LetterTo The Editor

I?ve always been intrigued by some of the road signs that we see around Tumbler Ridge. For example, when you approach the town from Dawson Creek on the Heritage Highway, there?s a big sign just before Mackenzie Way indicating that the business centre is on the right.

Well, the whole of Tumbler Ridge is on the right, not just the business section. That sign actually fooled the drivers of the moving van bringing my furniture when I moved here ? they saw the sign indicating that the business centre was to the right, and, wanting the residential section, they carried straight on, expecting to see a sign telling them where the residential section was.

They reached the Chetwynd Highway at the end of the Heritage Highway, did a mental coin-toss as to where to go, and turned left. I don?t know how far they drove before it dawned on them that there were no houses down that way, but they had a big 18-wheeler and couldn?t find a place to turn around.

They made it all the way to the Heavy Industrial Park, where, luckily, Lloyd happened to be working at Northland Glass. He directed them back to TR. At that time, the Industrial Park was a desolate lonely place, where the tumbleweed blew between the deserted buildings. If Lloyd hadn?t been there that day, who knows where my furniture would have ended up?

But the sign that intrigues me the most is the sign along Mackenzie Way, just before Murray Drive, indicating ?Children at Play? ? a stick figure chasing a ball. Children playing along Mackenzie Way, arguably the busiest street in Tumbler Ridge? Where on earth would they play? Admittedly, there used to be a school up on Murray Drive ? you may have heard of it, it?s been in the news lately ? but that closed down some years ago. And these aren?t school signs anyway.

Now, we all realize that Tumbler Ridge is a Planned Community. Everything in it was put there for a purpose, never to be removed, so these signs must have a reason to be there. But where along Mackenzie Way is a play area? And, of course, these signs tell me that I have to slow down to 30 km/hr. And if I?m driving south past the sign, there is no other sign further on telling me that I can resume my speed back to 50 km/hr, so I suppose that I have to stay at 30 all the way along Mackenzie, past the Commercial Park, until I reach the Chetwynd Highway.

But this summer it all became clear to me, for I actually saw some children playing along Mackenzie. I didn?t realize they were children at first, of course, for all I saw was a plume of dust in the distance. But this cloud of dust rapidly approached, and then I saw them ? two children at play, hurtling by on the walking path ? one on a dirt bike, the other chasing him on a quad. As they careened out of sight around the corner, I realized that it all made sense. I have to slow down to 30 km/hr so that I don?t pose a hazard to the children who are doing somewhere around 80 km/hr! As always, logic prevails in Tumbler Ridge!


Bob Norman