Thu 4 Sep 2008
The other night Dr. G and I noticed a pall hanging over the dark road as we returned from the grocery store. I thought fog, he thought smoke. We were both wrong– it was dust. We had just missed some giant truck revving its engine and peeling out in our front yard. It had made black tire marks on the curb (both entry and exit), scattered buckets of gravel into the street, and gouged through the gravel and the plastic lining of the yard down to the dirt. It had run over a fairly big, pointy rock (maybe 14 inches tall?) in the process but apparently escaped unscathed. ARGH!
We have a corner lot in a neighborhood where most of the roads don’t go anywhere in particular. Our street is right about the point where people realize they are going the wrong way, so we witness a lot of frustrated turn-arounds. Most people have the decency to turn around in the street instead of on our property. But every couple of months, we’ll find tire tracks through the yard. This incident was the worst.
Okay, so it is a big yard without much in it. A few palm trees, a few big rocks, and a big expanse of white gravel. But you do have to go over a sharp curb and avoid a fire hydrant to get onto it! Awhile back Dr. G pushed some of the bigger rocks into the most common path of drive-through-the-yarders, but apparently it is not deterrent enough. And our across the street neighbor also has a fairly empty, inviting corner lot but I never see evidence of people driving through his. There is something special about ours.
My theory is that it is too empty. If we add a few more vegetation-type items so it looks sort of planned, people will think, “landscaped yard” and not “off-roading opportunity.” I would test my theory except it costs a lot of money and time. I wish I could set up a controlled experiment. Actually, I wish people would refrain from driving through my yard. Or, barring that, let them do it at a time when I can catch them at it and fully lecture them on human decency or at least take down a license plate! Dr. G was kind enough to sweep the street in the dark, late at night, after the last time, but I don’t want him to make a habit of it.