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Southern Eyes

After months of complaining, I have finally grown accustomed to crossing Main Street in downtown Thomson and dodging traffic. I'm sure Mayor Kenneth Usry is smiling after reading that statement.

And my mother is developing a worried crease between her eyebrows. (Mothers never outgrow worrying about their children, even after their children are over-the-hill.) It's okay, Mom -- I've grown accustomed to the traffic, but I still have a healthy respect for it.

That respect showed up just in the nick of time last week as I stood at the crosswalk at Railroad and Main streets. No cars approached as I looked to the left, so I cautiously stepped onto the roadway with the idea that motorists coming from the right had time to see me and stop as I crossed their lane. Since I was coming off of the steps beside the Wilson Company, I looked down so I wouldn't trip. When I looked up and to the right, I saw a huge tractor trailer barreling straight towards me. Since I was already halfway across the lane, my first instinct was to run. But my knowledge from accident-coverage that tractor trailers don't stop on a dime caused me to rethink. As my feet tried to decide whether to run or not run, I ended up dancing there in the northbound lane of Main Street. Then I heard air releasing from the big truck's brakes.

The loud rumble sent me scrambling back in the direction I came from. I was glad to see the truck driver shaking his head and chuckling, because I'm sure his first instinct had been to cuss when he saw me step out there.

Thankfully, Thomson police are working to slow down traffic. Sunday night, I heard little bursts of a siren and saw flashing blue lights. Thomson Police Officers Ruth Hernandez and Rod Rodriguez were busy pulling over quite a few motorists on Main Street. I want to thank them and say "keep it up." After awhile, motorists will get the message that downtown Thomson is a place to drive slowly and safely.

One motorist learned that message the hard way Monday afternoon. This time, I was standing at the crosswalk in front of the theater.

There was a lot of traffic, so I was just waiting. I was pleasantly surprised when someone stopped. As I stepped out to cross the road, I heard the loud squeal of brakes. Somewhere down the line was a motorist who wasn't expecting to stop. Thankfully, the car stopped on a dime.

Soon, the scarecrows will be out on the sidewalks of downtown Thomson. Hopefully, the streets once again will be full of families enjoying the sights. Drive slowly, and expect to stop.

Web posted on Thursday, September 23, 2010

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