The High Country is largely open for business, and our downtowns and business districts — especially on weekends — show the result: visitors and local residents alike filling our sidewalks and streets.

For drivers this can be a concern. Downtowns in Boone and West Jefferson and the business arenas of Blowing Rock are competing for our attention. Not only are there pedestrians crossing and moving at intersections and all points in between, we mix horse shows, old car rallies, art gallery crawls and the like into the mix. And that’s not to mention DOT factors such as paving projects and the erection of new stop signs (looking at you, West Jefferson).

The bottom line: slow and easy are the only ways to go. Pedestrians get the right of way — even if their right way is wrong. Ease through congested areas, and remember our ambulatory visitors are here for the same reasons as are drivers — to take a breath of mountain hospitality.

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