Volume XI, Issue 32 ~ August 7-13, 2003

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Letters to the Editor

Pick up Bay Weekly — and a Good Meal — at Grumps

Dear Bay Weekly:
As loyal readers and a Bay Weekly distribution point, we ask that our location be updated on your website. We are Grump’s Café, 117 Hillsmere Dr., Annapolis (once the site of Jo’s Deli). Come have breakfast.

— The Grump, Duncan Bradbury

Webmaster's Note: It's fixed! Check it out here!

On the Road, a Good Offense is Not the Best Defense

Dear Bay Weekly:
We don’t always agree, that old curmudgeon Bill Burton and I, but here are my thoughts relevant to his opinion on the proposed “right-hand lane” law [Vol. XI, No. 10: March 6] of about the same vintage.

In Maryland, Routes 2 and 4 don’t kill people; people kill people. The courtesy of the road, which I first noted with refreshing pleasure when I moved here, has greatly decreased. The original Southern hospitality and cordiality is slipping away, and it should not. I remember when I’d be standing on the curb, looking at the sky, and every motorist would stop and wave me across the road in front of them. Even though I hadn’t been intending to cross the road, I couldn’t refuse their kindness. That would have been rude.

Speaking of rudeness, there seem to be more and more people who just won’t stay in line, perhaps because now there appear to be more drivers from the big city down here. Always in a hurry, they drive 75 to 80 miles per hour on a road that was designed for, maybe, 65 max, and care not for vagaries of adverse weather. We should all remember that Route 2/4 is basically the penultimate design of a Blue Star Highway, first designed in the 1950s. The state has done a great job of trying to ease traffic flow and improve the safety in its use, but the essential maximum speed of this vintage highway cannot be exceeded without grave danger to life and limb.

One annoying driving habit that should desist is the Southern Maryland Rolling Roadblock. Just because you are going to make a left turn five miles down the pike does not make it wise, nor courteous, nor safe, for you to drive 55 in the left lane. One-quarter or one-half a mile is plenty to get into the left lane for a turn. Consider for a moment: Some day you may have to drive too fast, such as to get a loved one to the hospital or to a wedding. At such a time, you would not be pleased by being held back by some slowpoke in the left lane gradually passing another in the right.

Back when I started driving, when cars were still called automobiles and some ol’ folks still called them horseless carriages, there were some pretty good rules: Keep right except to pass was one of them. Two others were signal before making a move and stay one car length behind the car ahead for each 10 miles per hour you were driving.

Almost a whole generation has passed since the concept and practice of defensive driving has been taught, and I understand it is not being taught to the newly certificated drivers of today. Judging by the headlines, the frequency of sirens and insurance premiums, I would guess that the time is ripe to bring back this emphasis on taking care to defend yourself on the highways. And no, in this case a good offense is not the best defense.

P.S. Your cover on Vol. XI, No. 17 was great.

— Doug Keyser, St. Leonard

Editor’s note: Artist Gary Pendleton’s watercolor of the Bay’s chain of being illustrated our 10th anniversary issue April 30.

We welcome your letters and opinions. We will edit when necessary. Include your name, address and phone number for verification. Mail them to Bay Weekly, P.O. Box 358, Deale, MD 20751 • E-mail them to us at [email protected].



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Last updated August 7, 2003 @ 12:49am