06 July 2011

Rules of the Road (and Humanity)

Dear Drivers, Cyclists, and Pedestrians,

I am talking to all of you because we must all share the road, and you are all equally guilty of breaking the rules.

1) Pedestrians, please use the crosswalk and go only when it says "walk".  Sometimes, when you crossing in the middle of the road, it can be potentially dangerous for me to make a sudden stop while going 40 mph. But I will do it anyway, even if it means getting rear-ended, because I do not want to run you over. When you are crossing during the "don't walk," I ask myself why you lack patience. Why not wait at the corner for 20 more seconds and reflect on where you've come from instead?

2) Cyclists, please do not zoom ahead between the lanes. I particularly find it disconcerting when you pass me on the right because you are pretty much in my blind spot the entire time. Also, when I see you in the right hand lane, in the absence of a bike lane, and I carefully and slowly pass you on the left to give you plenty of space, and we come to a stop light, and you zoom ahead of me, I must do it all over again.  I do not like constantly having to pass you, this constant game of cat and mouse.

3) Drivers, I am constantly amazed at how many of you drive cars with non-functional turn signals. I'm guessing that is the case, because otherwise, I don't understand why it's so difficult for you to use it. I also don't understand why you must release all your anger by slamming the gas pedal when I am going the speed limit, and you swerve into the left hand lane and barely squeeze into the tiny space ahead of me and just behind the car in front of me.

It's like playing a funny game where we race each other to the stop light. Or a funny game of dare where we taunt fate and the motorcycle cop lurking ahead behind the bushes. Or a not-so-funny game where you taunt death because don't seem to care that you are driving a 2-ton machine capable of killing.

Undercover Mexican Girl


  1. The problem comes down to very bad city planning. Pedestrians and cyclists should have their own dedicated corridors that are separate from motor vehicles. I'm in Montreal right now, where there is much better infrastructure, but still not perfect.

    In Texas, most of the pedestrian lights only show a walk signal for a few seconds, and then start flashing "don't walk", meaning that the pedestrian shouldn't start walking at that moment. But from the driver's point of view, even if the pedestrian started walking at the right time, they assume that the pedestrian is at fault because a red "don't walk" sign is flashing while the pedestrian is walking across the street. I prefer the walk signals with the countdown. They keep everyone in the know.

    I think that everything possible should be done to make is safer to cycle and walk across town, but it comes down to infrastructure and city planning.


  2. These are rules and observations that should be obvious, but apparently they are not to some people and probably will remain so with those people until something unfortunate happens. It never hurts to remind us though.

    Tossing It Out