By Bob Groeneveld
I’ve got some bad news for the commuters and other ne’er-do-wells that have been roaring past my house, morning, noon, and night, in increasing numbers over the past few years.
I’m going to miss you terribly when the “Local traffic only” signs go up.
When you’re heading to work, heading home, or just trying to find a short-cut to the freeway, you’ll have to find another neighbourhood in which to spew your carbon monoxide and the other components of the cancerous cocktail that is your exhaust.
I’m going to miss the roar of your motor as you rush past my house towards the red light at the corner in hopes that it will green just in time for you to cruise through at twice the speed limit.
I’m going to miss the intimacy of having to get close to my wife… to shout in her ear because that’s the only way we can make ourselves heard while you’re revving your engine as you wait for the light in front of our house, because you like the throaty sound of your poorly muffled exhaust system.
I’m going to miss your obtuse, straight-ahead stare as you purposely close the gap in line waiting for the light, so I can’t turn into my own driveway because… why?… because you’re upset that you have to wait for the light to change?
I’m going to miss your car’s sound system which has apparently already deafened you. I’ll miss the rapper who compensates for his lack of talent by washing you in a flood of disgusting lyrics, the angry man shouting at you on talk radio, and your taste in country music. That don’t impress me much.
I’m going to miss the chirping sound that tells me you looked up from your cell phone and realized the light is red.
I’m going to miss the thump when you didn’t look up in time.
I’m going to miss your screeching tires and the billows of smoke that you unleash when the light finally turns green. Your frustration is understandable, since you – and certainly only you – sometimes have to stop for a red light.
I’m going to miss guessing, as you whiz past me in our 50 km/h zone, such a short distance from the stop line… 80? 90? 100? No, I doubt your IQ tops out at more than 70.
When I moved here, 56th Avenue was little more than a country back-road.
Then council, without bothering to ask anyone who lived here, designated it a truck route.
A few months later, the Township’s engineering department ordered an emergency shutdown to rebuild the route through the gully over the Salmon River – before someone was killed in a “catastrophic failure” of the roadway.
I will miss you during the three months that this new round of work in the gully is expected to take.
But feel free to stick to whatever new route you find in the meantime.
I’d happily miss you forever.