Peevish Pen

Ruminations on reading, writing, rural living, retirement, aging—and sometimes cats. And maybe a border collie or other critters.

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Location: Rural Virginia, United States

I'm an elderly retired teacher who writes. Among my books are Ferradiddledumday (Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin story), Stuck (middle grade paranormal novel), Patches on the Same Quilt (novel set in Franklin County, VA), Them That Go (an Appalachian novel), Miracle of the Concrete Jesus & Other Stories, and several Kindle ebooks.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Sign of a Problem?

A stop sign is just across the road from my driveway.

Here's a closer look. See any problem here?

Apparently someone did. On Wednesday, a guy from VDOT (Virginia Department of Transportation) called and said he'd gotten an "anonymous complaint" about my crape myrtle blocking the view at the stop sign. He also said he'd been through the intersection himself a few days earlier and saw no problem with it.

I didn't see a problem with it either. As you slow down for the stop sign, you can pretty well see if a vehicle is coming. Well, that's if you actually slow down.  From my house, I often see some folks from down the road running the stop sign on a pretty regular basis. Sometimes they slow down, but not always.

Here's what you see if you're a little closer to the sign:

And, if you've stopped for the sign, you see this:

Here's what an on-coming car that has the right-of-way would see: 

Now, let's approach the intersection in an actual vehicle. Here's the through-the-windshield view from way back. The stop sign looks like a tiny dot from this far back:

Here's a closer view, in which you can actually see the stop sign (and the telephone pole and the plants near my driveway):

Here's my driveway. Notice that there are spaces between the branches of the crape myrtle that actually allow you to see through it:

Look closely. Would the crape myrtle—and the golden euonymus beside it—actually obscure the view of an average-size on-coming vehicle? A smaller than average vehicle?

No, I didn't think they would. But I decided What the heck! I'll do a bit of trimming (I left the trimmed branches by the roadside for this photo so you could see I actually trimmed). This is the view from where a person should stop for the stop sign:

But a person is not a vehicle, so let's try the view from an actual vehicle. This photo is taken as as our truck approaches the trimmed crepe myrtle and stop sign:

This is the view from the driver's side window as the truck is stopped at the stop sign:

The view looks pretty good from this angle. You can see way down to where the road curves out of sight. How does the crape myrtle block the view?

Of course, a stop sign works best when people actually stop for it. Or at least slow down. Why is that a problem for some folks?



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