Left Turn, Clyde — By John Reed

Left Turn, Clyde
Anyone who recognizes that movie quote will appreciate the absurdity and annoyance of lousy drivers. This week’s column space was almost ceded to my better half, who had some well-chosen words about local drivers. After watching people come to a complete stop at the roundabouts, fail to use turn signals [yes you, officer], and get completely confused about who has the right of way at stop signs, she’d had enough.
She serves with several local civic groups, and the single topic with all of them these days is development. The point she made in her tirade was that progress won’t come until our local population learns to drive.
She’s not wrong. But the attitude behind poor driving is a symptom of a greater issue. Those lousy drivers are usually that way because their thoughts are centered on themselves, and not considering the other drivers on the road. They don’t get the bigger picture.
That insular mindset pervades the community. “What’s in it for me?” has all too often chased away new business and the jobs and new people they would bring. “Not in my backyard” has been the rallying call all too often when a new idea has been proposed. Ironic, considering how full of trash some of those backyards have become.
It might seem petty to think changing driving habits alone would make a difference. But it’s one of many small steps that might pull us into the modern era. Already, there are other small efforts underway: both theatres are being renovated for public use, discussions are underway to beautify the downtown strip, even another restaurant or two are coming in. Following last October’s live music event downtown, another will happen very soon.
These are signs that at least some folks around here want to see growth and quality of life increase. We cannot live on burgers and sports alone. Maybe if more people learn to use their turn signals things will get better. It couldn’t hurt!

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