- Madras Pioneer - Opinion
> To the Editor,
This is a letter to the people who use Hilltop Lane in North Madras Heights. Actually it could apply to all the neighborhoods in most areas.
When people who use Hilltop Lane, first turn off of Highway 97, there is a sign saying 25 miles per hour. This is totally invisible to most people who use Hilltop Lane, not all, but most. In order for someone to actually follow this speed limit there would have to be at least 42 such signs posted at least every 10 feet, plus at least 38 major speed bumps the size of an elephant.
Hilltop Lane has turned into Hilltop Freeway, and continues to be a threat to several people who come in the line of fire of someone in a race to either get to work or get home to watch their televisions, or just out for a joy ride. The first knoll that you will come to, while racing to get to work or racing to get home, rises a short bit then goes down to a dip in the lane. People apparently take this as a sign to get up all the speed they can muster to hit the next knoll going at least 70. They forget there are those of us who want to get onto Hilltop Lane from our respective driveways, often having to cross the lane they are using for practice to qualify for the Indy 500.
So, as happened to me recently, which was an encouragement for me to write this letter, I was attempting to enter Hilltop Lane and NO ONE was coming over the hill when I started out. All of a sudden, out of nowhere, a white SUV came over the hill. I was already committed to crossing the lane and this driver could obviously see it unless he has a problem with his eyesight. But, just to make my day, he laid on his horn, causing me more upset, by experiencing not only his lack of couth but just plain rudeness. I would never expect him to slow down like a common sense human being. But I would expect him to slow a little, seeing that I am crossing the lane, probably costing him maybe two seconds and then maybe wave, as most friendly neighbors would do, but many people often forget that they can use their left foot, (the one next to the lead foot) and use their brake. I guess this confusion as to the idea that he could slow down was only translated to laying on the horn.
Needless to say, it was very upsetting. And he is definitely not the only one. Another, we shall call the teal older SUV, is similar to a rocket being launched by NASA. If you happen to get in the way of this one you can fairly well kiss yourself goodbye, and if it's just a near miss, the person will give you the familiar off-color hand signal, while laying on the horn. It's a two-for-one experience.
I would like to remind these people who feel the need to use Hilltop Lane as a freeway, that those of us who live in this "trap of death" would appreciate it if you could keep us in mind while you are breaking the law. This would apply to lanes going both ways because as the dip in this part of the lane goes up, it has a sharp corner and there are families who are entering the highway from there, too, and as you are speeding to see how fast you can take that corner going north, someone may be pulling out with a horse trailer and your next visit could be in front of a judge for committing vehicular homicide, or in the morgue -- a thought to keep in mind for the wise man, woman or teen driver.
Another point would be that the school bus stop is in this dip; in fact I believe three buses stop in this dip, and all the way up Hilltop. At the speed that some come over the hill, or around that corner, there is no way they could stop. Maybe if you have children, you can relate to this worry. And maybe if you have children who are of driving age and think they are the next Mario Andretti, you could speak and advise them that they would not be allowed to be racing if their license was removed.
We are also a neighborhood filled with deer and all kinds of wildlife who don't understand they should not cross the road and who would obviously appreciate it if they could have a long life, too.
The sheriff has sent cars out to monitor this area at certain times, but of course that becomes known quite quickly and then it is amazing how fast that brake pedal can come into play. We would all appreciate a slower pace on this part of Hilltop Lane and elsewhere. You may think it's funny but if you killed or maimed someone, or yourself, it wouldn't be very funny then, and those few seconds you think you are saving would not have been worth the suffering your thoughtless actions had caused.