Tuesday, June 2, 2015

On the Roads

   Despite all of the new safety improvements being added to cars and touted on their commercials, it would seem that many of the vehicles on the roads these days are lacking one of those basics: The turn signal!
   That has to be the reason there are so many drivers switching lanes and making turns without any sort of indication of their intentions. Surely they don't expect everyone to read their minds, right?
   Of course, it could just be that these drivers don't have any hands free to flip the turn signal, what with the coffee cup in one hand and the smartphone in the other.
   It's only a matter of time until some car manufacturer announces that it now has a voice-activated turn signal. "Left lane!" Blink-a-blink. "Right lane!" Blink-a-blink. "Pulling over for cop behind me." Blink-a-blink-a-blink.
   Or how about one that is tied directly to the GPS? When the robotic voice tells you to "Turn left in 500 feet," it could automatically signal for you!
   When it happens, remember where you first read about it.


   Now that I am home during the day, I've become aware of just how many lawn service companies there are in our area: There are a lot of them! 
   They work quickly; in some cases they get the lawn mowed and edged, clippings bagged, and leaves and detritus blown away in ten minutes. And then they are off to the next house, perhaps a number of blocks away.
   Most of them have stand-on lawnmowers which I guess are a bit of  hassle to load and unload onto the truck. So, instead of doing that, the operator just drives the mower from one house to another, even when they are blocks apart. 
   In the space of an hour this morning, I saw five different mowers go by. (One of them made a brief detour to mow our next door neighbor's lawn.) It was like watching a very disjointed and quite noisy parade.
   One can only imagine if competition heats up and these guys start racing one another to houses to get the lawns mowed.


   There is a really lovely bicycle path that runs through Farmingdale (continuing south to Massapequa and north to Plainview), though "bicycle path" is really a misnomer since it is used just as much by folks who are walking, running, and rollerblading.
   Common courtesy requires bicyclers to advise walkers, etc. that they are about to pass them so that these pedestrians don't suddenly move into the path of the approaching two-wheeler. This is easily accomplished by saying (loud enough so they can hear you) "On your left!"
   Unfortunately, there appear to be many bike riders who are mutes because they go whizzing by without uttering a sound, much to the startled dismay of those they are passing.
   Maybe some safety-minded inventor can come up with a radar detector for bicycles that can sense people ahead and sound a warning. "Look out! Biker coming!" "Get out of the way!" Or perhaps just, "On your left!"


  1. Are you sure you're not Andy Rooney?


  2. I work for my state's DOT.......28 years now. I think some of the cars and trucks are practically driving themselves now. I spend most of my time watching the oncoming traffic while my crew is working. Nearly every driver I see is doing something with their phone and/or eating, drinking coffee, reading the paper, shaving, or putting on make-up......usually a couple of those at a time, all while driving 70 - 80 mph in four lanes of traffic.