Sunday, December 18, 2005

An Icy Wake-Up Call (AKA, It's True, Boston Drivers Suck)

I sometimes like to kid myself that drivers in the suburbs are marginally more polite than those in Boston proper. Friday's experience disabused me of that notion.

With the sleet and rain came a gigantic puddle on the street at the end of our driveway. Because of the inane paving job done by the Town of Lexington, the road slopes into our driveway instead of into the conservation land across the street. Most of the time this isn't a huge problem--though we had a small retaining wall built in front of our basement door to keep runoff from flooding our home's interior--on Friday it was clear that the drain in the street was clogged by accumulated ice and snow.

My husband quickly realized that if we didn't shovel out the snow (created by snowplow pile-up), the clogged drain would eventually cause the giant puddle to shift to our driveway, and perhaps to our basement. In itself, this wasn't a problem. We put on coats and boots, grabbed shovels and a rake, and began digging out the snowpile from around the drain.

Here's the problem: Despite the fact that it was daylight (approximately 8 a.m.), the vast majority of cars plowed right through the puddle (by my estimate, going at least 10 miles over the speed limit) and cascaded icy water all over me and my husband. Within minutes we were soaked, and the entire operation took longer than it should have because we kept having to stop and jump back from the road's edge to avoid getting sprayed again. Or just run over, for that matter.

Relatively few people slowed down--not even to keep from hydroplaning, for goodness' sake. All in all, a miserable, frustrating experience. I took the time to change clothes before going to work, but Jim had to rush in for a meeting, so he went in drenched.

The words, "WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?!" kept going through my head. They still do, two days later. I mean, jeez--what's your problem? Happy holidays, indeed.


Blogger Rebecca said...

I know!!! It was awful out Friday, and people were just maniacal!!!

7:04 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Bummer. For a truly SFNE way to fight back, appropriate a traffic cone and place it about 3-4 feet out into the roadway from where you're shoveling. This reduces the apparent width of the roadway and makes drivers slow down.

8:57 PM  
Blogger Alison Rose said...

That's an excellent idea, Lisa. Given the amount of snow we've had already, I think there's a traffic cone in our future.

5:05 AM  
Anonymous Ellen said...

We must live on the same street. Perpetually clogged drains, etc. We've got kids walking to Clarke, kids, walking to Bridge (with a grownup of course), people walking dogs. It's clearly a residential area. And then these speeding cars come down the street, with drivers who are just cutting through the neighborhood to avoid one or two famously problematic intersections. Forget the traffic cones, I want speedbumps with spikes sticking out of them.

7:51 PM  
Blogger Alison Rose said...

Ooh, spikes! I like it!

10:18 AM  

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