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The Territorial Dispatch

December 11, 1996

It happened at the stroke of midnight Sunday. No fanfare. No drum roll. No fireworks. No warning signs. No announcement in the local, daily newspaper.

I heard about it when my clock radio woke me up with the morning news. I guess I assumed it was in the paper too. Usually everything I hear on the early morning news is confirmed to some degree or other by the morning paper.

It wasn't a long report. It simply said that two streets (C and D) in Marysville were two way now.

As it turns out I had to hustle over to PG&E to pay my bill so on the way I planned to do a little investigating.

I thought I would cross over to C Street via 5th Street and head south to Second, go around the block and up on the east side of D Street to park where PG&E has taken up residence in the old Feather River State Bank.

While at the traffic light at 5th and E Street I saw two vehicles, side by side, heading down D Street. I altered my plans. Why push my luck? It just wasn't a good day for a head-on collision.

When I got to D Street I turned and headed south down the right side of the roadway. There were cars parked properly on the west side of the street. There were no cars in that block on the east side.

At the stop sign at 4th and D I encountered some cross traffic. It was now a four-way stop. No traffic was moving north, however.

In the next block many cars were parked on the west side... the Scott's Bakery crowd, no doubt... and several cars were parked properly on the east side. A little green pick-up, however, was parked improperly... the way it had always parked there, probably.

A few minutes later, while paying my power bill, I looked out the window of PG&E; and the little green truck was moving slowly down the street with a big white Marysville patrol unit close behind.

I had parked on the south side of Third Street, so it was normal to proceed to C Street, go north to 5th and west to the 5th Street Bridge. Nothing was parked on C between 3rd and 4th. As I approached 4th and the Post Office area a UPS truck came around the corner and headed up C Street... on the left side... just zippin' along like UPS trucks do!

I could see mis-parked cars all along the west side of the street from the old library to the drive up mailboxes... which are now rendered useless unless a passenger can put the mail out into them from that side of the vehicle.

But, Monday, people were still using the drop boxes. A white car traveled north, beside my pick-up, pulled in to mail something and pull back out beside me. I had my left turn signal on to turn west on 5th Street but the driver in the white car next to me had other ideas.

When I started out, so did she, so I decided to go on to 6th Street to turn. I guess she noticed how all the cars along the city's parking lot and in front of City Hall were facing her because she dropped back and I was able to execute a left turn at 6th.

I was thinking it would be great to have time to videotape some of the funny things that will happen on those two streets in the next few months. It will take some getting used to since they have been one-way for almost 30 years. Funniest Home Videos TV Show might pay a bundle for something like that.

But I definitely think it was a good move to change them back to two-way. It will just take some getting used to.

At a meeting in city hall Monday night Rhonda had to return the conference room key to the police department because there was no officer available to open the room for us. Rhonda asked if they were all out writing tickets to wrongly parked cars. The dispatcher said no, but they had had a large number of complaint calls all day long.

As I headed home from the meeting I decided to see what it would feel like driving north on D Street, so at 5th I turned right. All went well the first block but as I approached 7th Street a truck was coming down my side of the road. The driver pulled over at the last minute, but I'm sure he must have been thinking that I was going the wrong way. He was trying to tell me something in sign language as we passed.

That was enough wierd excitement for one day. I headed home to Yuba City. People who don't expect things to change don't read signs anymore than people read newspapers. I think what Marysville needs is a lot of big white directional arrows indicating the correct way to go in each lane.

Quote of the Week:
The chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.
--Samuel Johnson,1709-1784

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