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Deadly Highways

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  • Deadly Highways

    Two observations, both in agreement.

    First, the area I'm most familiar with (although I no longer live there) is where my dad is still a vollie. I think the impact is greater to me, since I only get back there to see it a couple times a year. I asked him about it, and got some numbers.

    In 1980, two state highways, both 2-lane. 1 stop light in the whole district! Includes a town of 2500 and a suburban unincorporated area, plus significant rural. Runs for 1980, 660, of which 200+ were EMS, 200+ MVA, and 100+ brush fires. Only 5 structure fires for the year, and three of those were "unocc", which means either a barn/outbuilding or a vacant or abandoned house.

    In 2000, there is a 6 lane interstate, both state highways have been widened. Two of the interchanges on the interstate are in the district. The unincorporated suburbia now has a population of >60,000. There are 300+ new businesses, some retail, but some are light industry. Now the fun part. Runs for 2000, 2800+, w/900 EMS, 1200+ MVA, 50 structure fires, 300 brush/grass fires. Talking to my dad, he commented on the brush fires getting worse, because of the "development". When I pointed out that EMS calls had gone 6x (matching population growth) but MVAs were 12x, he was astonished. He hadn't realized (living with it every day) how out of proportion the road situation was. And those two, two-lane highways are the worst culprits. They're now both 3-lane (left turn lanes), w/several more stoplights (probably 12-15, but I haven't counted) near shopping centers and such, and very heavily traveled.

    The other observation is this. Recently, my pastor preached a sermon about how this generation lives in their "own little world". There are many people in this "rat race" society who are looking to get ahead. But for every one, there's another who's driving along, oblivious to all that's going on around them. There the ones who park in the firelane/crosswalk, and when I protest say "I'll only be 30 seconds!" If I reply "There's 600 cars in this parking lot. 600 x 30sec=18,000sec=6hours", then (maybe) they realize how inconsiderate they're being. (I direct cars in the parking lot at church).

    I bet the person who doesn't get my little example is the same one who rear-ends a parked apparatus at an MVA while talking on a cell phone, or doesn't let the well known vollie out of his driveway to get to the station (Mr. Carter's example), or turns left in front of the truck, because they're "in a hurry".

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