Can’t we commuters get along?
June 21, 2005
Dear Editor:I was driving to work from Rifle to Aspen recently and I was overwhelmed by the amount of disrespect I encountered on my drive.After leaving Glenwood and getting on Highway 82, the chaos and lack of respect began. There were people cutting me off constantly, and cutting off other drivers as well. There were drivers tailgating like it was Armageddon and the asteroid was right on their tail. And once I reached Buttermilk, where the two lanes converge into one, drivers who happened to be rude enough to drive up in the right-hand lane squeezed their way into the left and proper lane, without even so much as a hand gesture to thank me or the other drivers who let them merge. The same situation occurred at the roundabout, which anyone who has ever driven into Aspen knows how to use by this time.I was so frustrated and enraged at my fellow commuters that I was on the verge of picking up my ever-present cell phone and dialing CSP and reporting my own road rage. But instead, I cranked up the tunes on my iPod and jammed out, much to the amusement of the drivers behind me I’m sure.I’m not trying to tout myself as a perfect driver who never wrongs a fellow commuter, but at least I’ve grasped the concept of a turn signal and proper following distance. Not to mention the ever-appreciated hand wave as a sign of thanks. In all the time that I’ve had to drive to Aspen, I have never entered this beautiful town blaring the heavy metal sounds of Korn quite as loudly as I did on Tuesday morning. Since we all live in this valley and we all have to deal with the hassles of Highway 82, why cause more frustration and irritation for each other? Is it really necessary to completely dismiss the rules of courtesy that we all learned early on just so that we can inch our way into Aspen one or two cars ahead of the people behind us?Common courtesy is not a thing of the past. In a valley that thrives on hospitality, where is the hospitality between valley residents? It is actually quite simple to lift your hand and wiggle your wrist in appreciation of being allowed into the proper lane of traffic that you intentionally avoided because it was longer than the inappropriate lane. And I suppose the reason that so many choose not to use the turn signal is because commuters are endowed with the gift of ESP and already know you’re going to merge or turn. For those of us who don’t drive quite as often and obviously haven’t been granted the gift of ESP, please signal – it’s good for your health and the health of the person you’re merging in front of!In my opinion, the drive in this valley is too beautiful to tarnish with ugly driving.Laura BarnesRifle