Friday, December 12, 2008

A Request for Ithaca Drivers

Please don't give pedestrians that little extra bit of room when it's snowing. Please.

It's wonderful behavior in spring, summer, and fall. If it's sunny out, the extra bit of room on the road we share with you because Ithaca doesn't believe in sidewalks is appreciated and comforting. In rain, that extra bit of room means you don't splash us. In snow, it's a different story.

You see, the wheels of the cars that have come before you have cleared the snow off the road in two straight lines. Underneath your car and in between the lanes is a thick pile of sludge: half-melted snow, ice, salt, and dirt. When you move over just a little bit to give the pedestrians and bicyclists room, you inevitably drive over that line, spraying sludge up to the waist (if you're going slowly) or even dousing us from hat to boot in sludge. For someone hiking 3 miles to work, it doesn't help as much as you intend it to. I know you are being considerate and trying to ensure our safety. This is just to let you know that there are other factors involved as well.

Please and thank you.

(PS - If you swerve far enough that your left tires is in the other lane and your right tire is now in the line where your left tire was, that's okay too, as long as you're safe.)

(PPS - In case anyone is wondering, I did eventually dry off today. Thanks for asking. I comforted myself that I had stored a pair of nice, dry socks and a second pair of shoes at work after the time I walked to work in the pounding rain.)

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