It’s Thursday morning. The day I dread, as I have to take two trips out during Country Road rush hour. My oldest son needs to get to a friend’s house two miles away on Foothill to get to school early for band practice. I have been up since 5 am watching the line of cars zoom by my home on New Avenue in San Martin, 25 to 40 of them per minute.
We live near Harvey Bear County Park and have been here for three years. I estimate that traffic has tripled in that time and somewhere between 4,000 and 5,000 cars trucks and big rigs pass my home between 5 and 8 every weekday morning. They don’t drive the speed limit and are oblivious to the neighborhoods they drive through.
At 6:05 am, my son and I leave for the five-minute harrowing drive. I’m able to quickly get on New Avenue today. Sometimes I am forced to sit in my driveway for many minutes as I wait for an opening in the high-speed traffic. We wind down around the corner to the stop sign at Foothill and New Avenue. The car at the four-way stop that follows me immediately hits his brights and the yellow Ford Mustang passes me doing 70 miles an hour.
Another car behind me hits his brights and honks, because for goodness sake I have no right to turn on this road. Heading home, I’m turning right and not left into the speeding line of cars. I begin to nudge out onto the road and am faced with two cars, one in the right lane and one in the left coming right at me. The car honks at me, swerves and just misses me as I sit stunned considering how close I was to being plowed into by the racing Honda.
It’s 6:35 am and time to take my other son to the bus stop. The traffic in front of my house has started to lighten up to around 20 cars per minute. We pull out and roll down New Avenue to Foothill. We drive down Foothill at 50 mph and the cars behind me are impatient because that is not nearly fast enough even though the speed limit is 45. I turn on my blinkers to turn left on Middle as I do every morning just as the guy behind me is preparing to pass me. I brake to turn and get out of his way as he accelerates to well past 60 mph on the narrow two-lane road.
Driving down Middle Ave we approach Columbet, then Sycamore. This is the intersection where my wife was in an accident last year as an unlicensed driver ran through the stop sign and pulled right in front of her. She T-boned him.
People blow through this stop as they race to avoid the traffic on adjacent Highway 101.
I tell the details of this morning to illustrate the danger now present in these parts. Our family were residents of Morgan Hill for 11 years prior to moving to the country. We just wanted a bit more space and found this great home on what was at the time a marginally busy road. Now, thanks to unlimited growth south of us, and the advent of Google Maps and Waze, the roads that we drive every day around our homes have turned into major commuter thoroughfares.
There is zero law enforcement. Stop signs and speed limits don’t matter. What do the people driving through here care? They don’t live here. Waze just says this is the best route to get them there faster, and that’s what matters.
It is only a matter of time before a large-scale accident where people die during these commute hours is going to happen. Living in the country now is a completely new Wild West where people drive as if they are the only ones on the road with no concern for laws or other drivers. We need help. Where is the CHP? Where is the Sheriff? Where are the people who help moderate traffic flow? Where are my tax dollars?
People will die. I pray it is not me and my kids as we drive to the bus from our lovely country home.
By Kyle Krajewski