I camethisclose to dying yesterday.
Living in a condo near Playhouse Square, it’s impossible to avoid the Post Road.
No matter where you live in Westport, you find yourself on it too.
The Post Road is our central artery. It’s where we get our groceries, coffee and gas. Much more than Main Street, it really is our “main street.”
And though — or maybe despite — being clogged with traffic, it’s also our Indy 500 race track.
Every day, we see them: pony-tailed, baseball capped moms wielding enormous Lincoln Navigators. Tanned, sunglass-wearing guys in midlife-crisis Maseratis. Teenagers in their parents’ (or their own) Range Rovers.
All share one common thought: themselves.
It doesn’t matter that they also share the road with countless other cars, trucks, and occasional joggers. They don’t care that everyone else has someplace important to go too. They see the same yellow and red lights as the rest of us.
None of it matters.
At 8:05 yesterday morning I was part of the heavy traffic heading east. Terrain was on my left; the Volvo dealer, opposite it.
Suddenly a car roared out of Rayfield Road, on the right. It just missed the one next to me, and headed straight for my passenger door.
Instinctively, I swerved left — smack into the westbound lane.
Only by luck was the Fresh Market light red. Only by luck was it too early for anyone to turn right out of that shopping center. Only by luck was there no one there.
Had there been traffic on my left — as there almost always is — I would have hit them head on. I could have been killed.
Or killed someone else.
By the time I got back in my lane, the car that floored it out of Rayfield was long gone. The driver was on the way to someplace important — CVS maybe, or Gold’s or Starbucks.
Was he — or she; I never saw their face — as stunned, terrified and adrenaline-rushed as I was? Or did they just see this as one more example of their invincibility — a sign that other drivers would always get out of their way?
I’m a careful driver. But I drove extra carefully the rest of the day.
Within 2 hours, 2 other drivers flew through red-for-awhile lights. One was at the notorious Post Road West/Wilton Road/Riverside Avenue intersection. The other was a mile away, where Riverside and Saugatuck Avenues diverge.
I have not exaggerated any details. It’s several hours later, and I’m still amazed I’m not at Norwalk Hospital or Harding Funeral Home.
Only by luck, I’m not. If I had been looking at the dashboard, looking at the traffic on the left, looking in my rearview mirror — doing anything other than using my right-side peripheral vision — I might never have survived.
But luck was on my side. I lived to write another story.
So I’m writing this one.