THE GRIDLOCKSMITH, traffic safety activist, "Roads Scholar," former "Road Warrior" who lost a brother (aged,15) on the road in 1969, has compiled many observations and ideas about traffic safety after 3 decades of driving for a living. "Are you part of the problem, or part of the solution? Set a safe example in traffic." You, too, can be a gridlocksmith. "Road-Peace is a step toward World Peace." - Earl Shoop

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Location: Silver Spring, MARYLAND, United States

Looking for what's logical, efficient, kind and fun... Traffic safety became a personal issue when my youngest brother died on the highway. I observed traffic unsafety while driving for a living(30yrs). Spread the word about "Road-Peace" as a step on the road to World Peace. Since those wise and gentle enough to create World Peace will not treat each other as we now do, in traffic, the road is a good place to focus our efforts. see

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Yes, friends, it's true. I crashed the party.

But, in my defense, I had been told that the event, "Feet First Caucus," was open to all. As it turned out, it was open to all attendees of the 89th Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board. Had I successfully applied for "Media" participation, things would have been different. With a Media badge a person could have access to the whole shebang.

Fortunately for me, by the time I was approached with the query about my status, only a few minutes remained. This means I did get some pics, schmoozed a bit, and had a bite (cheese and crackers). They were quite polite, and seemed to understand my embarrassment over getting "bad information." No hard feelings. Perhaps, next time, I can be legit.

Since I had eaten a late lunch, I did not feel motivated to join the food line.Besides, as I was wearing my home-made sandwich board, and carried a sample tote bag and camera, my hands were already filled. Those who did patiently endure the line were rewarded...

...with a pretty nice spread of yummy treats.
The fancy stuff was gone by the time I made my way to the table,
but a variety of cheeses, crackers and bread remained.

Sorry, I did not catch the speaker's name,
but I do recognize the National Mall in Washington, D.C.,
and buildings that include the Capitol, in the background.

"Badges? We don't need no steenkeeng badges!"
Wait. Isn't that guy in the blue badge sweater, John Wetmore,
of Pedestrian Perils? Yup. Let's have tea, some time, eh?

Well, with my red baseball cap, coat and sandwich board, I'm sure that no one thought I was a deliberate crasher. I managed to spread the idea that "Road Peace" may be a step toward World Peace, met a few folks, and even had my picture taken by someone who seemed amused by something on my board.

After finishing my cheese and crackers, I departed without fanfare. My first encounter with a group of actual traffic engineers and other professionals could have been worse. Another deposit in the bank of stories of gridlocksmith misadventures has been made.

Morale Quotient (MQ) remains high.

Until next time, as ET would say, "Be Goood."


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