Northwest NEWS

March 13, 2000

Editorial

There are reasons for 'Road Closed' signs

   A few thoughts regarding the letter from a driver who was upset about being ticketed on NE 165th St. (Cottage Lake area), posted "closed--water over roadway." He was late for work, had to use 165th as a shortcut due to another road problem, was ticketed because he went through the water anyway, was still late for work, and had to go to traffic court and pay a fine (more loss).

   Since I live off 165th, I can commiserate with his frustration in not being able to use the road when he wanted to. It is a pain in the patootie several times a year. But until the problem is solved, I am grateful for whenever we can have police presence on this road. I remember the young man who was killed on 165th when his vehicle flipped into the ditch trying to go through the water. I believe, if memory serves, he drowned in the ditch.

   Speed is another factor to consider. The road is either 35mph or 25mph. Although a fairly straight shot from Avondale, some drivers don't realize they are actually zooming through a neighborhood.

   Folks of all ages are jogging, biking, coming or going to the school bus, walking their dogs. There are entrances and egresses to driveways and small streets to other neighborhoods, some with blind spots.

   Too often I've pulled out onto 165th with no cars in sight and had someone blast me with his horn or give me a finger sign. No way they were going 25mph or even slowed down. They just rip past me.

   I've had two frightening experiences lately. I was in the 25mph section of 165th, headed toward town with a few cars behind. You'll never know how my heart dropped when a boy on a skateboard came bursting from his home driveway and fell, sliding into the middle of the road, both lanes. I was going the speed limit; if I hadn't been, I would have surely hit him. Do you realize how many people would have been damaged by that?

   Again on 165th, this time heading toward Avondale: A late model white car with a load of teenage boys came from behind me going at least 50mph. I could see them in my rear view mirror, driving in the wrong lane, passing every car behind me from the top of the hill where that boy had come out of his driveway.

   Let's face it, folks, there are reasons for the "Road Closed" signs and the speed limits. You can't break the law and then complain when you get called on it. Think about how you pick your battles.

Name withheld by request