Thursday, 15 December 2011

On foot, and underfoot

Found here.  Tokyo people - street crossing by Simone Marchetti.

I used to drive everywhere.  My next-door neighbor and I, who were close friends in highschool and did all the same afterschool activities, used to drive into school separately, only to park right next to eachother.

But now I've been a pedestrian (only) in several different international cities as an inhabitant, not a tourist, and I can safely say I would avoid driving for the rest of my life, if possible.  Since we still live in the burbs, and many of my hobbies involve moving used furniture or large homemade letterpresses around, this doesn't look like a goal attainable anytime soon, but I can dream.

What does affect me, every day right now, is the general vehicular attitude towards pedestrians in general, and also the stupid thing other pedestrians do when they're not paying attention.  For example, I am super careful never to cause a car to slow down when they have the right of way - if I go early at a crosswalk, it is because I can clearly see no one is coming, or I understand the light pattern enough that I am sure I will be able to cross safely.  This morning, I was able to cross the street before my signal, because I was paying attention and had the right timing. 

The three numbskulls behind me, however, succeeded in blocking the cars in the left turn lane (who had an advanced green) because they were too late to follow me and decided to anyway.

Le sigh.  In DC every morning, cars try to run stagnant yellows/early reds at major pedestrian crossing intersections.  Sometimes these vehicles are even city buses.  And every time, the herd of pedestrians at the crosswalk comes out at their signal, and leaves the idiot driver stranded in the intersection.  Horns blare and tempers fray, and it makes everyone's morning just a little worse.

And don't even get me started on cyclists.

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