Friday, June 18, 2010

Speed Limit

These photos were taken from my car near Moon. Not near the moon, but near Moon. Downtown Moon consists of an old--very photogenic--post office (no longer used as a post office); a cemetery; some winding roads and trees. That description pretty much applies to most of inland Mathews County.

For possibly the first time ever, today's photos actually have some relationship to the post. It's a novel concept, one which very rarely occurs to me.

In the Glimpses Into the Past section of this week's Gazette Journal, there was this:

90 Years Ago
from the Mathews Journal

"The law relating to automobiles takes up a whole chapter of the State Code and is of course too lengthy to be printed here. However, here are some of the things it provides which are pertinent. A speed of not more than 10 miles an hour is prescribed when rounding curves, at the intersection of cross roads, in any village, or on any road where there is a collection of horses or persons. In passing a vehicle a machine should go to the left and not over 10 miles an hour in passing. When none of the above conditions exists, a speed of 20 miles an hour is permissible. Drivers of machines are also required to slow up when meeting vehicles and to stop when signaled to do so."

This was obviously around the time the automobile was introduced to the county, yet horse and buggies were still very much in use. Most interesting to me is that 10 mph speed limit at "the intersection of cross roads"--meaning there was no requirement to stop. You could make a turn left or right as long as nothing was coming and you lowered your speed to 10 mph. (Chances were very good that nothing was coming.)

Not that long ago, back when Jamestown was founded I was a kid, there were several major intersections that did not require a stop.

(This applied to almost any intersection east and south of the Court House. In nearby Gloucester at Flat Iron, home of my great-grandfather and his blacksmith shop, there was only a yield sign leaving what is now referred to as the Taliaferro Wayside. If you were leaving Ware Neck heading to Mathews, when you hit Route 14 you hardly had to look left and you certainly didn't have to stop. This is a topic for another time, because my mother can describe that intersection from the horse and buggy days, and it was very different.)

There were also intersections where stopping was optional even though a stop sign stood proudly. When there's nothing coming for 15 days minutes, there really is no need.

All this is leading up to a point, which is bound to make itself apparent here soon.

Mathews County has no stop lights other than the obvious red light when the Gwynns Island bridge is open. Ninety years ago, there was no requirement to stop at intersections and crossroads; you could take them at 10 miles per hour. Now, there are stop signs and for the most part people are asked to have to stop.

What will these intersections be like 90 years from now? Will there be stoplights?


Although we could seriously use one at the Route 3/198/Get-n-Zip intersection.

My two one local reader: If you could put up a stoplight in the county, where would you put it? Or do you not want one anywhere (which is fine)?

My other three two readers: Do you know a place with no stop lights?


Kate said...

I agree 3/198 needs something. The easiest idea would be a forced 3 way intersection with stop signs all around and rumble strips leading up to the intersection.

I don't know that Mathews will ever get a stoplight. It's almost a point of pride now, like a fishing story. LOL

Mathews Mark said...

I would put up a flashing red stop light at the two entrance's to the county. I would also add a sign that would say: WARNING THE ALIENS IN THIS COUNTY ARE KIND, THOUGHTFUL,FRIENDLY,GOOD LOOKING,KNOW HOW TO COOK,CLEAN AND FIX STUFF!! BUT THEY WILL PUT A BALL (shoot you) IN YOUR ASS IF YOU EVEN THINKING ABOUT SCREWING THINGS UP!! As the song says we have GOD in this town and we have GUNS which one do you want to meet? LOL MM

Mathews Mark said...

I would also add a flashing red light on the waters of Mathews with a sign : THESE ARE THE WATERS OF MATHEWS COUNTY WELCOME WHEN FISHING WE ABIDE BY THE FA-LAY AND RELEASE LAW HAVE FUN!!! (if you have to ask what fa-lay and release is you don't need to know.)MM lol

Mathews Mark said...

Ok one more thing and i will shut up! the weaving road ahead sign (second one I no I no you knew that right) is the national sign of Mathews! we do not allow straight roads in Mathews!! MM

Ann Marie said...

I would not put a stop light anywhere just takes away from the joint ya know..

but we do need signs here and there..
I agree with most of MM's so those are a must.. but we also need one of the beachs that read..

Take your trash or you will be known as an ass.

99% of the roads need _______ crossing signs fill in the blank with any type of animal, child, or old person .. so maybe under the county wide we will put a ball in ya sign we need another that reads..

You hit it you eat it.
You hit it you clean it.

you know something to deter the poor old people.. I mean animals from being run over.. it seems it is happening way too much for my liking. I watched in horror as a racoon got his tail runned over yesterday. I wanted to go hug him and tell him it was ok but something about him didn't look as friendly as I wanted him to be.

I would also say we need one that says come here's go home because seriously that is what must people like to say but I don't think they need to go home what they need to do is Sit Down Shut Up and Enjoy the Ride of Mathews County! Coming here and trying to change this and change that does nothing but leave us originals any choice but to put a ball in someones ass... just saying.

Meg @ Soup Is Not A Finger Food said...

Oh, dear, you know that the county in which I grew up JUST within the past six months got its first traffic signal? (I told you I was from the sticks!) Before the light, we bragged that we were the only county in PA with no traffic signals... although given the remote nature of some of the northwestern counties, I can't be certain our claim to "only" was valid. But still, you get the idea. The locals actually fought against putting in the signal, but then someone died at the intersection and zippety zap, up it went. I haven't driven through it since it went up, but I've seen pictures in my hometown newspaper, to which I still subscribe, and I tell you it just isn't right. In fact, when I think about it, it bothers me almost as much as it bothers me that people to whom I am not related are now living in what was my grandmother's farm. Weird.

I love MM's sign suggestion!

Jamie said...

I guess I must be feeling silly today because I have been laughing so hard at these comments that I'm crying... Deltaville has no stop lights and I agree there needs to be SOMETHING at the intersection of 3/198 aka The Get N Zip (I think I just learned today what the official "names" of those roads were... I don't remember road names).

Anxiously awaiting the ghost story...

Mental P Mama said...

We have all kinds of lights and signs up here. It doesn't matter one lick. Nobody cares;)

Caution Flag said...

The little town where I went to high school still has only one light.

Where I now live, we have 2,375,489 lights and 7,000 roundabouts. I hate the roundabouts.

Daryl said...

Nope. Every corner in NYC has either a stop light or a stop sign

Mrs F with 4 said...

Oh, the hamlet (too small to even qualify for the description 'village') had no signs of any kind. We had lots of cattle grids in the lane to stop the sheep escaping from the fields, though. Do you have those here? I've never seen them, but... Crafty sheep would sidle up to the grids, lie down and roll over until they got to the other side.

~Ashley~ said...

thats right near my house. i run to the old post office just about every afternoon.

deborah said...

Our little town has 3 stoplights and a stop sign at every corner. Not that anyone stops for the stop sign at the end of our block as they go drag racing um driving on this street to avoid one of the stop lights.
Where I used to live (3 miles away) was twisting and winding and had no stop lights. It did have a sign once in a while, but no one paid any attention to them.

MM, that would be a nice sign for your county. I want one for our little town that says Keep Out, We don't need any more Progress unless you want to put in a Grocery Store. (Then, if it sold the correct brands of dog food and cat food, I would never step foot in Wal Mutant ever again).

We do need another light. Traffic has really picked up (where are all of these cars from and where are they going?) and it is crap trying to dodge cars to cross the highway in front of the post office. A squirrel was hit the other day, but would a squirrel cross at the light?

CBW, I cooled down at least 20 degrees when I saw your picture.
98 degrees!

deborah said...

I am honored, CBW, that you would don spandex and bicycle just to make me laugh. That did make me laugh!

If we can get our delicate ancient van fixed, I am seriously considering attending! It is leaking body fluids as I type. Poor thing.

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Deborah - The ONLY -one and only --reason I got to Wal Mutant the next county over is for cat and dog food. Lately I've discovered that the large bags of dry cat/dog food can be had for less at one of our two grocery stores, but the wet/canned still has to come from Wal Mutant for the best price, esp. when you're buying for a thousand cats like I am. And yes, without a doubt, I would don spandex to cheer you up--even a bicycle helmet, which makes ME laugh thinking about. If we need to arrange for transportation here, let me know. I'm sure we can figure something out. Grandma J. is driving from Texas. You really should come. There are lots of options, and we can make it happen. You will laugh until you thought you couldn't laugh any more. It's very, very therapeutic.

I have so much to report and so little time to do it. Hopefullythere will be time between today and tomorrow to capture some major events that have occurred here in Crazyville the past 24 hours.


Jim_in_VA said...

yup, 3 and 198 put stop signs on all three points and get a laugh looking at who goes first ... but really its a challenge to make a left onto 198 off 3 heading into the county.

Anonymous said...

My brother clued me in that Tractor Supply (old Walmart) sells animal supplies. There prices are pretty good for dog/cat food and even better, you can pull right up and get in and out relatively quickly. The good thing (for me) is that there is not much else that interests me there so I don't waste any time.


Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

AHR-I always forget about that Tractor Supply, but thank you becasue that's going to be my new pet food stop on the way home from work - it's even on the correct side of the road. I've been in a few times and actually I do become distracted by the shoes and clothes at the front of the store. For some reason, I think I"M actually going to need and wear a pair of cowboy boots and a nice western top. Then I slap myself in the face and snap out of it, but it is still a time waster. Far fewer distractions here than in Wal Mutant though!

Noe Noe Girl...A Queen of all Trades. said...

We have a light now. Ask BHE if you dont believe me!