Dr. Jay Walshon is a 38-year resident of Westport. Like many, he is concerned about the twin terrors of local driving: recklessness and incivility. He writes:
For the last 2 years we have been fortunate to have a beautiful large hare living in our neighborhood.
Multiple times a week he frequented our front yard, munching his dinner of lawn provided salads. He survived 2 Westport winters without any sign of wear, and greeted us so commonly in our driveway that my wife named him AJ, and periodically provided him with leftover organics from our dinner table.
It was amusing to watch AJ scamper about … his speed and agility likely a major contributor to his survival against the hungry red fox that nightly prowled our yard all winter long.
Mid-afternoon the other day, I headed out of my Roseville Road driveway on my scooter to run errands on the Post Road. From the right, it was totally clear. On my left, only a single vehicle approached from at least 50 yards away.
There was plenty of distance for me to enter the road, especially given the 25 mph speed limit.
However, perhaps 10 seconds later in my side mirror I saw the vehicle behind fast approaching. It then tailgated me dangerously closely as I approached the Post Road red light to turn left.
Although I moved to the right, this driver refused to pass — instead choosing to remain dangerously close behind me.
When I stopped at the light, the driver pulled next to me, and lowered the window.
An older woman with a silver ponytail berated me for “daring to pull out in front” of her.
Although her behavior was shocking, an elderly woman yelling this way was also somewhat comical.
Not the Roseville Road driver. It’s the Little Old Lady From Pasadena…
I calmly informed her that at the time she was quite distant, adding that for her to catch up to me as she did, she had to have been driving extremely fast — perhaps even 50 on a 25mph road.
She loudly and emphatically exclaimed: “I don’t give a shit how fast I was going.”
Who this woman is is not important. But her words and attitude are critical.
Later that same afternoon, while leaving the Westport Library I was at the Imperial Avenue stop sign waiting to turn left. As I was about to go, the vehicle approaching from my left blew through this stop sign — slamming the brakes in the intersection only when the driver saw me entering my turn.
Not the car that almost blew past Dr. Walshon. But the same spot. (Photo/Susan Teicher)
As I passed by her window — a stone’s throw from the police station — the young girl driving stiffly stared straight ahead, intentionally refusing to look at me.
A couple of mornings later I discovered AJ lying on Roseville Road, flattened by a tire.
Despite his quickness, agility and survival skills against natural predators, AJ was no match for that encounter.
I’m not suggesting that the woman driver on Roseville was to blame. But very likely, her attitude was.
Please: “Give a shit.”
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AJ the hare.