The Park Record editorial, July 28-31, 2012Civility is essential antidote to local road-rage epidemic
Summer is heating up and so, apparently, are local tempers. Consider, for example, a fistfight that took place Wednesday on Park Avenue near the library. According to the police, a man who was preparing to cross the street flipped off a driver who apparently had failed to yield. Incensed, the driver pulled over, got out of his car and punched the pedestrian in the face.
Inexcusable behavior on both sides. And let’s not forget to mention that both parties were middle-aged adults not the hot-headed 20-somethings one might have assumed.
So, what could have been one of those "narrow misses" in which both parties walk away unscathed and grateful to be alive, turned into a painful embarrassment, along with probable legal ramifications.
Unfortunately, the encounter seems to be part of a subtle increase in overall tension between drivers, between drivers and pedestrians, drivers and cyclists, boaters and swimmers, and just about everywhere that crowds are congregating these days.
Blame it on the heat, on overpopulation, or on the general sense insecurity following the mass shooting in Aurora, but don’t succumb. Civility sometimes requires extra effort.
The next two weeks, which are filled with special events, will likely tax locals’ patience. With several cycling events bundled into one big festival, followed by the annual Park City Art Festival and several large outdoor concerts, the roads will definitely be congested. There will be carloads of tourists haltingly hunting for their lodging, teams of cyclists sprinting for awards, and plenty of pedestrians just trying to enjoy Park City’s stunning summer weather.
Let’s not ruin it with careless accidents or aggressive behavior. Put your cell phone on silent and ignore it until you can pull over. Leave a little extra time to get to your destination and give yourself a pat on the back for letting a driver merge in front of you. Post a special lookout for cyclists and, if you see someone in trouble a motorist, cyclist or pedestrian offer to help.
Finally, if you can’t share it, get off the road.
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“We’re kind of turning the corner … and it’s now time to maybe put out the welcome mat in a careful and thoughtful manner,” said Bill Malone, president and CEO of the Park City Chamber/Bureau.”