From the Clocktower – Spring… The season of growth

As I stood outside and enjoyed a spectacular, crystal-clear evening, I gave a little bit of thought about “the promises of Spring.” Unfortunately, my front-porch daydream was interrupted by the growling of an engine, tearing every bit of 50 MPH down my street, in a residential district in downtown Lockhart.
I hate to bring up this reminder to those  among us suffering spring fever, but the speed limit in a residential district in Texas is a maximum of 25 MPH. This is a problem that I’ve noticed for years on my street, which is a relatively wide, straight shot with only one stop sign. People like to tear down my street like it’s the Autobahn.
Of course, in Springtime, kids like to get outside and play in their yards, ride their bicycles and frolic with their pets. Unfortunately, that playing, riding and frolicking sometimes spills into the asphalt in front of our houses. And that’s where things get kind of tricky.
Should we ask our children to forego their springtime fun, because selfish people don’t bother to get up five minutes early, and leave for work five minutes early, and therefore have to open their engines to full throttle while they tear through our neighborhoods? Or maybe, we should ask our neighbors, and the people that drive through our neighborhoods, to remember that it is our children, and not their schedule, that is (and SHOULD BE) our priority.
I deal with this every morning, rain or shine, spring or fall, and occasionally, even in the ice. I’ve pictures, from a few years back, of my own neighborhood’s worst offender: a young driver who opens up his engine as soon as he turns on the ignition – and who has, during more than one ice storm, left fishtail marks that nearly enter my front yard (once narrowly missing my dog, in her own front yard).
I’ve asked my police officer friends to obtain me a “stinger strip” to flatten their tires as they speed past my house, but it turns out, there’s a “criminal mischief” thing there, where I’m not willing to pick up a criminal charge because careless people drive on my block.
So, in the alternative, I’ll use the platform that my profession offers me, and beg this community to pay attention. It’s not about my personal annoyance. Because I know mine is not the only street where drivers behave carelessly, and drive faster than they have any business doing. It’s about the safety of the children that play on our streets – the kids that might chase a basketball or a puppy out of their front yard, who might not realize that you’re driving 70 MPH up their street.
Just… Mind the speed limits, and pay attention. Residential neighborhoods are residential neighborhoods for a reason – because we live here. Because our pets and children play here. And because we trust them to be safe here.
Remember that, and think about what’s more important – five extra minutes of sleep in the morning, or a lifetime of regret if your speeding and carelessness costs one of our children their lives.
Let’s all enjoy our spring together.
kathibliss@post-register.com

2 Comments

  1. Tony says:

    There are a many drivers that don’t do 25 miles much less the posted 20MPH in the Blue Bonnet School Zone and talking on cell phones as well.
    The “do not use cell phone in the school zone” applies to driving on the street in front of the school and to work such sign is posted. I have even seen a few parents using their cell phones when picking up their own children.
    People drive down San Jacinto St like it’s 50mph highway. It’s a matter of time before a tragic accident happens with a child involved. Maybe we need more law enforcement in giving out speeding tickets. By the way I have never seen the motorcycle policeman on that street issuing speeding tickets.

  2. Bob Abbott says:

    A bond election for the school!
    Hmmm! Who’s going to pay the money back?
    I would like to see some statistics published on who gets the benefits from the schools and how much property tax they pay to support them.
    Seems a lot of things are good ideals as long as someone else get to pay the bill.
    How about the residents of Caldwell County that get absolutely no benefits from the school systems?
    If Caldwell County needs to spend funds on anything it is the roads.
    Year after year I hear the same ole story – we just don’t have the money to repair the county roads! But somehow there are funds to purchase county vehicles and other items but not for roads. I have been trying to get county road 158 between hwy. 20 and hwy. 86 repaired for 15 years.
    It always kind of gets under my skin when I see county vehicles parked at the barbeque joints – I get the ideal that the tax payers are paying the expense for this but don’t have funds to repair the roads.
    Bob Abbott

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