Letters to the Editor for 12/14/09

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Country road is not NASCAR track

I live in a small community with tranquil woods, hills dotted with cattle and pretty little farms and houses.

However, the country two-lane road that cuts through our sleepy village connects U.S. 58 with Interstate 77. This is a shortcut or bypass of the 58/I-77 intersection, and is the subject of my complaint.

What used to be a rural winding country lane has turned into a veritable Autobahn with no posted speed, no traffic signals, no stop signs.

Night and day, there is a NASCAR race in both directions, broken up only by the occasional loaded 18-wheeler thundering by or an old codger trying to get out of the way.

To say the traffic is getting worse is a laughable understatement. I don’t know which police force has jurisdiction, but my guess is whoever was assigned to patrol Virginia 620 has been run off the road and is scared to get back on.

This is not a straight stretch of highway with wide lanes. This is a winding hilly road with narrow lanes and no shoulder on either side; a road dotted with houses, children, pets and old folks like me trying to cross it once in a while to get the mail.

The noise of living next to a freeway is such that we constantly have to yell to be heard above belching smoky backfires of hot-rodders doing their best to pass others.

In order to enter the road from your driveway, you must first rev up your engine and peel out into an empty car length, much to the chagrin and murderous glare of other racers. I made it to Woodlawn School and back in under three minutes by using the drafting technique of Richard Petty — a record.

I know the drivers who tear up and down past our homes won’t or can’t read or don’t have the time to as they are busy grinding gears flying past my house.

But if you are reading this and you are one of the many scofflaws who take this bypass — slow down. The life you save may be mine.

Michael Norman