I live in a rural small town. It’s actually the largest town for a hundred miles in any direction, so I don’t often think of it as all that small. The population is about 11,000.
Every now and then I hear a phrase that suddenly jolts me into realizing how far removed from the mainstream we really are.
Like this one.
“The 4 lanes.”
I have not heard it in a while. I used to hear it all the time.
It’s a stretch of road about a mile long and has two lanes in each direction. The speed limit is 50 mph. The 4 lanes have been here as long as I can remember and used to provide the axis for almost all of the directions given in this town. Nobody ever called the road by its proper name.
“The one off the 4 lanes.”
“Where is that church?”
“Turn right at the light on the 4 lanes.”
“Where is that gas station?”
“Where the 4 lanes turn back into two lanes.”
With the nearest freeway 100 miles away, the 4 lanes were quite significant to this small town when they were built way back in the mid 60's. You could now pass people going in the same direction that you were going! Prior to the mass travel era, the 4 Lanes were as close to expressway driving as some from this area ever experienced.
As the older townspeople give way to a younger, more travel savvy generation, the term "4 Lanes" is used less often. When I heard it used today, it brought back a flood of old memories.
Here's rush hour on the 4 Lanes on Wednesday night.
Yes, the 4 Lanes represent small town life at its finest.
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