Drivers, not traffic, the problem

I read the letter to the editor in the Times on Jan. 4 regarding the traffic patterns in Trail being dangerous and the comments of writer Jim Sturgeon.

I read the letter to the editor in the Times on Jan. 4 regarding the traffic patterns in Trail being dangerous and the comments of writer Jim Sturgeon.

In all due respect sir, you have a couple of good points regarding the left turns off of Bay into the bank parking lot and to Farwell. We used to have a no left turn onto Farwell at one time and for some reason it was abandoned. I’m not sure why but the city saw fit to remove it.

As for the rest of his concerns, basically they break down to people’s lack of common sense when driving, their lack of respect, and their disregard for the law.

The scenario he stated where a car had to swerve to miss a car turning on to Bay Avenue isn’t a traffic pattern issue, it’s an issue where the second car was following too close for the speed traveled and not paying attention. Had the second car allowed the proper distance safe braking could occur. But no, we are in too big a hurry.

Regarding the chaos caused in our city streets by shutting down the old bridge. My thinking is it reduced the “flow through” traffic to the old bridge. The survey showed the old bridge handled 1.1 million cars a year which, if you do the math and say that all of those cars passed through town (and not all do, some go to and from Casino and some only go partway into town) and say they all come between 9-5 (busiest times) it adds six cars a minute to the downtown traffic flow via the new bridge.

If spread over 24 hours, it adds a couple cars a minute. Regardless, if we have two bridges the downtown traffic flow will be the same, we will just have a few cars per minute extra turning off of Victoria onto Bay, Cedar and Pine.

People are funny animals; they only remember the day they went to town and it was a little busy but never remember the five days they hardly saw any traffic at all.

A small portion of the people that use them creates the majority of the problems we have on our streets/highways. How many times have you seen people jaywalk and hold up traffic because they don’t care that it’s against the law and dangerous, but because they are too damned lazy to walk around use the crosswalks?

And I have seen this numerous times in the area Mr. Sturgeon spoke of, between Victoria and Farwell.

How many times have you seen people walk across an intersection with the green light but against the red hand that means ‘Don’t walk?’ It’s my understanding the white/red hands are to allow safe pedestrian crossing and also provide a window to make safe left and right turns.

Numerous times I have had to stop mid intersection because someone walked right out in front of me against a red hand. Then they give you a pissy look for being there.

How many times have you been passed or cut off while doing the speed limit on one of our few local passing lanes only to have the idiot get immediately hung up by the six cars in front of you that were going slower than you anyway?

Or passed by a 4×4 while you’re doing the speed limit on snow- or slush-covered roads out by the mall only to be covered with slop or blinded by the snow only to have the idiot get hung up by the six cars in front of you that were going slower than you anyway?

The problem isn’t so much traffic patterns, it’s the people in the traffic.

Dale Evans

Trail