Showing posts with label accidents. Show all posts
Showing posts with label accidents. Show all posts

Friday, April 17, 2015

Surely the Drivers in Oregon are Better


         I don’t recall having seen a car accident the entire time that we were in Oregon.  That doesn’t mean they didn’t exist.  I did see one patrol card on the side of the road had pulled someone over.  I saw one other police car.  But that was it.

         Someone had burned down the High School in Albany the night before we arrived.  We didn’t see the High School.  We just heard about it.

        Exactly one week ago, when I took Jenna to school, the sun was so bright in the morning.  I generally stay in the parking lot an additional 30 – 40 minutes allowing the sun the rise further up in the sky before I get back on the road.

         There is no normal in my routine as I haven’t been driving for that long and had forgotten how I did things a year and a half ago. Having spent spring break in Oregon had actually thrown me off remembering anything really. So I turned onto the main road instead of going around – not even thinking about it one way or the other – not until I approached the intersection and saw what looked like the rear end of a fire truck.  Perhaps I was wrong.  I just saw traffic at a stand still.  Many impatient drivers turned around – including me. 

         If I had thought about it, I would have just stayed put.  I really wasn’t in a hurry.  I just don’t care for traffic.  I’d rather spend an extra 20 – 40 minutes taking a less traveled route than to be bumper to bumper waiting to move.  But my decision caused me to slow for two different school zones.

         When I had gone to elementary school, students were given the opportunity to patrol – not only at the school but at the crosswalks as well.  I haven’t seen students as crossing guards for quite a number of years.  I saw it that day.  One school had students patrolling the neighborhood streets.  I wouldn’t want my student out there!

         When I passed the street with plugged intersection, I saw a ROAD WORK sign.  I questioned whether I had seen a fire truck or not – or was that a utility truck I saw that carries the poly cones?  Is my eyesight getting so bad that I can’t even tell the difference?  But then I was never actually that close to it to examine the details.  There had been several cars in my way.

         Shortly after I returned home, the Internet went out.  It was a pretty off chance that the road work/accident would be related.  I had no way of looking it up to find out – though I considered going to the library to see if service was working there.

         Several years ago (long before marriage – still in high school) I remember listening to the radio in another county.  The power flickered and I remember the DJ announcing the freakish outburst of power surge. 

         “That’s a coincidence, “ I thought.

         Really, power outage from one intersection to another seems rare – but from one county to another?  No way.  Turns out that the power outage had affected the entire state of Utah, some parts of Nevada and Wyoming.  I had never heard of that before, and yet I was around when it happened. (article about it can be found here and here )

         My aunt and uncle had tickets to see “Annie” that night.  Of course it was cancelled and they didn’t get to see it. 

         My brother, Patrick, picked up a newspaper and announced, “I am going to read my horoscope just for the fun of it”

         I don’t actually know anyone who puts faith in horoscopes – though I know there are people who do. We just don’t happen to take the entire zodiac thing seriously.

         Patrick read his horoscope out loud.  It said that he would be experimenting problems with electricity today.  We all laughed and then the lights came on.  The lights came on in our neighborhood.  We had been listening to a transistor radio for updates.  According to the announcer, the state was still without power.  But we had power!  I don’t know how many people on our street or in our neighborhood.  But some of us had power.  I don’t know why.  That entire event was just so odd.

         When I left the house to pick up Jenna, we were still without Internet service.  I passed an accident in the lanes going the opposite direction as I. At least two cars were involved.  One had tried turning left (or so it appears) There were no signs of whatever incident took place in the next intersection that morning.

         Jenna and I stopped at the library.  The internet was working there.  Our house was without for almost ten hours.  We had called on it more than once.  We were told that it was the area we were in and that they were working on it. I would like an explanation on why it had gone down for so long.
 
         A few more people now know that we are moving to Oregon.  Jenna is excited to have a yard sale.  We haven’t much time, really.  I have actually wondered if the neighbors from across the street moved while we were gone.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Slow Down, People – seriously – SLOW DOWN!!!


The weather the past few days have made for awesome biking weather, driving weather, walking weather . . . except for one thing.  There are some drivers who think they own the road and that the rules don’t apply to them.  They can drive as fast as they wish, as reckless as they wish and ain’t nobody in the path that is going to stop them.  Oh, whoops – there was.  Most of this could have been prevented.   

I was at the front of the school yesterday – and have to walk a ways to the bus stop and make at least three transfers.  I make my first transfer at the college.  I decided to take the 41 in whatever direction came first.  The first one to come was going eastbound and then I made my final transfer to the 217 – which is the bus I normally take.  But there was a blockage that prevented both northbound and southbound traffic.  The bus had to turn back and take a long detour around that area.  I was at a loss at what might have taken place.  The blockage was between intersections.  I couldn’t even visualize an accident.

Seven hours later I was on the bus going southbound.  Same detour.  What the heck?  I was reminded of this incident – when Roland and Jenna and I were returning to the house when we lived in Kearns.  

         It was after 8:00 p.m. when we made our turn off 4000 W onto a neighborhood street that would take us home.  We could see the lights up ahead from all the emergency vehicles that were there.  We watched the news and heard this story.  The number of children varied with each report.  Some local authorities said as low as five were hit.  Some said seven.

         I’m certain that it was not the intent of the driver to plow down those students – or was even aware that he was off course or where he was or what was happening.  It was later explained that he was driving with or without medication that caused a reaction. 

         The next morning that part of the street was still closed down – over 15 hours after it happened.  It had remained closed due to investigation on what was considered a crime.



         I actually hadn’t thought too much about it after we had left Kearns.  Not until yesterday when I learned that Redwood was still closed in that same location as it had been that same morning.  I know that being without power is quite painful, but I felt relieved to know it was not as serious as accidents causing injuries or death – or even worse, a crime that had led to murder.

         Roland was to meet me at Jenna’s school as we had an appointment with her teachers.  He wouldn’t have been able to go home his usual way anyway.  I told him about the blockage and he sent me a list of five different accidents taking place all throughout the valley – all at approximately the same time – all causing backed up traffic, detours and delays.

         The day before, police were out patrolling – looking for speeders and evidently meeting their goal.  I saw the same police officer pull over a second car after driving away from having written up someone else.

         There was a police truck behind a civilian car blocking the bus stop at the college.  It doesn’t happen often that a vehicle blocks the pathway of the bus.  But I have seen it three or four times where the bus driver becomes angry and will honk and shake his fist at the driver.  The bus driver was ticked but decided not to provoke the police officer (I guess)

         I suppose accidents at this time of year are common – but in the past it’s been due to ice and snow – not totally to stupidity.  Why drive so recklessly?  Why not enjoy the weather?

         Even some bus drivers have been known to have led feet.  Shame on them for flying from intersection to intersection, zooming past three or four other bus stops along the way – only so they can wait 3-5 minutes so they won’t be “ahead of schedule” – I don’t have the strength to run to the corner and across the street.  I’m an old woman!

         Just slow down.  Don’t go over the speed limit.  Don’t speed up for yellow lights!  Is your being in a hurry really worth the delays you create for others?  Is it worth risking others’ lives? Or even your own?  Leave early if you must.  But don’t speed.  Please slow down.

Monday, February 2, 2015

A Plea for Drivers to USE MORE CAUTION When Approaching the Intersection


On Friday morning, after Jenna and I had parted ways, I decided I would return to the stop where we had got off and take a bus to the high school and transfer there. 

I noticed the street was surprisingly clear and I could cross, but first I decided to text the time to see if it was worth the time.  Ten minutes.  I could cross the street and wouldn’t have to wait until I got to the high school.

As I was crossing, I noticed lights flashing in all directions from the intersection.  Then it dawned on me – the traffic was light on the side going north because no cars were getting through.  No buses either.  And so I called UTA to find if the detour would skip the stop I was at. 

It was a horrible accident.  Traffic was rerouted.  The bus drivers took a route behind the school and over to a road five stops away.  The only stop it made between the two main intersections was the stop where I usually go.

To think if I hadn’t been so lazy and thought myself clever, I could have been home 30 – 45 minutes before.

We found ourselves in a similar situation this morning.  This time it happened on the way to school and not on the return.  Different intersection and I’m guessing that no one was killed due to this morning’s collision.

Our driver had actually hit all the stops before turning around and backtracking through the college.  A few passengers who hadn’t been paying attention seemed a bit panicked when she turned.

“Where are we going?”

“There’s an accident up ahead.  We are on detour.”

I had actually wondered if the driver would take us to the main road right away.  The passengers were regulars from years ago.

“Oh, yes.  I remember this”

“Remember when they had a stop right here?” 

Traffic was backed up in a major way and so I planned on taking a different route home.  But after Jenna and I parted ways, and I approached the main road, traffic was moving again.  It still took a while to get home however.  Bus was late and I missed transfers. 

It’s possible to slow down, even for green lights.  Please use caution in the Intersections.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Thank You Budda and Freedom Fighter




            A week after Jenna’s first art class had finished, UTA had a problem when one of its trains derailed downtown.  The same train we would have been on had we still been commuting downtown.


I guess it wasn’t just UTAs problem, but anyone driving that particular path downtown.  It appears that it was covered by all of the media during some point of day.  But I hadn’t heard about it until after 6:00 p.m.  I guess by then it had become “old news” and I didn’t know anything more about it until the following day when I typed “UTA derailment” on Google. 


            The Tribune article was the first one that I came across.  Comments can be submitted and read at the end of the article. Many hurtful comments were made toward UTA and thus UTA passengers, but just as many had come to the defense of UTA and those who may have no choice other than public transportation.  I admire the courage of those who submitted their comments in defense of the passengers – many who do not choose to use public transportation but are empathetic to those who do.


            I didn’t read even half the comments.  It was hard to read the ones that ripped into the inconvenience of having to put up with rails and public transportation in the first place.  They are the ones who should be most grateful, I would think.  Certainly they have been inconvenienced by the construction and the building of UTA and perhaps getting behind a bus once in a while – but really, if they would look at the whole picture and consider the many passengers who use public transportation as a convenience so that they don’t have to drive or park downtown, public transportation makes it so much easier for those who do choose to drive because there are less cars to deal with.  Daily traffic could be so much worse.


            Slow moving or rerouted or stand still is an inconvenience.  Generally the traffic itself is not life threatening.  It doesn’t rob us of possessions or health.  It’s an inconvenience.  I’d much rather deal with horrible traffic situations than vandalism, or a tornado, or being shot.  Be grateful for public transportation and traffic lights and stop signs and traffic cops and so forth because when they aren’t present, things go awry. 


            So thank you budda and freedomfighter and for others who came to the defense of public transportation because (as pointed by some users of public transportation) there really are several who don’t have a choice.  We ALL need public transportation.  It does make a positive difference overall.



             For other coverage you can click here or here.  There is even a video on youtube.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

I am so Grateful for my Decision to Give Up Driving


     I believe there are seven traffic lights between the bus stop nearest our house and the bus stop nearest to Jenna’s school.  Three of those lights are at major intersections – though the middle through street doesn’t seem to have as much traffic as the other two.   

     Truth be known, I would go out of my way for that particular street – but this morning there was a terrible accident and I would guess all of the emergency vehicles that arrived on scene had blocked the traffic in all directions.  One could move west and south initially, but that probably came to a halt.

     I had gotten off the bus at that particular intersection because I wanted to purchase three ingredients that were needed to make my enchiladas.  After I had made my purchase, I returned to the bus stop and saw that the bus would be delayed and I might be better off finding a different route. 

     Normally I would be riding north but had chosen a route that was headed west and normally turns south at said intersection – but there was just no way it would be turning.  Especially when the paramedics turned in front of the bus and blocked the lane where the bus would normally turn. 
 


     The driver, less than thrilled with the situation, continued west and detoured through a neighborhood to get back to the main road we needed to be on.  I had to back track where I had already been, but eventually made it to the TRAX station where I got out. 

     First I walked to the library to return a book and then I went to wait for the train.  I got off the train two stops later and waited for the bus and got off three stops later to continue to my house on foot. 

     Car accidents are such a pain – not only to the people driving, but those behind them and those who are waiting for the bus unaware that an accident has caused the bus to detour and perhaps have taken a detour around the waited stop.



 

     One of the worse accidents that I remember having detoured around took place as Jenna and I neared Kearns high school where she was taking a theatre class.  I didn’t have my blog then and was actually driving at the time.

     It was a Wednesday.  Jenna was in the first grade, I think.  We were living in West Valley and though the class did not start until 6:30, I would pick her up from school and drive to Kearns and we would park in my sister’s driveway and then visit with different neighbors until about 6:00 and then we would walk to the high school from wherever we were.

     On that particular day we had a five-hour window rather than our usual three, but I drove my usual route towards Kearns rather than returning to West Valley.  I saw the slowed traffic ahead and took my own detour.  It was before 2:00.  It didn’t occur to me that the instructor would be detoured four hours later due to the same accident.  



     Traffic was soooooooo soooooooo slow that night – as though the entire valley had been rerouted.  Everyone seemed inconvenienced.  It wasn’t until the next day that I heard about how severe the accident had been and how one or two people had to be flown from the scene to the hospital.
 

     It was actually a poorly marked intersection.  I had been in an accident at the same exact intersection only two weeks prior. I don’t know that they really fixed the situation.  There were more traffic lights added with x’s and arrows and extra lanes.  I really dislike that street.

     Before I started this post I could hear sirens.  All morning long I’ve been hearing them.  I’m thinking more accidents.  People just don’t take precautions anymore.  I don’t understand why so many were ever issued driver’s licenses.  Apparently in Utah, the written test is open book.  You think maybe we should change that?


     I really don’t remember when I last took the written test.  I would think I was still single.  I was surprised that they didn’t have me take it when I went back to renew just a few months ago.  But that’s okay.  I’m not planning on driving where there is traffic.  I’m okay with the dessert.  I’m okay with hick towns.  But I don’t want to drive where there’s traffic.