flarenut (flarenut) wrote,

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Effing pedestrians

I know, I lived most of my adult life in manhattan, so I really shouldn't say that. But, but.

First, Vermont has a pedestrian right-of-way statute, so you'll get plenty of people just stepping right out into the street without looking. In New York, we knew that you took your life in your hands every time you stepped off the curb, lights or crosswalk notwithstanding. (Which explains why the only tyime I got clocked by a vehicle, it was a delivery bicycle coming the wrong way on a one-way street while I was watching for traffic from the other direction.) Here they really expect people to stop out of a respect for the sanctity of life or desire not to mess up a good paint job or something.

But the other thing that makes my blood boil happens mostly in winter. People decide that the sidewalk must be too icy or inadequately cleared, or they just don't want to walk over to it after getting out on the driver's side of their car, so they saunter down the middle of the street and expect traffic to do a Moses-and-the-Red-Sea thing for them. And they don't even look a little bit apologetic. And not little bitty streets either. Two-way thorofares with traffic. The other day I was coming up a street near our house and came on a platoon of middle-aged types eschewing the iceless sidewalk and ambling straight at me (probably after ignoring the no-parking signs on the street beause their usual spots closer to downtown hadn't been thoroughly cleared that morning). They were in my lane, and behind them was a car in the opposite lane. I stopped, because avoiding them would have involved a head-on collision, and a bunch of them looked at me, as if to complain "why aren't you getting out of our way?" The oncoming car passed us all, a few more of them gave me dirty looks, and then I drove on home.

Please, can't I hit just one of these pedestrians? Just a little?

(Not that I love other drivers at this point either -- way too many of them during the winter think that the right place to drive on a two-way street is straight down the middle, at speed.)
Tags: drivers, pedestrians

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