We've Moved

Ecology of Absence now resides at www.preservationresearch.com. Please change your links and feeds.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Driver's Ed 101

by Bridget Frischer

Dear drivers in Brentwood,

As a resident of the neighborhood you only see as a commercial area, I am sick of you all being bad drivers. Every time I leave or come back to my apartment, I fear my safety as I think one of you will hit my car and probably jeopardize my life. Please be respectful and remember that people do live around here. Here are some simple guidelines for driving that you should take heed to not only in my neighborhood, but always when driving.

1. A stop sign means stop; it is not a suggestion to slow down. When I make a complete stop, it is not because I am resigning my right of way to let you, in a hurried panic, rush off to your next shopping destination. I do so because it is the law and it applies to you as well. If it my right of way, I will go. If you decide to go before me and I'm making a left turn, you will risk hitting me at your own fault and you will pay to repair my car. If you do something obviously stupid, I will honk at you until you get the point and the hell out of my way.

2. Read street signs. If you are leaving Brentwood Square and making a left from Eager, the lane that has the sign that says "40 East Only" it means just that. It is illegal to drive through the intersection and you risk hitting people entering the 40 West lane. Again, if you do this, you will risk hitting somebody at your own fault and you will pay to repair their car.

3. When changing lanes, there is something installed in your car called a turn signal. Use it. Brentwood is a busy street and any time you change lanes it is risky, especially when you don't use your turn signals. If you hit somebody because they don't expect you to come into that lane, you will pay to repair their car.

4. Pay attention to your own light. At Brentwood and 40 East, the northbound light turns green before the southbound one does as to let people traveling north on Brentwood enter 40 East. If you are going southbound and decide to drive because the cars going in the opposite direction are moving, you risk hitting someone at your own fault and you will pay to repair their car.

5. If you are entering an on-ramp and making a right turn onto it, the person turning left to enter it has the right of way if they have a left turn signal. You must yield to these people. If you do not, you risk hitting someone at your own fault and you will pay to repair their car, or else somebody else will hit them when they have to stop in the middle of a busy intersection and it will still be your fault.

6. If it is raining hard enough that you have to use your windshield wipers, turn your lights on. This is the law. If it is dark, turn your lights on. This is the law.

If you follow these rules, we can coexist peacefully. These are all things that you should have learned when you acquired your license. Maybe you have forgotten and just need a refresher. I hope this worked for you.


Anonymous said...

Once you become used to not looking for pedestrians in your path, you can easily become used to not even looking for other drivers.

I call it driving like someone with Absent-minded Suburbanite Syndrome.

Joe said...

I'd agree that, particularly in the Brentwood Blvd area, there are a lot of irresponsible drivers around!

However, the very poor design of that road and the on/off ramps to I-64/US 40 and I-170 in that area doesn't help matters. Likewise, the impossible pedestrian access.

I find it quite hilarious that "The Boulevard - Saint Louis" was built as a pedestrian-oriented plaza with on-street parking, in the very heart of the suburban seas of parking with no pedestrian connections. Likewise that this area will be getting two MetroLink stations.

Occasionally I shop in this area; sometimes coming by car, sometimes coming by MetroBus. So I probably will ride MetroLink out there. But getting from one store to another on foot is much more difficult than it ought to be in that area.

As much as I love the "back ways" into Brentwood Promenade and Brentwood Pointe by car, they are not pedestrian friendly routes. You're pretty much stuck with Eager as a pedestrian route, which is even more hazardous.