Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Friendliest Drivers?

Friendliest Drivers?

In a ranking of 20 major cities, AutoVantage says St. Louis has the 3rd-friendliest drivers.

Tell that to the person who zoomed around us without signaling yesterday afternoon on SB Grand near Shenandoah. We were patiently waiting for somebody else who was trying to park in front of the Pet Clinic and blocking the right lane of traffic and the bike lane.

I guess not everybody is that patient.

Maybe it's just that, given our stagnant metro population, low-density development patterns and de-urbanization of the city, traffic is not as congested here as in most other big cities. But it seems to me a lot of drivers around here are still pretty rude to other drivers and to pedestrians and cyclists.

I've never really understood "road rage"; nor why some folks seem to think it's a more serious issue than, say, murder or robbery. This was particularly true in the late 1990s; of course, now many people are mostly worried about terrorism - also something that's much less likely to strike any given person than is the more common street crime.

Sure, I don't like it when somebody runs a four-way stop - especially when it's a police officer!

But right now I'm a little more concerned with the continuing random gunfire day and night within blocks of my house. We heard 4-5 shots on Saturday night/Sunday morning about midnight; and again on Tuesday afternoon about 5:30.

Then we get the police choppers hovering over - again. Makes it kinda hard to sleep.

Ideally, I want both the crime and the police to just go away!

Having more "cops on the beat" in cars and in helicopters does not make me feel safe!

Maybe if they were actually walking around, that would help. But as it is, I guess they don't have the resources to do that in BPW. But somehow over in TGEast, they've now got scooters (grant-funded via Alderman Reed). I have yet to see a scooter cop east of Gravois, however. I guess they stay in the 6th ward only? Come to think of it, I've never seen a bike patrol outside South Grand or Downtown; nor an equestrian patrol outside Forest Park and CWE.

I realize it makes it harder to deploy officers in an emergency, but cops walking the beat would actually be beneficial in certain parts of the city. If they were actually walking around that park at Nebraska and Utah, rather than just driving by, it could discourage the teenage rowdiness that often rapidly escalates into random gunfire.

1 comment:

Bellevegas said...

The city park rangers are trying to raise funds to get a bike patrol started in several city parks. They asked for our financial support at the Compton Hill Reservoir Square association meeting last week. It would be a good step towards more street-level policing, even if it is just in the parks