Hidden lines of sight on streets can be dangerous

by Maryphyllis Horn

Pittsboro, NC – I wish towns in this county (as well as elsewhere) would afford more visible lines of sight at intersections that have no traffic lights. The same is true of diagonal parking. There are so many times in Pittsboro that I drive down a side street to the intersection of west street and see a whole line of vans and small trucks parked along the side of west street. They hide the street so well that I can’t see oncoming traffic. It feels almost like “playing chicken” at those times I thought the way was clear but wasn’t.  Scary. And yeah, I try to avoid those streets like Rectory street as much as I can.

Line of sightThe same is true of diagonal parking when a van is next to my car. It’s scary to back out, so I only inch my way back until I can see if the coast is clear or not. Thank heaven that the people in Pittsboro are very courteous and patient…..the oncoming drivers always pause and wait until I back out of a parking spot (when I thought the coast was clear but wasn’t).  I suspect they’ve been in the same situation. I afford others the same courtesy too.

In cities like Raleigh I don’t see side-of-the-street parking except in residential areas. Good thing. There probably would be too many accidents.

Deer on Roads
I grew up in rural Pennsylvania. Trees hung over country 2-lane roads. We always drove more slowly on them. In bright sun, the fluctuating shade-sun-shade-sun produced “road hypnosis,” so we had to go even more slowly to keep from missing a turn and ending up in a ditch. Branches weren’t low enough to scrape cars or block line of sight. Yet we also had to be on constant alert to avoid deer. Some roads posted “deer crossing, next 5 miles” and in rural New York there was one posting that said “deer crossing, next 29 miles.” And believe me, that was true – never knew when or where there would be deer. It takes vigilance. It takes courtesy and patience toward the deer population’s right of way in the wilderness. They do the best they can.

There have been times I’ve gone out my front door to do a walking errand and found deer on the walk. Beautiful creatures. Yet, if I walk too close to them, they instantly prance away. What I’m saying is, deer don’t intentionally run out in front of us. We humans need to be proactive. And I don’t mean to cut down trees nor trim those branches that make the tree look weirdly lopsided.

All we need to do is to keep in mind, will and heart, a sense of wanting the deer and us to be safe re the roads. Then it’s more likely to happen that way. Especially if we project that sense of caring all along the roads we intend to travel. They will stay away from it. Or if you do see them, you’ll see them in time to slow down or stop. If you’re traveling at night, just flick your lights’ beams high-low-high-low-high-low. That will break their trance-like stare and they will stop. A car insurance agent once told me that.  I’ve had numerous occasions to use it and it always works.

Thank you for reading this far, and hearing some alternatives to what’s already been posted on the Chatlist.