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Re: Drivers - Please Slow Down

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avatar Drivers - Please Slow Down
April 24, 2012 10:15AM
A road-kill fisher was reported along Wawona Road near Bishop Creek April 19, 2012 at 9 a.m. by park staff. This incident marks the 10 th documented road-kill fisher in the park over the past two decades; a total of nine fisher have been killed along Wawona Road/Highway 41 since 2007, including three road-kill fisher outside of the park. This most recent road-kill mortality was a radio-collared male fisher being tracked by the U.C Berkeley Sierra Nevada Adaptive Management Project (SNAMP) Fisher Study that is based in Sierra National Forest. This fisher was originally captured in Nelder Grove in Sierra National Forest in late 2007, and then dispersed over 25 kilometers northward into the park to the Badger Pass area where he remained for over four years. This fisher has shown up in several camera stations in the park from 2009-2011 and may have been the mate of the female fisher that successfully reproduced one kit in the first documented fisher den in the park in spring 2011. This male fisher was hit very close to the “Slow Down - Wildlife Crossing” sign stationed on Wawona Road. This is a very sad end to a beautiful and rare animal. Highway 41 passes directly through the middle of a narrow corridor of fisher habitat; fisher have no choice but to cross the road. Drivers: Please do your part and SLOW DOWN, especially at dusk and dawn when visibility is limited.
Re: Drivers - Please Slow Down
April 24, 2012 11:09AM
I had no idea what a fisher was, had to google image it. Cute little guy, sad ending.
avatar Re: Drivers - Please Slow Down
April 24, 2012 02:17PM
A roadkill of a fisher is very unfortunate, but I really wonder if speeding was the cause.

It's very hard to speed on Wawona Road simply because you'll usually endup very quickly behind some vehicle traveling BELOW the posted speed limit.

It think better advice for drivers to avoid running into wildlife on Wawona Road would be to 1) Stay Alert - pay attention to the road ahead of you and the brush and woods near the side of the road (and not at the beautiful scenery surrounding you) and 2) Don't Tailgate. Tailgating simply narrows one's vision too much just to the vehicle in front of them, and doesn't permit enough time to take evasive action if a wildlife animal decides to dart in front of one's car.

So an admonishment to Stay Alert and Don't Tailgate I think would be more effective for Wawona Road than the tired old mantra of Don't Speed (because on Wawona Road, speeding is rarely an issue – at least compared to the other roads in Yosemite).

.
avatar Re: Drivers - Please Slow Down
April 24, 2012 09:37PM
I'd add 3) Prevent tailgates. Real men use turnouts. Let people who want to drive faster pass by.

1 out of 10 times the car I let pass turns out to be a park ranger or CHP.
avatar Re: Drivers - Please Slow Down
April 24, 2012 07:14PM
Animal kills by cars are always unfortunate but I doubt driving speed has anything to do with them. The little experience I have with animal hits in over 40 years of driving never had anything to do with speed. It's unfortunate timing. It was always a case where the animal was hiding behind a parked car or in the bushes along side the road and darted into the road with only a fraction of a second to react, simply not enough time, and impossible to see beforehand. Gray squirrels are the worst around here. They are completely unpredictable and often dart out in front of you. They can be hit at any speed. Stopping until they leave isn't a good idea because there are many blind turns and stopping on a blind turn is asking for an accident.
avatar Re: Drivers - Please Slow Down
April 25, 2012 03:32PM
The chance of them getting hit is higher the faster you go, though. Between you taking a longer distance to stop, covering more distance before reacting, and them having less time to react, speeding definitely increases the fatalities.



http://www.flickr.com/photos/dqniel/
avatar Re: Drivers - Please Slow Down
April 25, 2012 04:31PM
Quote
dqniel

The chance of them getting hit is higher the faster you go, though. Between you taking a longer distance to stop, covering more distance before reacting, and them having less time to react, speeding definitely increases the fatalities.

But this warning to slow down was specific just to Wawona Road. As I initially pointed out, of all the park roads, Wawona Road has the least problem with cars speeding about. I doubt (though I have no proof) that those fishers being hit by vehicles on Wawona Road was due to the drivers of the vehicles driving too fast.

Speeding is much more of a problem on Tioga Road and Big Oak Flat Road (and of course on Northside and Southside Drives inside Yosemite Valley) than it is on Wawona Road.

.
Re: Drivers - Please Slow Down
April 25, 2012 08:52AM
I wish more people believed in this. I spend most of my summers in Yosemite and the slow drivers are the biggest hindrance in the park. I always get over for anyone who wishes to drive faster, but so few people adhere to this rule. I have been stuck literally 100 times behind campers going 20 MPH in a 45 MPH zone with up to 50 cars stuck behind them. The rudeness and arrogance of this is beyond description.

I feel terrible for any wildlife killed in the park, but I have hit chipmunks and a raccoon even when driving 15 MPH. If drivers are going to drive BELOW the speed limit, then they need to get into a turnout every time another car is behind you. It's common courtesy and if 5 or more cars are behind you, it's the law in California.
avatar Re: Drivers - Please Slow Down
April 25, 2012 11:00AM
Bowing to his greatness

Exactly!

Replace the computer with my steering wheel and this is what I'm usually doing:
Pounding head on desk

A drive is NOT enjoyable following someone. Period. It takes 5 seconds to pull over...
and everyone is happy and less stressed. People just don't get it.
Pounding head on desk



Picasa Pictures
avatar Re: Drivers - Please Slow Down
April 25, 2012 01:17PM
Quote
chick-on

A drive is NOT enjoyable following someone. Period. It takes 5 seconds to pull over...
and everyone is happy and less stressed. People just don't get it.
Pounding head on desk


I don't get it either. For me it's such an obvious win-win situation to let a vehicle that wants to pass you, pass you by pulling over safely at the next pullout. They win because they get to pass you and travel at their preferred speed, but you win too because you don't have someone tailing you. So what's there to loose by pulling over?

Can anyone who doesn't pullover to let faster traffic pass them on mountain roads, please explain to me why they don't? What benefit they see by having cars lined up behind them?

.
avatar Re: Drivers - Please Slow Down
April 25, 2012 04:02PM
Quote
plawrence

Can anyone who doesn't pullover to let faster traffic pass them on mountain roads, please explain to me why they don't? What benefit they see by having cars lined up behind them?

I always let other drivers by if they want to go faster, even if they are driving over the limit. Here's my take on some of the reasons. I've actually heard people say some of these things.

1) They think it's their job to police the road if others are driving faster than they deem safe.
1a) They believe the speed they are driving is the fastest anyone can safely drive and and there's no need to pull over. If they're driving 10 mph under the limit, they think you're a reckless driver for wanting to drive the limit.
2) They like the feeling of control it gives them to be at the head of a line of traffic.
3) They like harassing people and this is a way to do it with impunity. (Yes, I've been told this.)
4) They are completely oblivious to what's going on around them. (I've ridden with sorts these of drivers.)
5) They're impaired somehow; drunk, on drugs, etc.
6) They don't know the driving rules.
avatar Re: Drivers - Please Slow Down
April 25, 2012 03:01PM
I don't understand why people dont pull over when they have 10-15 car trains lined up behind. Drives me friggin NUTS!



On an unrelated note, I've been reading this forum for quite some time now, but this is my first post here. Sure to be one of many after I make the move out to CA in June. Following in Chick-On's footsteps actually. Leaving good old Wisconsin behind. Anyway, I'm really looking forward to sharing my Yosemite adventures with all you wonderful folks very soon. Hoping to get some photos up from my previous trips sometime soon as well.

Now for an even more random note, I was hiking up to Mt. Hoffman last year and met a forum member on the trail. Joan, if you happen to read this, check back for some photos soon. Here's one I spoke of smiling smiley

Re: Drivers - Please Slow Down
April 25, 2012 03:28PM
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nervousOne
. Here's one I spoke of smiling smiley

That is Joan?
avatar Re: Drivers - Please Slow Down
April 26, 2012 05:06PM
Quote
chicagocwright

That is Joan?

What if I said yes? Head roll



Quote
QITNL
Welcome! So where in the People's Republic do you intend to reside?

Thanks! Happy to umm...still be here! Just need to work on this posting messages thing a bit grinning smiley

Anyhoo, I'll be staying with a long time friend in Berkeley for the time being. I'm not totally sure I'll stay there. Kind of depends on what job opportunities I end up with. Somewhere in the Bay area for sure. Want to keep my drive time to Yosemite low and be close to my friend and cousin in SF.



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parklover
Quote
QITNL
Welcome! So where in the People's Republic do you intend to reside?

That is how we refer to Santa Monica.

Love the picture but I hope it is not one of Joan.

Glad you like the photo cool smiley Guess I should let the cat out of the bag, that ISN'T Joan in the picture. Shocking news eh? Rolling on floor laugh



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chick-on
Quote
nervousOne
Following in Chick-On's footsteps actually

Awesome. Just tell me you will remain a Packers fan.
(and if not, just lie)

Awesome Picture! Made my day!

Good day! Well, being a HUGE sports fan, I've always hated the 49ers. The Giants are up there too. They sure have given the Packers hell the past few years.

Really glad you liked the picture! I thought it kind of funny that another Wisco guy takes toys to random places for fun photos. I know it appears as though I've simply poached your idea, but I've done stuff like that for years on my travels. I got the idea before my first trip to Europe back in 99 from a dea friend. He has a miniature Mystery Machine that has done some serious traveling. Tons of pics of it in wild places all over Europe. Seemed like a fun way to add some flava to a photo. Then add in that I often travel alone and you can understand that some personal amusement is always appreaciated. Nice bonus that others enjoy it too! I've typically brought different items depending on the time period or where I'm heading. I'd say its fairly clear I've found a wonderful 8" tall hiking buddy for my trips to Yosemite and elsewhere in the Sierra's.


Thank you all for the warm welcome. Glad I finally found something to chime in on! I'll do my best to get some more photos uploaded so I can share them with you all soon. Just going a little crazy trying to sort out the cross country move. Only one more month!
avatar Re: Drivers - Please Slow Down
April 26, 2012 05:32PM
WUTT!!! I aint no Toy!!!

Seriously.. though... I'm over the drink-on age man.

Ok, So you may get a chuckle out of this:
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?1,30596

If not... well... Go Packers



Picasa Pictures
Re: Drivers - Please Slow Down
April 26, 2012 05:48PM
So when is "Joan" going to get a photo op on top of Half Dome, Clouds Rest, or the Waterfalls?

Welcome to you and Joan. Except for the part about hating the 49ers! angry smiley
avatar Re: Drivers - Please Slow Down
April 26, 2012 10:34PM
Quote
chicagocwright
So when is "Joan" going to get a photo op on top of Half Dome, Clouds Rest, or the Waterfalls?

Welcome to you and Joan. Except for the part about hating the 49ers! angry smiley

Thanks for the warm welcome. All of you that have posted have been super nice!

Well, the REAL Joan has already hiked Half Dome. She told my friend and I a great story about her adventure with HD. Her first summit was at age 57. Respect. As I mentioned before, I met her on the trail up to Mt. Hoffman. I couldn't believe I met a forum member on the trails by total chance. We sat soaking up the view and chatting for 20-30 mins or so. She was a super nice lady. I'll have to gather some photos for a thread and put her name in the title to see if I can get her to post thumbs up

I'll have the Bumble on top of both soon. I'll be making a quick stop in Yosemite on May 19-20. If Tioga is open I'll be hiking Clouds Rest one of those days. I'll consider trying the HD daily lottery sometime this summer. I may just skip all that and see about picking up a guide to climb Snake Dike. I've done most of the hike already. Fell short as one of our party slowed us considerably and just didn't have it in him. Damn shame. There will be other chances. Half Dome will be there when I come back.
avatar Re: Drivers - Please Slow Down
April 25, 2012 03:40PM
Welcome! So where in the People's Republic do you intend to reside?
Re: Drivers - Please Slow Down
April 25, 2012 06:04PM
Quote
QITNL
Welcome! So where in the People's Republic do you intend to reside?

That is how we refer to Santa Monica.

Love the picture but I hope it is not one of Joan.
avatar Re: Drivers - Please Slow Down
April 25, 2012 04:39PM
Quote
nervousOne
Following in Chick-On's footsteps actually

Awesome. Just tell me you will remain a Packers fan.
(and if not, just lie)

Awesome Picture! Made my day!



Picasa Pictures
Re: Drivers - Please Slow Down
April 26, 2012 02:46PM
Well, I only looked in to see if there was any mention of dogwoods blooming, but I can't resist answering this after all the comments.

Like it or not, driving faster increases the odds of hitting something crossing the road, or any accident for that matter, and increases the damage caused. It takes you longer to stop, a longer distance to react, gives the victim less time to avoid you, and lessens the time between seeing the victim and impact. And you hit harder. No doubt some might say they pay better attention, are more capable, or have never hit anything, but it doesn't matter, it still increases the odds.

There's no argument to the idea that anyone driving under the speed limit should pull over as soon as possible, when others are behind them. And probably just as annoying are the sticklers that pin the speedo at EXACTLY the speed limit, according to their speedometer, then drift from a few mph slower up to that speed. Some speedometers read high for various reasons, so don't assume that yours is right, and those 12 people behind you are all wannabe speeders...speed up a bit, or pull over, Smart drivers will, when conditions are good, allow a 'buffer' by adding a few (note FEW) mph to the speed limit, which compensates for different vehicles, normal speed variations, and will keep most drivers behind satisfied and off your rear end.

But what about the blatant speeders? The drivers who think you're supposed to measure proper speed by driving faster and faster until you are up to someone else's bumper, then getting as close as possible until they get out of your way? I call these "road bullies", and like any bully, the worst thing you can do is to let them victimize you. Bullies thrive on pushing people around, and in a car they're especially brave. So if the speed limit sign says 35, and I'm doing 40 already, and some jackass flies up on my tail like we're on the LA freeway, to hell with him. It's no more my job to get out of his way than it is his job to clear the road ahead.

Next time you find yourself on someone's bumper, have a look down at your speedometer, then have a look at the next speed limit sign. If you're already over the speed limit, relax, back off; you don't have any business demanding they get out of your way.

If does happen to be a ranger or other park employee that passes you at a high speed, that doesn't make it right, it makes them wrong, it makes them a hypocrite...just look at all the signs around, coupled with statistics, then they have the nerve to ignore it themselves? A crooked cop isn't a "good guy" just because he's a cop, and if a ranger speeds in non-emergency situations, he should not be a ranger, nor should his behavior be used to justify anyone else.

Road bullies who actually want to get somewhere more quickly, rather than the more common situation of wanting to push people around, should take heed to this suggestion: Back off. If I'm cruising along in a 35 zone doing 40, and you come sliding up to my tail demanding I get out of your way, good luck with that. I'd prefer to have no one behind me, but you can stay there all day for all I care. If you back off politely, and follow at a reasonable distance, without your bright lights shining in my mirror, I'll probably pull over at the next convenient place, as I'd rather not have you back there anyway.

Which is worse, being a slowpoke that drives right past the "slower traffic use pullouts" sign with 10 cars behind them, or the ones that drive a little below the limit until there's a passing lane, where they speed up to 10-15mph OVER the limit so no one can pass, or a road bully that thinks he's better than anyone else and they should all get the hell out of his way? Everyone has their own opinion about which one is worse, but while slow drivers are annoying, fast drivers are dangerous, the cause of most accidents, and are indeed breaking the law. Of course they'll be quick to blame slower drivers for making them take dangerous chances, but bottom-line, speed kills, like it always has.

When you got your license, you agreed to obey the law, and the speed limit is a law, whether you consider it right or wrong. Make your own roads and drive as fast as you like, but if you want to share public roads with everyone, there are rules. Saying "slow down" is not wrong, in fact I've seen plenty of speeders on Wawona road...even if it's only 1 out of 100 cars, it's too many for that fisher if he's there at that time.



Gary
Yosemite Photo Galleries: http://www.pbase.com/roberthouse/yo
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