By Bob Spiwak
Congratulations and appreciation to the Winthrop Town Marshal for having someone directing traffic, vehicle and human, at the four-way-stop this weekend.
The World Famous Pancake Breakfast in Mazama was its usual success. Augmented by various footraces, attendance was up considerably.
Likewise at the Mazama Store, which was jammed with customers from both events. Maybe the most cars ever in Mazama. And at Fun Rock on Lost River Road, the number of parked vehicles was beyond counting as we drove by.
Monday morning (May 26) we did the annual Memorial Day car count on Highway 20, which produced 273 westbound vehicles and 63 going east. There were also 12 motorcycles and two bicycles going west — all this between the hours of 9 a.m. and 10 a.m., what we have determined to be non-peak traffic hours after almost 35 years of living next to the highway.
A new element was added for 2014. On Thursday afternoon (May 22) there seemed to be a lot of cars (we’ll call all vehicles “cars”) going east, so at 4:05 p.m. we set up our modern counting paraphernalia and settled in for an hour of digitally determining the density of driven appurtenances. The numbers were surprisingly close to this morning’s count: 226 eastbound including nine motorcycles and a school bus. We did not quantify the westbounds.
Unbeknown to us, Jay Lucas and Claire Bunney took it upon themselves, when driving from Winthrop to Mazama, to do their own count of easterly adventurers that same day, but at 8:45 p.m. They counted 70 vehicles from Winthrop to the Weeman Bridge and 35 more from there to the Mazama junction. My electronic calculations determined this to be 105 vehicles in a span of maybe 15 minutes.
As Claire is a professional bookkeeper and Jay a high school graduate, we accept their tally. It cannot have been blemished by hackers from either bored teenagers or the National Security Administration. We have decided to petition the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) to authorize the couple to legally count cars and consider them auxiliary officiants of the West Boesel Car Counting Coalition.
If you have a chance, offer them congratulations and your thanks for enhancing the car count from beyond our stationary headquarters to a mobile on-the-spot evaluation.
The usual query from readers, all 57 of them, after hearing the numbers for this day is, how does this compare with last year’s for the same hour? I carefully put those numbers in “a good place,” as usual — so good I have forgotten where it is. However, I do recall the number 354 westbound, but have failed to determine if that was Memorial Day or Labor Day’s count.
If you would be interested in being a junior or auxiliary, car counter, contact WSDOT in Olympia for an application blank and we will then administer the entry exam and, if you pass, the oath of office.