Urban Oregon highway designers have a fetish for one-way streets. Worse, to add variety to the driving experience, they like to switch them up with two-way streets. I can just hear them in their planning sessions: "let's shake those out-of-staters up a bit." Meanwhile, in the American budget cutting mantra, they save money on signage.
So, there we were motoring down the main highway through Forest Grove, Oregon in the black of a dark night. Miz Garmin advised me that I had a left turn to make in .3 miles so, it being a one-way street, I moved to the left lane. Ahead a stoplight in each lane registered green. Totally unnoticed on the ebon pavement was a worn out, single, leftward pointing arrow in desperate need of a facelift -- just before the green OK signal -- and, off in the darkness, a sign blocked by a vehicle on a parallel trajectory and not even illuminated by my headlights. It simply showed two arrows -- one pointing up, the other down.
The light was green so on I plowed until the beep beep of a horn suggested "señor, if you maintain your current trajectory, you're likely to be a newsworthy item." I felt like the epitome of the driver that makes younger motorists argue seniorish citizens should be required to take a rigorous driving test to renew their license -- no less than once every four days. No nagging judge after 30 days in solitary confinement could have verbally pummeled me more that night than I did to myself.
In fact the next day I had to return to the scene of the crime just to see how I could have run so amok. Only upon viewing the signage did I realize I was the victim of urban road designers and political budget slashers too cheap to purchase visible signs and a green arrow for their stoplight — and maybe repaint their faded white arrow.
Forest Grove vacation rental the day after my crime spree.
Portland Japanese Garden -- a place we never dreamed should have been high on our proverbial bucket list.