Saturday, December 6, 2008

Let me in!

For all the years we've lived in Dunwoody, one local habit continues to drive me . . . happy. Mt. Vernon Road traffic is relentless, from 7 to after 9 in the morning and from 430 to well after 7 in the evening. One car follows another, without break or gap, flowing south towards the Perimeter area, I285, and Atlanta in the morning, then north towards Gwinnett County in the evening. Not only are Dunwoody townies heading to and from work, we're a cut-through for our neighbors to the north.

So leaving the neighborhood requires some planning and adjustment to the tide. During our house search, we decided we had to have a stoplight exit from our street to work with the traffic. Our experience in Greensboro, North Carolina had been that no one stops to let you in. Whether in the rural county or the heart of the city, drivers would step on the gas pedal to close a gap rather than let another car get in front of them or enter from a side street. And if you dared slowed down to let someone in, the drivers behind would lean on their horns and make unpleasant gestures at your audacity.

Not so in Dunwoody. Here, letting someone in is EXPECTED.

If I leave the neighborhood via Vernon Ridge and want to turn right into the tide, someone will slow down, flash their lights, and let me in. If I'm merging where Mt. Vernon Road narrows from five lanes to two just past the village, no problem. One car after another joins the flow as drivers make room. When I leave Dunwoody Nature Center with a left on Roberts Drive, even during Austin Elementary carpool time someone will stop, make a gap, and let me through.

There are exceptions. Every now and then someone will press on that gas pedal and close the gap. I always remind myself that it IS the exception, rather than the rule.

I love Dunwoody.

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