Sunday, June 12, 2011
Here's Your Sign
One thing I noticed in Europe is that the roads aren't cluttered with ridiculous signs. I don't recall seeing any stop signs and perhaps a few yield signs and speed limit signs. Traffic lights are only on major thoroughfares. Everywhere traffic simply merges into roundabouts. The other thing is Italians know how to drive, they don't just drift around in a semi-comatose state with a cell phone in their ear and a burrito on their lap.
They tried a roundabout in Asheville , but it didn't work. People just stopped dead and spilled their Slurpies in their laps. I drove into Asheville yesterday and was amazed at all the traffic lights I had to stop for. Every little strip mall and retirement community had its own stop light. Are people too stupid to make a right turn after a stop? Or if traffic is heavy and they can't go left, does anyone have the cerebral capacity to turn right and then turn around or actually discover a different route? UPS did a study and found out that skipping left turns completely actually saves fuel.
Now we have signs that warn us of up-coming signs. What do you expect from a country of pre-diabetics, pre-hypertensives and pre-cancer neurotics?
There is a lot of money in signs and there is no limit to the stupidity that can be placed at our roadsides. Do they make us safer? No, they don't. They just overcome our senses and make us oblivious to the real hazards. While you're studying the No Parking Sign for the "pregnant senior citizens with peanut allergies" you may not see that Frito-Lay truck backing into you.
I just love sitting at a light for three minutes at 5 am waiting for the stop light for the post office to change. I just love sitting behind a school bus that can't for some reason make a right turn on red. Who thought that one up? No wonder we use so much fossil fuel, we are stopping at deserted intersections, having to slow down to 20 mph when some medicated blond pulls out in front of you and forgets where the gas pedal is while texting. Sometimes you have to go abroad to see what's wrong here. It's like the generation raised on "T-Ball" all got their drivers licenses in Asheville.
Some signs I would like to see:
DON'T STOP DEAD WHEN MERGING ON THE INTERSTATE.
MAKE LEFT TURNS INTO LEFT LANE AND RIGHT TURNS INTO RIGHT LANE.
DON'T ENTER AN INTERSECTION YOU CAN'T CLEAR.
IF YOU INSIST ON DRIVING LIKE MR. MAGOO STAY IN THE RIGHT LANE.
PUT THE CELL PHONE DOWN- YOU'RE NOT THAT IMPORTANT.
IF YOU CAN'T WORK THE T.V. REMOTE DON'T MAKE LEFT TURNS.
IF YOU CAN'T BUCKLE YOUR OWN SEATBELT, DON'T DRIVE.