"Can't we all just get along?" has been repeating in the Doc's head lately.
Last week's column acknowledging May as national motorcycle safety month produced a hail of invective. A few readers went so far as to suggest that the only good thing about motorcycle riders is that, as a group, they have a high fatality rate, so they tend to thin their own herd.
Nice, huh? What is the deal with the increasing hostility — outright hatefulness — on the roads? Why are we so quick to lay on the horn, give the finger and scream obscenities at one another?
Could it be that the insane gas prices of late have made us surlier? I don't think so. I think a lot of us are just plain spoiled and mean, not to mention self-absorbed, thoughtless and inconsiderate.
Most folks who have traveled out of the state or out of the country know that we have fairly decent roads here in Pinellas. They're not perfect, but things run smoothly for the most part.
Still, the SUV haters don't like sharing the roads with the hulking behemoths. Some motorists rail against the "arrogant, elitist" bicyclists. They, in turn, are incensed by motorists who ignore them, pull out in front of them or run them off the road. They fill my inbox weekly with their rants, but the rants have steadily become more venomous.
Sure, there are annoyances here and there, but how important are they, really? Important enough to pull up next to a mom driving a minivan full of kids, roll down your window and shout at her, calling her a four-letter name because she offended you with a poorly executed lane change? Really?
If it is, the Doc suggests you take a moment and reflect. The point is no one group owns the roads. We all do, and the Doc's mission here in this column every week is to answer your questions, try to get problems solved and advocate civility on the road.
So think of this: try driving as though your mom is sitting in the passenger seat.
Here is a rundown of a few roadwork projects scheduled around the county this week:
LARGO: 95th Street N and Alston Drive — storm drainage repairs.
• 113th Street N (Park Boulevard and Ulmerton Road/State Road 688) — shoulder repairs.
• 134th Avenue N (121st Street N to 125th Street N) — temporary delays due to sidewalk repair.
Ride a bike instead
Interested in trying an alternative to driving the gas guzzler to work? It's National Bike to Work Week, and Friday is National Bike to Work Day. Check out TampaBayCycle.com for information on bike commuting.
Until next week, happy and safe motoring!
Lorrie Lykins' Dr. Delay column runs regularly in the south Pinellas editions of the Times. Please e-mail Dr. Delay at firstname.lastname@example.org to share your traffic concerns, comments and questions.