Irma slams into Puerto Rico today, and I can’t stop thinking about those unfortunate souls in its path. We’ve been to Puerto Rico three times, and I love San Juan and the surrounding rain forests. I can’t imagein the force of 185 MPH winds – I’ve been in only 50+ sustained and that alone was frightening, so 185 is unimaginable to me. There have only been 3 Category 5 storms that have hit the US and this is currently a Category 5 – considering all the destructive hurricanes over the years and there were only 3 Category 5 tells me how incredibly dangerous this storm is.
In the past year I’ve really turned to walking and the bus as my primary transportation. I love it. But I’ve noticed a couple of things when I walk/bjus instead of drive. One is it is scary how many people are distracted when they drive. I am riding along on the bus at 30 MPH and look over to see someone texting with their phone in their lap, or digging through a to-go bag, or peeling back a wrapper with their knee or fingertips steering the car, or lost in conversation. At red lights, maybe half the people are on their phones while they wait. Seeing this has been good for me – when I see it I don’t like it, so to practice what I preach I’ve found myself tucking my phone deep into my pocket when I drive, and keeping both hands on the steering wheel so I am not remotely tempted to look at my phone. And I save my food for when I am at home or at my destination.
The other thing I’m noticing is speeding – it is amazing how much you notice a speeder when you don’t drive for awhile; you notice the person driving 10-20 MPH too fast, and I’m finding it to be a distinctly unattractive trait. The person who speeds on an arterial puts other people at risk, creates extra noise polution, and basically is contributing to our way-to0-busy world. I’m not thinking of the person who goes with traffic or is a few miles over the speed limit or driving a little too fast on the freeway – I mean the person zooming on a city street 15 or 20 MPH over to shave a few minutes off their commute. When I am walking, I can see just how fast — and instincts tell me just how unnatural and dangerous – this kind of speeding is.