Ms. Terri driving


I have had the privilege over the past several decades to travel on daily errands, such as banking or grocery shopping, through a beautiful state park. This includes crossing a federally declared wild and scenic river. The views are simply stunning and the atmosphere natural and peaceful. In the fall, it rivals many a famous leaf-peeper resort.

As I drive through I contemplate the effects of being close to nature. I also enjoy the park roadways, which are similar to many parks I’ve visited, some in other states.

I feel so blessed, especially when I consider the hectic driving patterns many must endure to complete those same types of errands in more metropolitan areas.

In today’s hurried and hectic lifestyle such a respite is indeed quite enjoyable. For me one of the most treasured aspects is the one-lane bridge. It is so much more than a means to cross the water. It is a carryover of simpler, more courteous times. In this me-centered society, a one-lane bridge forces courtesy and pause. As you approach, if another traveler coming from the opposite direction is closer or already on the bridge, you wait for him to cross over before you proceed. If you are closer, he does the same for you.

There was a time when that type of courtesy was part of the unwritten rules of the road in rural areas — whether a narrow place in the road, a hill difficult to navigate or a bridge.

With decades of the existence of divided highways, multiple lanes and turnpikes, drivers speed around others they deem as traveling too slowly. They race to their destinations. Many, no doubt, never have taken the proverbial Sunday drive on back roads. Thus, many show no courtesy to other drivers.

These mega-highways serve a purpose. Sometimes getting to a destination quickly is required. But not all travel is such.

I would like to see us hold onto a remnant of a more leisurely and courteous society where we can. Those who want a faster pace can find it, but leave the narrow roads and the one-lane bridges for those who do not: those who recognize their value.

Terri Staley