehicles are not the only ones who are not paying attention to the rules.

Kids on bikes seem to be almost as bad as their adult car driving counterparts.

This past summer I have seen them riding down sidewalks blowing by any pedestrians. Or blowing through stop signs at intersections with hardly a glance for cars approaching.

Do they know the rules? Do they have a clue which side of the street they should be riding on?

And don’t even get me started on skateboarders. There seems to be some of these who feel they own the streets. I have seen a group of them boarding down the middle of a street. And, amazingly, they don’t even move over when a car comes down the road towards them.

I only hope the texting driver, roaring motorcyclist, unaware biker and road hogging skate boarder don’t all meet some day at the same intersection.

Although it would make for an interesting newspaper story.

The whole point here is to urge you and everyone else to hone those driving skills.

And, always wear your seat belt.
 
 

 

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