Honor the rules of thy road


Matt LindenburgOriginal publish date May 21, 2001, Post-Intelligencer

Listen, O Seattle. Listen and learn that the Texas Transportation Institute has decreed that our city has traffic second only to that of the mighty gridlock of Los Angeles.

Listen, O Seattle, so that you may hear that the path of salvation does not lie in the development of larger roads, better public transportation or car-sharing programs.

Listen, O Seattle, and know that you, the people of this city (and of the surrounding areas including but not limited to Everett, Bellevue, Kent and Tacoma) might help to make of the roads a path for many glorious pilgrimages, to and from work, to the school to drop the kids off, and on various and assorted errands.

Listen now and learn the 8 Great Lessons of the Righteous Driver.

1. Make of thy turn signal an offering to thy fellow drivers.

Provide witness of thine intention to make a sudden lane change and honor thy commitment to that lane once in it.

2. Of the mountains and trees and, yes, even the water is our city blessed.

But gaze not too fondly or long upon these blessings lest the perils of the road be forgot and the rear bumper of a Saab 9000 joins in a great union with the front bumper of thy SUV.

3. Of the sun, yes, our great city is sometimes blessed with its rays but it is not to be feared or too long wondered upon; nor should the new light it shines upon the mountains and trees and water be too long wondered upon lest the perils of the road be forgot and the front side-panel of an Audi TT crashes upon thine own side-panel much as the ram crashes into the head of his rival.

4. Blessed be the driver who gazes upon his fellow driver with patience and kindness and does not make of the road a dangerous game of pass-and-stop-suddenly to prove that he be the mightier driver.

5. Blessed be the drivers who are not flattered, persuaded or seduced into letting a multitude of Late Mergers in front of them. For the Late Mergers reap what they sow and are not worthy of great charity.

6. Blessed be that driver who witnesses the speed limit as it is proclaimed by the state and does not drive greatly under that speed limit.

7. Fear not the use of thy horn.

Does not the elephant trumpet the sound of danger? Does not the ewe bleat to warn of an approaching wolf? Instead, declare thy presence unto the driver of the new, black Volvo Cross Country who babbles into her cell phone; for she should heed thy warning and be comforted.

8. Prepare well for all journeys, great or small.

Of the three lanes before thee, know which path is right and true and set thyself forth upon that path well before the time comes to exit. For great is the wrath of the driver whom you may cut off and terrible is the danger that you may cause for your fellow travelers and uncountable are the delays that may result in thy shifts of many lanes.

Listen well, O Seattle. Though thy roads may be meager, thy bridges narrow and thy trains short, the kingdom of the reasonable commutes is thine to inherit.

Matt Lindenburg is a Seattle writer who edits P2PTracker.com, which provides news and analysis of the peer networking industry. 


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