October 17, 2003

Close Encounters Of The Cornwall Kind

Every morning as we leave our driveway we honk several times because we can’t see around the garden wall. But even more dangerous is the fact that we are entering onto a lane that is one car wide, and which can have quite a bit of traffic because of the popular beach at the end of the lane.

Our lane is about half a mile long, and most of it is a single lane wide. There’s the odd wide place, where a driveway entrance allows just enough room to pull over to let another car pass. But it can get very hairy driving up and down the lane, especially in the summer, and I have taken to going faster rather than slower because I figure the less time I’m on the road, the less likely I am to meet another car.

In Cornwall, this lane is not unique, not by a long shot. But what is unique to Cornwall is how they let you know when the road is too narrow for two cars. They simply stop painting the line in the middle of the road.


You’ll notice that I’ve included three pictures on this entry. The first shows a “road is getting narrow” sign. All this sign tells you is that the road is going to get narrower than it is currently, but it doesn’t tell you whether or not it will become wide enough for just one car. The second shows a road where the line just stops. That’s the signal that the road is no longer the requisite width for two cars to pass. I’ve come to think of it as the road crew throwing up their hands and saying, “hey, we’re no longer responsible for how wide this road is, you figure it out". And the third picture shows a car coming at you down one of these stretches of road without a line (I had to back up to let this one pass).

What I find myself doing is constantly scanning the road looking for turnouts. And remembering the last turnout until I see the next one. Which can make for interesting driving habits. Especially at night. We went out the other night, and it was raining. And there are no lights on the roads. And the lines are hard to see at night even without the rain. And when the line disappears, you hope and pray that no one is coming the other way.

So, next time you’re driving in Cornwall, remember to keep a look out for those wide spots in the road. And remember to wave as you pass someone who has stopped for you. And oh yes, if someone flashes their lights, it means that they’ve stopped to let you go by.

Good luck.


Posted by: Frank @ 7:44 pm — Filed under:

1 Comment »

  1. Those narrow roads are very much less dangerous at night than day because you can know when there is someone coming before to see them as you see the lights of the coming vehicles.

    Comment by cornish man — June 14, 2008 @ 12:59 pm

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