Monday, September 28, 2015

The upside of small town - Weston, MA

Wait, it's September 28 and I haven't posted in two months? Yep, true story. I can't possibly catch up now except to say here is how August and September went: kids camp, New Hampshire, Maine, soccer, Brazil, more Maine, PTO chaos, back to school, back to activities, homework, superblood moon...and that brings you up to date. 

Back to school means that crazy morning breakfast, get changed, get your stuff, get out is in full swing. Our bus stop (as you have met before here) is about three houses away, and across a dead-end street that we share with the next town over. As in it's Weston for about five houses, then changes to Lincoln town. With a separate bus route, residents who I largely have not met and maybe nine more houses. Lincoln's total population (without chipmunks and deer): 5,000. With deer and chipmunks: 300,000. Weston's total population (without Audis): 12,000. With Audis: 250,000. We are talking small town and smaller town.

But, there are two little issues with us sharing a street with Lincoln. One is their bus, or specifically their bus driver, who likes to drive as if he is testing the large yellow bus for stability. At 40 mph around the blind corner that is right above our Weston bus stop. The other issue is a dark blue Acura MDX (whose plate I have memorized) with a Meadowbroook sticker (that's a private school here in Weston) which also seems to always be late to school at 7:35 when 10 kids from age 5-10 are at our bus stop. No nasty looks will stop this dad. 

So, you will ask me: why do I not confront this mad Acura driver? Because, dear readers, (if I still have any after two months away), I am a CHICKEN. The thought of ringing a doorbell and saying "dear neighbor, could you please slow down?" makes me a little woozy with fear. What if he slams the door in my face? What if we start an enmity that does not go away for the next decade I plan to spend in Weston? Yeah, chicken.

I did write an email to the Lincoln bus company to ask that bus driver be counseled to slow down. That felt right to do: in writing and not anonymous, but without a door slammed in my face. So far, the driver has not seen fit to run me down and stick me in the grille. In actuality, the Lincoln bus seems to have changed times or routes as I have not seen it in the last week. Uh oh. Hope I didn't kill off bus service for the neighborhood.

So what to do about Mr. MDX? This is what I did. I called the town manager. And the town manager said to send an email to the traffic@weston commission which is populated by the police captain, and several other important members of the community. And I thought, okay, I shall do that and then wait for their response.

I sent an email at 1:13 pm. At 4:25 pm, I got an email back from Police Chief Michael Goulding saying they would get signage and patrols to try to fix the issue. Later that evening, I told my neighbors that I had done this and got an email back from one saying a patrolman had already stopped by and hung up the sign you can see in the photo above. The "SLOW" changes to a lighted-up picture of kids on a see-saw. Three orange cones further draw attention--it's right on the blind curve above our bus stop.

I am so completely impressed. The upside of small town is things get done. Quickly. Now the downside will be if I am caught speeding elsewhere in town and my name gets picked up as someone who has complained about others speeding! Fortunately I am more likely to be ticketed for driving too slow (yep, one of those looly-loos enjoying the ride) than too fast. 

I sent a thank you note to the captain. What a town. Let's see what Mr. MDX does now...


  1. Hopefully Mr. MDX will see the sign and adjust the speed he is driving, maybe the local PD will actually sit out there a few mornings and give tickets out. I am with you on the small town atmosphere, I miss living in a town that the population is around 1500 except for cotton harvest. Pat yourself on the back for taking action before a child was hurt

    1. I am hoping that a patrol car does come by for 10 minutes one morning this week--will hopefully scare Mr. MDX and seriously enthuse the kids at the bus stop :)

  2. Hopefully Mr MDX will adjust his speed once he sees the sign.