How to take the lead out of a lead foot
I love our new house and neighborhood, it is so family friendly. Really, you couldn’t ask for a better place to raise your kids. When we moved to the Pacific Northwest, we were even lucky enough to buy a house on a cul-de-sac, which is perfect when you have three very active boys. My boys have been riding their scooters and bikes with all the neighbor kids around the cul-de-sac all summer; life couldn’t be better. Well, maybe it could. We do have one slight problem on this small, child-filled cul-de-sac, a lead footed neighbor.
We are one of only 4 houses on our private little street and all 4 houses have children living in them, 3 of the 4 houses have young children. The problem lies at the very end of the cul-de-sac where our lead-footed neighbors live with their 3 tween and teen children (one of whom just got his license and a brand new car). These neighbors at the end of the street are very private, keep to themselves, and are very protective of their property, which is bordered solely by my house. They are friendly enough to wave and say hi and I’ve even driven their daughter home from camp before, but they have never taken me up on any offers to join us for drinks or food like the other neighbors. I simply chalk it up to cultural differences and try to be respectful of their privacy. I do take issue, however, with the way they sped up and down our tiny little street with no regard for the little ones that play in and around our private street. I have considered talking to them about this issue, but have been advised by other neighbors that this will do no good as this has been an issue since long before I moved in and many neighbors, including those on connecting streets, have tried to convince them to slow down as they travel our child-filled neighborhood. Apparently one neighbor got so sick of their blatant disregard for the repeated requests to slow down that it ended in a shouting match. Knowing this, I thought I would try the subtle approach.
It seemed to work on the teen drive and the father as they slowed down to go around the sign, it it didn’t seem to work on the mother. Instead of slowing down, the mother gunned it as she passed the sign, driving up over the gravel on the side of the road. Her actions were done in such a way that all the neighbors who witnessed it felt that it was a blatant rebellion against the signs simple request. So I decided that I needed to go a step further and give them a little more motivation to slow down.
Note the large rocks piled in rather strategical intervals off to the side to make it more difficult to gun it through the gravel area. On the grass side some toys with sharp edges have been left on the edge of the road in a rather unfortunate spot for tires that might ride over them. If my neighbors decided to ignore my sign again, they will pay for it in the form of new tires. Hopefully my neighbors will get the point before it punctures their tires.
Only time, and lots of strategic toy placement, will tell if my neighbors will learn to slow down. If they don’t, this post might become a series of posts. Either way, I hope they make the choice to reserve the lead foot for highway driving and drive more cautiously through the neighborhood, before they hit a child and this story turns tragic.