Panhandle road-builders all drive pick-ups. That’s the only explanation for the deep dips in intersections and the very high railroad crossings, steep parking-lot entries, and eighteen-inch curbs. Or they lost a high-school girlfriend to some nerdy gear-head with a GTX or Porsche. It can’t be just for drainage and train safety, nope.
Every time I go to Redquarters I am reminded about the dips in the road. Especially if I’m not paying attention when I get to THAT road crossing and knock my dentures loose if I’m going faster than 25 MPH. And I’m reminded of the recall letter I got for my Tacoma, the one about the back leaf spring dying without warning if you go over big bumps in the road.
Officially the dip in the intersection is part of the drainage system and leads to the storm sewers. It also happens to be near a pedestrian crossing, and since it encourages you to slow down, I’m not certain that drainage alone is/was the reason for the low-spot’s location. An observer will also notice that no one in the surrounding neighborhood owns a low-slung car. Coincidence?
Back in early June we got a massive rain. As in five inches over night, the ducks are in rowboats, and the little old lady at the end of the block swore she saw pairs of animals going down the street. The next morning, all the usual places had flooded, and so of course I had to go out to run an errand (and visit the dentist.) As I approached one of the lower intersections near Schloß Red, I slowed down because two pick-ups blasted through, throwing rooster-tails of water and earning the sign-language thrown their way. Behind them came the most circumspect red sports-car I have ever seen. The water was probably eight inches deep. The sports-car crrreeeeeeeeept along, very slowly and steadily, passed through the Valley of the Nile, inched up the other side, and proceeded on. Either the driver has paler skin than I do, or his hands had a true death grip on the steering wheel.
Now, having a tall vehicle does not make you immune to hazards any more than having 4-Wheel Drive allows you to get out of anything, or to go 55 on ice. BTDT and had a nice new cluster of silver hairs by the time I got out of the four-state snow and ice pack. But I really wonder if the highway and road engineers around here have a grudge against low-riders and sports-cars. 😉
*For those not familiar with the original classic song:
I highly recommend having that particular recall on the Tacoma fixed. Or if you are actually going to haul much having all the springs replaced with aftermarket ones. Toyotas have always had weak springs, even if only certain years of the Tacoma’s actually had a recall on them. About three Toyotas back I went through SEVEN packs of leaf springs, before I wised up and had custom ones made. Of course at that time I was pulling a trailer on logging roads regularly, and the waterbars (small ditches cut across the road in order to drain water running down the road off into the drainage ditch, before it washes ruts in the road) tend to be a tad more frequent than such things on maintained paved roads, and I was replacing broken springs with new spring packs from the junkyard, so they were already used. Since then I have tried to improve my driving habits, but every Toyota I have owned since then has had custom leaf springs installed on the rear also.
It’s on the list, along with getting the rear seat-belt fixed. I just have to find a day when I can leave the beast at the shop for 10 hours. School just seems that long, some days.