Part of my daily commute is a short hike up the hill and across several busy streets to get to my office. For the most part, the walk is usually fairly unevenful and can actually be kind of pleasant depending on the weather. (Walking in freezing cold as the wind rips through you like you're not wearing four layers...not so much).
Of course some days you take your life in your hands...like today, for example.
Here's the situation. A fairly busy intersection with a two crosswalks--one that goes across a lane to exclusive turn right and another across a lane to go straight or turn left. Waiting for the signal to cross both and it pops up. Look over to make sure nothng is coming and I see a van come flying up toward the right turn lane, clearly not intent on stopping for the red light. It doesn't, rolls right through the intersection, slowing a little but not coming to a complete stop.
At this point, a woman standing near me takes her bag and smacks it against the van. Which, of course, does nothing except make the van sputter as it heads out into traffic.
I observe all of this and move on with my day, but a thought strikes me. Yes, the guy rolling through the red light and not yielding right of way to pedestrians is a violation. But is slapping his van, causing him to sputter while merging really any better? It seems that both are hazards and dangers to various people in this story. And does it really accomplish anything?
Of course, it did remind me of a day last year when I was walking around downtown and stopped to utitlize one of the many crosswalks available. From experience I know drivers aren't necessarily going to stop, so I usually try to make sure it's clear and/or the drivers see me before I step out. Call me crazy but I prefer not getting run over. Well, one such car sees me and barrels on through. I let them pass and then cross, at the same time as two guys in suits are strolling down from Legislative Plaza.
As we pass, one of them says to me, "You know, I voted for legislation so you'd have the right of way."
Which is all well and good, I suppose. Except I couldn't recall which representative this was and whether or not I could vote for him (aka I didn't know if he represented my district).
It's a crazy world out there...be careful.
posted by Michael Hickerson at 3/19/2009 02:35:00 PM