The Mercury News
Term ‘Road Boulders’ is not going anywhere
QMr. Roadshow, since you vowed to stop calling mature women “young lady,” could you also dispose of your epithet “Road Boulder”?
— Betty Menkin,
San Jose A What? Ban Mrs. Roadshow’s terrific phrase that accurately describes drivers who clog up traffic and that I have used for three decades? No way. But tell me more.
Q I was glad to see that you finally wrote of the responsibility speeders have for the increased death toll on our roads during the pandemic. When you urge motorists to drive with the flow of traffic, let’s see that flow be at the speed limit and not force others to speed up to “flow” with those driving recklessly.
Those abiding with the speed limit should not be called “road boulders,” but should be commended for taking seriously their responsibility to protect the lives of others on the road.
— Betty Menkin
I hear your perspective. Still, the phrase will remain in the Roadshow arsenal, and here is why: It’s about safety for everyone on the road. Yes, it would be wonderful if everyone followed the 65 mph speed limit, but we both know that won’t happen. What’s just as dangerous as speeding is the impatient driver who wants to go faster than the rest of traffic, is impeded by slower traffic, and may veer rapidly into other lanes. Slower traffic must move over if a faster vehicle comes up behind them. That’s the law.
I’ve lived here 43 years, and when I head on El Camino Real past the Stanford shopping Center, there is a washboard that doubles as a road under University Avenue. Nothing has ever been done to fix this horrible stretch. I have a small electric Smart car and grit my teeth every time I drive there to get to my medical clinic. Please, please have someone redo this horrible road.
P.S. I’m 71, but only the last name is Young.
— Tricia Young A Fixes will come on El Camino Real later this year. The pavement quality is terrible on El Camino, with 57% of the total 231 lane-miles of that road in distressed condition.
About high speeds contributing to more traffic fatalities: I feel a lot of people forgot how to drive, including me. It felt foreign getting into my vehicle after it sat for two months. But even worse were the people on the road. I saw a guy park in the middle of the road to grab something out of his trunk. Speed limit was 45 and he just casually decided to check his trunk with cars zooming by.
ANow that is definitely a road boulder.