Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Pedestrian's Lament

Center Square is not the most pedestrian-friendly place in the world.  The walker/driver relationship, in my opinion, should be one of mutual respect where everyone uses his best judgment, but that isn't always the case.  I've come up with a simple three-point system from the pedestrian's perspective that I think would solve so many of these situations that appear to be really really difficult calls for some people:


  • If you have a green light, it is your turn to go.  The green light standoff drives me absolutely nuts.  Here's the scenario: I'm waiting to cross.  The little sign says, "Don't Walk," so I (like any upstanding member of the Sesame Street generation) have stopped.  If you are approaching the intersection, it is not a good idea to stop and motion me across.  I will shake my head and indicate that, no, thank you, but you should go, as it is your turn.  You insist, your hand motions getting more adamant, as cars piloted by smarter drivers start piling up behind you, laying on their horns.  Now you are upset, I'm grudgingly crossing the street, everyone's mad at everyone, and you're in the middle of an intersection with a light that just turned red (in which case, see the second bullet.)

  • If you have a red light, it is time to stop.  The next time you're stopped at a red light, take a gander at the ground in front of you.  See that wide, lined area perpendicular to the road?  It's called a crosswalk and is aptly named.  The crosswalk is often the temporary home of people who are walking across the street and it is not appropriate to stick your big-ass SUV right in the middle of it, or, worse yet, come flying up to the red light like a banshee, screeching to a halt directly under it.  If you do that I will definitely point to the ground and yell something obvious, like, "Cross.  Walk.  Crosswalk!  You can't drive here!" I'll tell you right now I've been known to slap cars that get in my way and you will not be spared.  What now, bitch?  That's what I thought.  (This hurts me much more than it hurts you, but I do it out of love.  And terror.)

  • When in doubt, slow down, pay more attention, and relax.  Actually, this should probably be the third point in all lists everywhere.   You will get where you're going, I promise.

(Come to think of it, I also have several bones to pick with the pedestrian population around here.  Why are you always just wandering into streets willy-nilly?  Cross.  Walk.  Crosswalk.)

    2 comments:

    aptmiscellania said...

    Hahaha! This post makes me happy. I never know what to do with myself at the corner of Madison and Lark. I always feel like I'm going to die.

    Kimelodic said...

    Love it! Although it probably won't stop me from jay-walking.. there just aren't enough crosswalks! ;)

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