Monday, December 14, 2009

I Hit A Pedestrian? Woooooooo-weeeeee!!!!!

What is it with these so-called responsible adults? I mean it seems like on the surface, they're respectable family persons, make sure that their childrens are safe and sound throughout the day. But stick them behind the steering wheel, POOF!!!!! They change into Moe-Howard-is-smarter-than-I'll-ever-be-in-my-lifetime dolts.

Due to the fact that my body is slowly breaking down into manageable, yet still somewhat effective pieces (previously mentioned here), I do a tremendous amount of walking on the weekends. Every Saturday I do my morning errands (banking, post office and/or library) via the foot patrol. There are a multitude of reasons why, but they all originate from these three basic truths:

1} I save on gas.
2} I lose weight.
3} It keeps the cane/crutches/wheelchair as far away from my front door as humanly possible.

The side streets where I live have for the most part sidewalks, stop signs and/or crosswalks. And for the most part, drivers are considerate of pedestrians out my way. But when I get to the center of town, it becomes a dangerous game of chicken.

On the average, about twice a week, I have to play that dangerous game of chicken with stupid drivers who insist on making a right on red (in Connecticut, you can make a right on a red light, so long as you actually come to a complete stop before executing it) while I'm in the crosswalk. Sometimes they'll stop when I'm in the way of them making their turn, and sometimes they'll continue through if they're on the opposite of where I am.

My typical responses to their stupidity are as follows: 1} give them a dirty/challenging look daring them to continue with their turn (especially effective since I started standing at least three feet into the crosswalk while waiting for the traffic cycle to finish); 2} I yell loud enough for them to hear me through their closed windows while making semi-obscene gestures.

Believe it or not, I've gotten some sympathetic comments from people who have witnessed/experienced the same stupidity while walking themselves. I don't tolerate fools for nothing, and I especially don't tolerate stupid drivers or stupid pedestrians (the later can be found in most large cities where the populace believes its their god given right to act like an asshole. I'm just waiting for one of these yahoos to get smacked by a car while I'm watching. I would be giving the driver my number even before he got out of his/her car).

So if you should see a fat, bald and scary looking guy with glasses who is staggering through the crosswalk like he has a load in his jeans, do not try to drive by him before he gets to the other side. He may just escalate his annoyance and throw his coffee at you.


  1. I had my first walk in a couple of weeks yesterday. I've been so busy. But yeah, I love to walk when I can, and now that I'm in the country I don't have as much trouble with crazy drivers. I do get dusted out on occassion, since we live on a dirt road.

  2. I got hit in a crosswalk when I was in high school and had knee problems for years afterwards. One more dumbass not looking who stopped too far out past the line. I live in a state that has the worst drivers I have ever seen, bar none - and I have lived in seven states and Mexico. Why is it so bad? Because they don't pay any fucking attention! Sorry, rant over. I too love to walk and I sympathize.

  3. Well, lololol, Georgie, I was going to say you need to put more meat on you but then you mentioned something about bald, scary and something else. lolol I'm still giggling although I KNOW it isn't a funny subject.
    I'm a traditionally built woman. I'm also old and I have mastered "THE LOOK" with three children and four grandchildren.
    I've also incorporated the finger snap and twirl of my hand while other hand rests comfortably on my hip. This whole sight, scares the drivers. Of course, the sandwich board that says it will cost them BIG MONEY if they hit me, helps. Would you like me to help you cross the street, dear? :)Bea
    still laughing in Wisconsin

  4. People are so distracted behind the wheel, you have to be extra cautious crossing. Something I don't understand in my town is that random crosswalks have been painted across very busy streets, not at a corner or at any kind of stop sign, just in the middle of the thoroughfare where cars travel at a pretty good clip, yet pedestrians are invited to cross. I don't get the thinking behind those crosswalks.

  5. Sounds like Toronto. I am quite terrified of crossing the street, mainly because of drivers whipping into a turn without checking for pedestrians. I was almost run down once, by a van. The driver obviously saw me, then decided to keep going. The side panel of the van passed three inches in front of my nose. That was way too scary.

  6. I think I may be one of those drivers that has a habit of knocking innocent pedestrians to the ground. Or cyclists and I'm even more stroppy with horse riders. :D

  7. Wow, I really struck a nerve with everyone about walking. Glad I'm not the only one who has experienced problems with "walk rage".

    Now, on to the comments.

    Charles: I'm jealous of the fact that all you get is the occasional dusting. The only time I can get like that is if I'm walking down a dead end road.

    R.K.: Fortunately, I haven't gotten hit by a car yet, but I've more than my fair share of misses. I can't tell you the amount of morons who speed by house (I have a dead end road next to my house that people love to use as a shortcut to bypass the in town traffic) that cause me to take my life in my hands when I do walk down that particular stretch of road.

    Bea: Glad I made you giggle. I usually poke fun at describing myself, and when I had hair, I looked like a wimpy version of David Crosby circa the 1970's and beyond.

    I have a basic look that I give drivers who are stupid enough to cross paths with me, and it usually involves hand gestures as well.

    Joanne: I think Newington is fortunate enough not to have random crosswalks, but it still is an adventure crossing the few unmanned crosswalks that dot my neighborhood. I've gotten quite adept at crossing the unmanned ones but still, there are times where letting cars blow through is a better option.

    S.R.: Wow. That is scary indeed. Where I work is just as bad, because in the city, you really take your life in your hands if you try to actually cross at a crosswalk.

    I haven't had a near miss like that, but there were times that people braked just a few feet from me while I was in the crosswalk. I would cross in front of them, all the while giving a dirty look that dared them to step out of their little puny comfort zone.

  8. OMG don't even get me started on this. I didn't even have my license till about 6 years ago being lucky enough to live in communities that had 1) great public transportation and 2) great access for walking. I learned from all those years as a pedestrian to be watchful and considerate to pedestrians. Right on red after stop!?!? Try telling that to Mass. drivers! I also lived for 20+ years in Northampton MA home to pedestrians have the right of way no matter what. Imagine my surprise when I moved about 10 miles north and drivers didn't stop when you were in the crosswalk already halfway across the street. I swear they're playing pedestrian bowling. Two points for someone just stepping off the sidewalk, 5 points for one half across and 25 bonus points if you're making a right on red. Ack! I'm right there with ya G!

  9. G: I feel your pain, when I'm being pedestrian, er walking, I always watch out for cars, because I've been on both sides,those people who just step out into traffic, without looking really get my goat, too. I don't walk much here in FL, except along the riverwalk, and only have to watch out for bikes to run me off the path. In Northampton, MA it's another story entirely. Accidents left and right involving cars and pedestrians. Good luck out there!!!!

  10. Wow, what in the world did I unleash with my tiny little rant? I think I struck a collective nerve with this particular topic.

    (wipes the sweat of my brow)

    Now, onwards and upwards.

    Jeanne: Back in the day when CCSU had a road going through the campus, students had the right of way crossing. Which was all well and good, but when the road was a major thoroughfare, traffic literally got backed up about one mile, simply because nobody could get through that mass of people.

    Okay, I'm off the soapbox.

    Sometimes walking does feel like Death Race 2000. We should get bonus points just being able to get to our destination.

    Kim: I'm much the same way. When I'm driving in the city, I really have to keep my eyes open for just those things.

    Haven't had a bike run me off the road yet, but I'm sure its just a matter of time before it happens. If it does, I'll be ready for it.

  11. Walking has become a dangerous activity! But be careful, G, as people always lose against cars and we don't want to lose you!

    The best place for pedestrians I've experienced is in Newfoundland - they'll stop for you even when you're walking in parking lots.

    I tend to walk as much as possible in parks. Rolling vehicle stops are all too common at almost any intersection and it's like you've got to be on guard the entire time - it kinda sucks the joy out of being a pedestrian.

  12. I'll say that walking has become a dangerous activity.

    It's really strange though. In my section of town, which is mere mile and a half or so from the center, on a Sunday traffic really becomes non-existent. There have been times where I was able to walk down the center line and not see any cars on the road. And when I do see one (for I'm one of those types who are perpetually aware of my surroundings to the point of paranoia), I have plenty of time to get to one side or the other.

    Still, as you say, rolling stops and nutty drivers do suck the joy out of being a pedestrian.

  13. I didn't mean to cut you off but my life is more important and I had places to be..haha

  14. Sometimes I do get that particular impression about the automotive world, that somehow, they can't be bothered with people who are on foot patrol.

  15. I've trained my kids to be paranoid pedestrians like me. Even if a car is way up the block, they all run to safety. The other kids on the block probably wonder about my kids' extra caution. I'm a city girl even if I'm living in the suburbs. I guess the kids inherited my paranoia about crazy drivers.

  16. Healthy paranoia is a good thing, believe me. I get a lot of it when I'm walking on the street next to my house.

    Because it has almost no traffic, people drive like maniacs down the street on their way to whatever side street they're tying to get to.

    Never mind about the fact that the street now has a heavy contingent of pedestrians of all types and ages, bicyclists, strollers, dog walkers and the like, or that the road is only one and quarter cars wide. They simplyg gots to get to their destination.

  17. I can relate...

    Where I live now it's not that bad (or maybe I just don't walk outside enough), but when I was living in Guadalajara, crossing the street was like playing Russian (or should I say Mexican) Roulette with your life.

    There were so many pedestrian-related deaths, that it stopped being news after a while. People were like roadkill.

  18. When I was going to college a few years ago - I was always having to cross downtown Atlanta streets on foot - near misses every day by drivers ignoring the crosswalk. And where are the police?

  19. Bschooled: I deleted your duplicate comment, but I made sure that it was before I did.

    Wow, that's pretty bad when a city has so many pedestrian related deaths that it becomes commonplace and non-newsworth.

    Lynn: Police? Now there's a novel concept. I've had people do it to me in front of the police, and nothing happened to them.

  20. I have never understood where people have to get to in such a hurry that the extra three seconds to let someone get safely out of the way of the 2,000 pound vehicle will matter. No need to rush around the will have plenty of time to sit behind the people at that red light when you get there.

  21. Greetings & Salutations Darth Weasel! Many thanks for stopping by!

    I absolutely concur. It ain't that hard to wait those extra seconds for someone to cross. Shoot, I do it all the time when I drive.

    I think if you walk a great deal of the time, it gives you a better perspective on how to drive.

    Just like working in retail makes you act like a better customer on the other side of the counter, so does being a pedestrian makes you act like a better driver.

  22. Yes, the pedestrian is always right, well not the j-walking kind. But some common cross-walk decency and patience by drivers would be highly advantageous and appreciated by all of us on foot, indeed.

  23. Absolutely.

    Yesterday (Saturday) while doing my morning errands, once again a car decided to grace its presence in the crosswalk I was traveling in.

    Fortunately, it was on the other side of the walk. But still, I did stop long enough to give the car the all-American one digit salute, before continuing to the other side.


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