Driver trying to change Cobb roads at a time
by Bobby Tharpe
October 05, 2013 11:30 PM | 1219 views | 1 1 comments | 40 40 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Bobby Tharpe
Bobby Tharpe
Dear Madam. You may remember me as the person who allowed you to turn left out of your neighborhood onto Burnt Hickory just off Due West one recent morning. Of course, you might not remember me as you were on the phone and didn’t do the little thank-you wave so many people use. But that’s OK; you needed at least one hand on the wheel.

After that, at West Hampton, I allowed a young man to turn right, just behind you. He thanked me. He then let someone into traffic at the next cross street.

At Frank Kirk, I allowed someone to turn left, as well as one at Gordon Combs. They both thanked me.

At Bob Cox, I allowed a young lady to turn left against traffic and a school bus to turn right. I got a big wave from both.

At McDaniel, I let another person turn left against traffic and let a lady out who was probably headed for a nearby school, as I noticed the school magnet on her SUV. At New Salem, she allowed someone to turn left and I allowed another to do the same. We both got a little wave.

When I came to a stop at the Barrett intersection, you and I wound up side by side and you were still on the phone. All the way down Burnt Hickory, many others made a little bit of a difference in all our commutes. But you ignored everyone, including the one who originally did you a good turn. I wonder if you were telling the person on the other end of the phone how bad the drivers were in west Cobb.

This reminds me of the folks that blast off at a light, run way ahead and then are still right next to you at the next light. I mean, really? I take great delight in rolling up even with them very, very slowly and then looking over at them like the gas mileage police.

Or what about the huge pickup truck (and I certainly have nothing against pickup trucks) which rides your bumper, changes lanes, changes lanes back and then manages to improve his position by one measly car before we all come to a stop … again. My Dad would have tapped his brakes to discourage this type of behavior, but I don’t think he ever drove on I-575 North on a Friday.

“Gas mileage police!” I would like to yell, “Please pull over into that Quick Trip, sir!”

On the subject of the interstates, it seems that on I-285 most people are either going 90 in the middle lanes or going 50 next to the wall. I think it’s just best to stay off of I-285, anyway. It’s still under construction. The construction started the summer of 1984, the day I moved here.

Last week I saw someone use the oncoming lane as their turn lane by driving the wrong way in an attempt to catch a turn light in west Cobb. The light turned yellow and then red, but the driver continued and ran the light turning left. What did he have to do at 4:30 in the afternoon worth the 10 or 15 others he could have hurt? One misstep and he would have been parked in a CVS lobby.

Our world is a very busy place. We rush to work, rush to appointments, even rush to lunch and then rush home. It just seems that we could take a little bit of time to be courteous to others. Especially if, as in the example above, we don’t actually gain any ground in the commute grind.

As for me, I plan to continue my driving generosity. A civic club I belong to endeavors to “change the world one child and one community at the time.” Allowing another person to get to work a little easier may not change the world, but it sure does feel good to try and “change the roadway one car and one intersection at the time.”

By the way, I drive a gray Ford F-150 with UGA plates. Sometimes I need to turn left out of the Minute Saver. Just saying.

Bobby Tharpe is president of the Marietta Kiwanis Club.

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October 06, 2013

Have you been on this planet long?

It already has a ton of self-righteous people.
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