The Great Divide

Patch editor David Mills talks about the mental hurdle of crossing Ygnacio Valley Road

Forget the Rocky Mountains. Or the Sahara Desert.

The Great Divide in Walnut Creek, at least in my part of town, is

I live on the southern side of that thoroughfare near its intersection with Oak Grove Road.

The stores, homes and offices on that side of Ygnacio are considered easy to get to. No traffic lights. No six-lane road with cars hurtling down it.

However, the places on the northern half, even just a few blocks north, might as well be in Benicia.

I mean, the stores in Burton Village aren't difficult to drive to. The Shadelands office complex isn't that far.

It's only a three-minute wait at the light, at most, if you catch the yellow while heading up Oak Grove toward Ygnacio.

However, there's this mental hurdle those of us in this quadrant of Walnut Creek have trouble leaping over. I don't mind driving down Ygnacio Valley Road all the way to the freeway. But the idea of actually crossing it?

It's as if Ygnacio Valley Road is some raging river that you must risk your life to traverse.

My Bank of America branch is only a few hundred yards north of Ygnacio. Yet, I find myself thinking, "Do I need to go to Costco or some other place over there to make this trip worthwhile?"

I mean, the Countrywood Safeway and the Nob Hill in Burton Village are nice stores. But the older, quaint Safeway in Encina Grande seems like it is miles nearer.

That's why I started to hyperventilate when I heard of plans to build a new Safeway in the open land on the northwest corner of Ygnacio and Oak Grove. The key word there is "north."

Besides paving over that beautiful field, the new store would mean the Encina Safeway would close. That means I'd have to cross The Great Divide to go grocery shopping.

Unless, of course, I went to Fresh N Easy. That's probably actually farther than the new Safeway would be, but it just seems closer.

Not sure how we get over this. Perhaps we should be like anyone with fears. We should face them.

Maybe the new Safeway would help me get over the hump. Get me past the mental block of Ygnacio Valley.

But I'd rather not try. I'd rather zip on down to the Safeway on my side of the road.

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David Ritchie March 23, 2012 at 10:21 PM
I work in the offices on Citrus Circle. Found this article to be very funny, but true. I tell people to take Treat to get to my office rather than YVR. Maybe someday we can wave to each other from opposite sides of the road. :)
Robin Schick March 24, 2012 at 03:22 PM
The 6 lanes of deadly speeding traffic is a huge divide for anyone walking to Heather Farms from the wrong side of YVR. The intersection at San Carlos needs a pedestrian bridge.


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