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Just a Thought - Summer concerts are almost here

Main Street Live summer concert series time is just around the corner!

Speaking of corners, I thought motorists attempting to turn the corner at Morrison and Main streets would be faced with construction barrels blocking off the street and directing them to Colville Street during the Friday night concerts. but maybe not.

Just when I thought that was a done deal, I overheard a discussion between two aldermen debating blocking the street verses reducing the lanes to one for motorists. One alderman said offering one lane will help slow motorists down and protect people as they make their way to the event – without having to divert traffic.

FYI, the speed limit is still the same regardless of the number of lanes provided.

While I remained silent as I was listening, I’m weighing in now.

I’m against blocking off lanes. A sidewalk is a visual barrier for people. Everyone recognizes it as the safe zone – a protection from passing vehicles. We begin that training at a young age: 1) Don’t get out into the street; 2) If you need to cross the street, look both ways more than once; 3) Be alert as you’re crossing.

When you start blocking off lanes, you are messing with that training and not in a good way. You’re encouraging people to step into the street and even though you may not know it, you’re also reducing their attentiveness in doing so.

I’ve been to more concerts than I can count. In that time, I’ve never witnessed anyone step out into the street – unless they were crossing it and taking the proper precautions – until they blocked off the left-side lane beside the concert with construction barrels. Then, people stepped out into the street.

If your intent is to protect people from themselves, block the street off. Don’t cut the lanes down to one and funnel traffic through the center lane. From a pedestrians’ perspective, that might appear to be all three lanes blocked. It could happen, as you’ve already lowered their attentiveness to danger by allowing them to step into the street.

With all that said and as most people know, I’m a diehard summer concert series fan. I love it. You can find me most every Friday night in June and July at the show.

I might not always stay for the whole concert. Sometimes, I’ll pop in and take pictures for the paper and leave. My attention, divided or undivided, depends on the band playing. I’m not too keen on country, gospel or whatever that is they call Americana. For those, I’m going to pop in, take pictures and leave. In and out in about 30 minutes.

With that being said, my favorites and those I’ll probably stay for the duration are: Utopia on June 22, Joe Harvey on July 6, Four on the Floor on July 13, and Forever Abbey Road on July 27. Liking four out of eight concerts isn’t bad.

Hopefully, Mother Nature will be kind this year.

Standard reporter Lisa Hobbs can be reached at 473-2191.