Saturday, October 15, 2005

Driving me nuts!

I like Sudbury. It's a pretty low key place, the people are friendly (if puzzled about why I would want to move north when I'm from the south, where it seems that everyone goes to find work, etc.), and there's lots of trees and lakes around.

But. I hate driving here. The streets are in pretty bad condition, if not under construction. I could wax poetic about how long Paris Street has been under construction, or the asinine reconfiguring of the Four Corners (where Paris intersects with Regent), but it would take hours. Really.

And the drivers? Scary. Really scary. When I come to an intersection, I always pause when the lights turn green because there may still be a few drivers who are trying to make it through the intersection before the cars going in the other direction start moving. The general philosophy can be described thusly: yellow lights mean "hurry up", red means "you still have 2.5 seconds before the other lights turn green, and then another 1.5 seconds before they react", and green means "don't go just yet, just wait to see if anyone is going to run this." I've sat on my balcony and watched people run very obviously red lights. And turn signals? Speed limits? Mere triffles to used when there are police cars around.

Every weekend, someone's holding a charity car wash at a plaza or gas station or grocery store or wherever. Driving around on a Saturday morning, you are guaranteed to see two or three of them, as well as the occasional group selling Krispy Kreme donuts (imported from somewhere south of here that morning). I don't mind it much if I'm walking around, but if I'm driving, it's hazardous, and only partly because everyone slows down to see what's going on.

Inevitably, whoever's running the car wash has five or six kids there to help, and generally they help out by standing by the road, jumping up and down, waving signs advertising the car wash. And when I say "by the side of the road", I mean stading on the curb, waving signs and jumping around. Firstly, it's distracting, especially on a busy road where there's a lot of fast-moving traffic. Secondly, it's dangerous putting kids that close to the edge of the road. Never mind the crazyness of the drivers - I watched one kid almost slip and fall this morning. Thank heavens there were no cars near her.

(And I know my mother is thinking that I'm just being cranky like usual. I'm not!)

Now, so as not to leave you on a sour note, pictures!

Sunset and sundown from my balcony, Tuesday night.