Drive with love

Hot August Nights is scheduled to run from Aug. 8-14 in Northern Nevada, and despite the slander and threats that have been heaped upon the event and its organizers by city officials and other media this year, it’s still one of our favorite events. But with the construction happening on Interstate 80 this summer, it’s time for one of our slightly offbeat, obvious and unofficial but nonetheless annual editorials: It’s road construction season. Breathe.

For drivers of automobiles, we’d love to see you not just reach your destination but get there in a decent mood. So please keep your cool, drive defensively, use your turn signals, don’t drink and drive, plan for alternate routes, tip your bartenders, again don’t drink and drive, don’t speed and don’t get frustrated when you can’t, keep your hands off the horn. Please don’t spend a Saturday afternoon downtown on Virginia Street pounding cheap liquor, getting your muscle shirt all covered in butter from the corn-on-the-cob stand, then take a cab home, and grab your bicycle for a quick trip to the convenience store—that’s kind of missing our overall point. Instead of flipping off that jerkoff who cut you off in the 1956 Chevy Bel Air, maybe you could offer him a peace sign or a broad smile—you know he’s only acting his aggression out like a 4-year-old (or 64-year-old) who’s up past his bedtime, and you also know that him not knowing he got your goat will really irritate him. It’s sort of like karma, only you get to decide.

This year, we’d also like to call on police to objectively enforce drinking and driving laws, existent laws on distracted driving (the ones that will be superseded by the new law regarding cell phones and texting), laws on rights of way and turn signals, laws on vehicles that threaten and assault pedestrians and bicyclists, laws about noise violations in neighborhoods, laws against cruising, laws about double parking (and parking in handicapped zones), laws against public intoxication, laws against speeding and impeding traffic, and any of the other myriad laws that get forgotten during this certain time of year. And remember, increased fines in construction areas can’t help but to put some money in the county coffers in these tough times.

This year, we’d also like to call on elected officials not to unnecessarily disrupt commerce by shutting down Fourth Street at Virginia. After all, it’s one of the main thoroughfares being used by locals while I-80 is clusterfucked. We’d also like to respectfully ask that signage is put up far enough away from unnecessarily closed streets downtown so that problem areas can be avoided by motorists. And maybe if the signs are constructed in a professional manner so as not to appear like handmade signs leading to front yard parking lots near carnivals, people won’t leave thinking Reno 911 is actually filmed here.

And finally, for local drivers and participants, all the while you are stalled in traffic and visiting your happy place, you can imagine how great it would be to have twin rocket launchers installed on your hood. Or better yet, a single laser cannon that would vaporize aggressive and poor drivers and their vehicles so you and the people you share the road with wouldn’t have to avoid the shrapnel left by rocket launchers. Because that’s what thoughtful drivers do.