Wednesday, while at the same stop sign another 18 wheeler was heading through town, at a speed that appeared to be above the limit as far as I am concerned, so I pulled out and followed him. Sure enough, we were indeed going about 45 mph as we took the first turn in front of the school. I slowed down a little and as the driver rounded the second turn the truck was completely in the other lane.
Once the vehicle straightened out it barreled down the tiny street, driving in the middle, until we reached the four-way stop by the Justice of the Peace house. The truck turned left, taking up both lanes of the road, stretching far past he space where a car would have been safe if stopped at that stop sign. The truck continued on to the stop sign by the bank at Highway 181. Guess which way they headed… NORTH!
For those of you who live in Falls City you will understand why this is a problem for me. These trucks are NOT traveling on the truck route. The truck route, as I understand, is where FM 887 connects FM 791 to Highway 181. For a truck planning to head north on 181 it would have made more sense to travel on the specified route, even if you were not aware of the road you should be taking.
So I know a while back there was some talk at city council meetings about putting up “truck route” signs. I was pretty fired up the day I was almost run off the road so I high-tailed it down 791 in search of these previously mentioned signs. Although there were not any signs specifically pointing out a truck route, there is a sign that states the weight limit for the road ahead. As a driver approaches town, and neighborhoods, and the school, and pedestrians walking home or walking for health, they should be very aware of the 57,000 (and I rounded up) pound weight limit on the narrowing road.
Now, I am not 100 percent on the weight of any of the trucks I passed, nor can I mentally grasp exactly how much 57,000 pounds may be, so these trucks just might be within the weight limit. However, I find it highly unlikely. And I am not trying to preach about following rules or even pretend I am regularly walking the straight and narrow, but as I was run off the road, or as I watched an elderly woman waiting for THREE 18 wheelers to pass so she could safely cross, or as I drove behind a speeding big rig, swerving in and out of the proper lane in front of THE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, the safety of my fellow community members appeared (at least to me) to be in jeopardy.
Thursday as I was coming around what I remember everyone calling “Deadman’s Curve” when I was in high school, I passed another trucker coming around the bend ahead, in front of the school. He had to slow nearly to a stop and wait for me to pass because, clearly, we would not both fit on the tiny little 90 degree turn.
Opportunity! I rolled down my window, wagged my finger at the driver and told him “This is NOT a truck route!” I informed him of the many pedestrians who cross this tiny street in the middle of town and how dangerous these guys are being as they deliberately disregard the road the should be traveling.
He assured me it was his first time through town and he accidentally missed the truck route. I shook my fist and told him not to let it happen again and to let all his friends know they are going the wrong way! He said, “Yes ma’am, it won’t happen again.”
It seemed entirely too easy and sure enough Friday I passed another big rig dashing through town so again I shook my fist out the window. I guess this weekend rather than painting spirit signs we should put together some truck route signs, but to me, even if the sign is not there, should the company not be responsible for knowing where their trucks should travel? Maybe provide these guys with maps or instructions since weight limits, speed limits, and the very apparent narrowness of the road do not seem to have any sort of effect on the direction they choose to travel.
Who’s coming with me?