Wednesday, February 27, 2008/lk
I see another problem brewing in Sunnyside. It's a problem I have heard residents complain about off and on for the last two and a half years I have lived in the Lower Valley.
I hate to point out problems in our community, because I really like living here. Now that farmers are gearing up for this year's planting season, the fields in my neck of the woods are being fertilized with a mixture of human and animal excrement. That smell is just gaglicious.
I kidd. The smell only lasts for a couple of days, a little longer if I don't give my dogs a bath right away. But for the most part Sunnyside is a decent place to live, and if you believe some people, it's one of the top places in America to raise children.
Still, the community has its problems. One of those minor cans of worms are people who can't drive. For those of you who CAN drive, you know what I'm talking about.
Who hasn't had someone pull right out in front of them like it was nothing? Forget about the fact you have to hit the brakes so you don't ram into their tail end. It would be one thing to get the "OOPS, sorry" wave but to be just ignored by the idiot is twice as frustrating.
And what's with the people who can only drive 20 mph in town? Are they stupid? Are they drunk? There's probably a good mixture of both.
I think Mark Kunkler said it best when he addressed a Sunnyside Noon Rotary Club meeting and said, "I never realized there were so many people who drove 20 mph in Sunnyside."
He was responding to a question asked by a Rotarian about the recent change to Yakima Valley Highway, from Sixth Street to 16h Street. It seems since reducing the road from four lanes to two, city staff have been getting complaints because people get stuck behind...wait for it...drivers who only drive 20 mph.
That's never affected me on the highway but I have been stuck behind cars going 20, 15 and even 10 mph on the city streets. Yes, that's right, 10 mph. I was livid and I couldn't pass. All I could do was yell the seven forbidden words over and over again.
Now people, I'm not saying you should speed but I do think drivers should travel at the posted speed limit. Unless of course there is inclement weather. But if it says 25, then go 25.
If not, pull over and let the drivers behind you PASS! Driving is a responsibility and this is a big world. We should be kind and courteous to each other when on the road and driving 10 mph on a city street with three cars behind you is neither kind nor courteous.
I hope I can help some people out on this next one. Many people don't know how to navigate a four-way stop.
For those of you who can't do this simple task, please read carefully. At a four-way stop the first person to arrive at a stop sign and comes to a complete stop, can go. It's first come, first serve. If two people come to a complete stop at the same time, then it's the person on the right who should go first.
Didn't everyone have to pass a written test when they got their driver's license? Maybe the city should install signs with instructions at each four-way stop in town to educate people on this basic part of driving.
So people, and hopefully you know who you are, please straighten up and drive right. If not, I fear I'll get so frustrated I'll start smoking again.