On the roads, patience is a virtue

I recently moved to the Wetaskiwin and Leduc area and have happily settled in. Growing up in a rural area, I enjoy smaller town life.

I recently moved to the Wetaskiwin and Leduc area and have happily settled in. Growing up in a rural area, I enjoy smaller town life.

However, I really liked reading the recent letter we published about Hwy 2A driving because I grew up in a rural area with only two-lane or gravel roads.

I totally agree with the writer, Gord Redford, about tailgating, rammy drivers on Hwy 2A passing people in sketchy situations to get five feet further ahead. Some motorists are causing problems; just since I moved here there have already been several head-on or t-bone collisions, including a very serious one at Glen Park Road intersection a couple months ago.

Everyone can sympathize in a way because Hwy 2A is a very busy road, and the heavy traffic can sometimes be frustrating. But patience is a virtue.

Let’s switch gears: what’s with the wacky northbound Hwy 2 merge ramp from Hwy 2A on the south side of Leduc? Heading westbound, the merge ramp that leads onto Hwy 2 has a speed sign that says 50 km/hr, but Hwy 2 traffic is 110 km. Let’s be frank… Highway 2 as it passes through Leduc is a heck of a lot faster than 110 km/hr and the traffic on Hwy 2 is not particularly considerate in that the thru traffic could take the left lane, leaving the right lane open for merging. But that doesn’t happen very often. What happens much more often is horn-honking and middle fingers.

So, a pretty busy road (2A) is merging with a high-speed freeway, and you’ve got 50 km/hr traffic driving into a merge lane that isn’t very long to begin with. I was taught that, when merging, you speed up to match the traffic you’re merging with, but in this situation you literally have to put the gas pedal to the floor just to get up to the speed limit that few motorists are following anyway. Weird.

But one of the most alarming things I’ve noticed not just about Wetaskiwin and Leduc, but the Edmonton Capital region in general is the pathetic state of public parking lot driving. I like to park further out in large parking lots because I don’t like other drivers near my car. From my experience, some people couldn’t care less if they shove their door open and chip my car. I care, but they certainly don’t seem to.

Hence, I end up walking across some parking lots. That’s okay. I need the exercise. But you have to keep you eyes peeled, because people drive stupidly fast in local parking lots, and they don’t seem to care that all laws of the road apply to public parking lots (stopping, yielding the right-of-way, traffic lanes, signal lights etc.), and they don’t seem to care that pedestrians are around. At all.

Judging by the number of pedestrian collisions in the capital region, it behooves us all to employ “defensive walking,” not just “defensive driving.”

Again, consideration comes into the equation. Sadly, it doesn’t seem consideration is a virtue that’s in great supply on our local roads.

Stu Salkeld is the new editor of the Leduc/Wetaskiwin Pipestone Flyer and writes a regular column for the paper.

 

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