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While reading an article in the online version of the Vicad today, I had to chuckle.

The story was about people complaining about our congested downtown area in Victoria. Now before you send in your comments or emails about me laughing at the distress of others or to tell me "we don't care what other cities are like," hear me out first.

I too felt that "distress" when I first moved to Victoria from Yoakum. Our downtown area is much more spacious, and you can pretty much find parking near anywhere you have to go. But then again, that is Yoakum, and the population is nowhere near that of Victoria. Here however, I would get a little nervous driving down Main street on my way to the post office, wondering if some car door was going to meet its demise as it was opened by some careless driver. It never happened to me. But anyhow, I still had that feeling that the streets of downtown Victoria were too small. Not anymore.

Why the change in attitude?

A trip to New York City and Union City, New Jersey changed my tune fast. Compared to some of the congested streets up there, Main Street in downtown looks like an empty parking lot.

Now yes, those places up there are more populated and all, but you know what, people put up with it, they deal with it. Not only are the streets more narrow, you have people (taxi cab drivers) who don't know what the heck they are doing, swerving in and out of two lanes, mass transit buses making stops here and there, and don't forget about the hundreds of people walking across the streets. I tell you what, the armrests to our car came back with many a mark, from where my fingernails were embedded in them, expecting the worst during those drives through midtown Manhattan.

Image hosted by Now this is congestion.

My advice to those of you complaining about downtown Victoria is this: slow down and pay attention while driving. And if someone does decide to change the street here, widen it out to fit our huge pick-up trucks, then so be it. In the meantime, it ain't that bad. I even told myself that today at lunch when I drove through downtown to run a few errands.

And like I alluded to before, I know we aren't in New York, but it could be least it smells better down here than in the streets of New York City.

UPDATE: Thought some of you may appreciate this:

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Disclaimer: By no means does the author of this blog advocate (heh)the defacing of public property, driving while painting, or singing Lionel Richie songs out loud.