By Victoria A. Schmidt
As more people have moved to the Lakeside area, the traffic problem has grown worse. The most dangerous road here is the carretera. It doesn’t help that it is constantly under renovation.
The Walmart intersection has been increasingly confusing. Traffic has been bottled up as people try to figure out what lane they should drive in. And for those who are trying to access the businesses into the mall is nearly impossible.
Driving in Ajijic, the lane markings make it difficult to know which lane we are supposed to be driving in.
For me, over the past 15 years, I have watched Riberas blossom with many new businesses. But the problem is the accesses to and from the businesses are dangerous. There are too many people who don’t look for traffic before they enter the carretera. The maximum limit is 40 kph. But living right on the carretera, I can tell you that there are people who drive 80 kph. The area by the newest Pemex is especially dangerous.
There is no safe exit off the carretera, the road just drops off. So those people who are driving too fast come up to the back end of vehicles trying to make a slow and careful exit off the road.
I cannot over-emphasize how important it is for drivers to look BOTH ways when entering traffic. A few weeks ago, I was involved in an accident where the driver pulled out right in front of me, and I didn’t have enough time to stop. I saw the driver start to pull out, head turned in the opposite direction, and I tried to warn my husband as I slammed on the brakes. I never finished my sentence. I am injured. My car is totaled. My dog had internal bleeding and spent the night in the hospital. His neck was hurt; an inch further and he would have been paralyzed. My husband had the fewest problems. I don’t know the status of the other driver. But I’d like to know if their next errand was worth the damage to my car, their car, and to the people involved. We know that is a difficult area to drive. Have we forgotten that this is Mexico? Take your time. Be cautious.
My thanks to all the people who stopped to help. Off-duty paramedics, people who called for help. I tried, but I was shaking so hard I could not call for help. The bomberos, the ambulance staff, the insurance adjusters, transito, the tow truck drivers . . . everyone was very professional.
But I digress, there is continuing work west of Ajijic as the ciclopista is reaching out through San Juan Cosalá and into Jocotepec. It is evident that the Mexican government is attempting to make this “highway” into a safe driving area. But you have to help them by paying attention and driving the legal limit and looking both ways and back again. Use signals and watch out for motorcycles. If you use a motorcycle, the ciclopista is out-of-bounds. And if you have to pass someone, pass on the right side. So many accidents happen when a motorcyclist is driving in and out of traffic, especially the small bikes.
Let’s all do our part to keep our roads safer.
For more information about Lake Chapala visit: www.chapala.com
Column: Editor’s Page
Victoria Schmidt came to Mexico with her husband, in 2007. She is a graduate of Moorhead State University, Minnesota and graduated Cum Laude with a BA degree in Radio, Television and Film. At 23 she was hired at multi-national media corporation, where she worked 10 years as their Director for Operations and Finance. She then ran her own business consulting company. She has won multiple community service awards. Writing has been a passion of Victoria’s since Junior High. She has been active in the writing and publishing business for over 40 years and has been a columnist for the Ojo del Lago since 2008.