Monday, September 27, 2021


There's a two-way stop sign at the corner of my block. Both streets have 20 mph speed limits now, thanks to Saint Paul's change in speed limits about a year ago. They also have somewhat frequent traffic for side streets, with a bit more traffic on the one that doesn't have stop signs.

Drivers coming from one direction on the street that lacks stop signs are also coming down a hill, so they tend to pick up speed. I've lived here just over 25 years and I don't think I've ever seen anyone completely blow through the stop sign on the cross street because, as a driver, you can't see well enough to know it's all clear unless you slow down to at least 5 or 10 mph.

Well, I saw it today.

An older Chevy of some kind was heading toward my house on the cross street, probably going 35 or 40 mph (yes, speeding pretty significantly) as it approached the stop sign, and it never slowed down. The driver went right through the stop sign and the intersection, then sped up the hill toward me.

I could see he looked like a stereotypical frat boy: white, early 20s, backwards ball cap, sweatshirt. I didn't get his license plate, though it wouldn't have made any difference, since the police do nothing about situations like this. (I know, because I've called in license plates for red-light-running at other intersections before.)

About 10 seconds after he cleared the intersection, a car came along the street that doesn't have a stop sign. Ten or 20 seconds later, another car came from the other direction.

I think it's pretty safe to say that, given the speeder's rate of movement, if one of those cars had been crossing the intersection when he flew through, someone would be dead or badly injured.

There are so many close calls in these death machines that are falsely natural in our lives.

No comments: