I have a request. Parents with small children playing outside: please keep them out of traffic. You may have read or heard recently another tragic story about a small child on a bicycle being struck by a vehicle. This time, the youngster — though injured — survived. That happened on the same day I had to dodge two kids who pulled directly into my path without looking as I drove through the neighborhood on my way home. Thanks to a little luck and slow travel, we all avoided a nasty accident. The girl, who looked about 5, was startled nearly to the point of falling off her bicycle when she finally turned her head to the left and saw me coming. But she continued on right across the street in front of me instead of stopping. Luckily, I had seen her in time to slow even more and allow her to cross my path safely. That move may have been more fortunate for the boy, who couldn’t have been more than 4 and was hidden behind a car parked along the right side of the street as I approached. The boy pedaled his three-wheeler into my lane, hesitated as he saw me, then continued on toward the girl. By this time, I had come to a complete stop. I looked in the rearview mirror to make sure no vehicles were coming up behind me and saw a young woman who obviously was the mother of these two mini-drivers rushing their way. When I saw that both children had safely arrived at the opposite side of the street and no others were in my path, I continued on. Their mom seemed to have the matter in hand at that point. She ordered the girl off her bike and gently lifted the boy off the seat of his three-wheeler. She then firmly applied her palm once to each child’s backside. That little "love pat” might have stung for a moment, but maybe the lesson will last longer. We can only hope. By the way ... If you haven’t been around Penn Square Mall or the Belle Isle Shopping Center recently, be prepared. There are changes going on. Resurfacing in the area has caused some delays for daytime drivers. City crews have intermittently closed multiple lanes of westbound Northwest Expressway between Classen Boulevard and Pennsylvania Avenue between the hours of 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. so that contractors can complete the project, which is expected to take a couple of weeks. The work also is causing closure of the westbound I-44 off-ramp to NW Expressway. It’s an inconvenience for now, but it should produce good results. Enjoy your week and drive safely.