Letters to the Editor

Road rules: Jones Road used as speedway

It was about 6:30 a.m., darker than normal because of the fog, I was waving my flashlight, but the speeding driver almost hit me.

Most of the people who drive Jones are responsible drivers, aware of their speed and their surroundings, aware that wildlife cross the road, aware that people walk and bike the road. To those people I say thank you.

There are also those who call and use part of Jones as “The Speedway.” Some speeding is deliberate, some folks are on “autopilot” and some have “important business” on their cell phones. Seventy and eighty miles per hour on Jones is not unusual.

Now, combine the speeding with drinking. Look at the litter along the roadside...you’ll find beer cans, plastic tequila bottles and broken wine bottles along with fast food junk and wrappers, used condoms and cigarette butts. In the past I could do litter pick-up once a week; lately, it’s a daily chore.

I’ve called the Sheriff’s Dept., but they only have one deputy from Greenbank to Deception Pass. I’ve called the base, but they do not have jurisdiction of their people on public roads. I’ve called the commissioners asking why unnecessary road repair is continuing while we are greatly lacking in sheriff patrols and they say it’s a budget issue.

This is a reminder: School is again open and children will be standing on the side of the road, waiting for the school bus in the dark of the morning. Wildlife will be crossing the road. Just two days ago I spoke with a man who said “a deer ran into me, flew over the hood, damaged my fender but it is OK.” Excuse me? A larger shoulder has also been suggested. Until and unless we get the drinking and speeding under control, I would not suggest spending more tax dollars on a shoulder, giving a false sense of security and encouraging people to use that shoulder.

So the situation is up to us, the people who live along Jones and its offshoots to eliminate the unsafe conditions for ourselves, our children and the wildlife with whom we share space. If we drive responsibly, do not litter and ask our neighbors to do likewise, we can be accountable for our own safety and “rural” lifestyle. Remember that when you pay your property taxes on Oct. 31.

Donna Painter

Oak Harbor

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