A New Standard Of Employment: The Street Crossing Test

Written by Boston Biker on Aug 28

I have written a lot in the past about my belief that no single user class in Boston is any more or less guilty for the state of our streets than any other. I think cyclists, pedestrians, and motorists are all equally to blame for poor performance of our streets (AKA: public utilities designed to move people).

So don’t take this post as an indication that I am singling out only one user group for scorn, as I have heaped it upon them all in the past, and will so again in the future.

It’s just that I have had a lot of trouble with pedestrians lately, and it gave me an idea. A new criteria for hiring employees should be a test to see if they know how to cross the damn road.

First a couple examples:

Lady wants to cross the street, lady looks both ways, lady sees not one, but many cyclists in the bike lane about 10 feet from her. Everyone screams at her, she does walks out anyway.
Cyclists scatter in all directions. I should also note, this wasn’t at a cross walk, or anywhere near a cross walk.

Guy wants to cross the street, cars are moving in the lanes, he is not at a cross walk. He steps into street anyway. All of the cars slow/swerve to miss him. At no point was he in any real danger of being hit by anything, until he decided to jump from where he was, to where I was going around him. He is flexing his muscles like some sort of bro-dude frat-boy show of manly strength and begins to scream at me. I have no idea why he did this, perhaps he was worried I didn’t see him (I saw him get out of bed I had been watching him so long). I was able to swerve out of the way of this hulking idiot (thus preventing the implanting of my front wheel into his sternum), safely shepherding him across a busy street full of cars.

I use these two examples because both of these folks were dressed in very professional business type clothing. It was clear that they were not only employed, but held some position of importance in their companies.

The next time you see some kid in a Harvard jacket who is unable to cross the street, remember kid got into the best school in the country and can’t cross the street. Or if you are out in front of some giant bank, and the employees are clogging up the road, these people move millions of dollars around and Can’t Cross The Street. Or if you are in the medical area and see a bunch of doctors walk out into moving traffic, these folks literally have peoples lives in their hands and don’t understand the right way to CROSS THE GOD DAMN ROAD…boggles the mind.

Which leads me to my proposal. If you want a job, you have to prove you have enough sense to cross the street. Same goes with entering college, or applying for a fishing licence. Basically anything of importance. They do the interview then take you outside and have you cross a couple times. If you can’t figure it out…next applicant!

I also think they should re-test on a regular basis. Say quarterly. Everyone has their little HR review with Donna, and then you go over your 401k with Bob, your vacation time with Julio, etc etc. Then they take you outside and see if you know the difference between moving cars and stationary ones, if you can look both ways, if you can judge imminent threats to your person, and if you can tell the difference between the crosswalks and the middle of the damn road. If you pass, congrats 5% raise, and the corner office. If not, back to the mail-room asshole!


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Posted in bostonbiker | 7 Comments »


7 Responses to “A New Standard Of Employment: The Street Crossing Test”

  1. By Jon Ramos on Aug 28, 2013 | Reply

    HAHA, the person in charge of HR in my office is named Donna!

  2. By Jeff C on Aug 29, 2013 | Reply

    I think the psychology of this is: “I’m an important and powerful person and thus my right of way trumps everybody else’s right of way. I’m a busy man/woman and what I do in life is very important so everybody else needs to just deal with it and get out of my way.”

  3. By BBidd on Aug 29, 2013 | Reply

    This happened to me the other day, when a jogger jumped from in between two parked cars while I was slowing down to approach a red light. I may have been going 5mph, tops, coming to a dead stop, but he pointedly jumped several times in the bike lane, as though I was going to gun it to get around him, and then he started screaming at me. The priceless bit happened when he screamed, “Hey! Stop, cyclist. Stop. HEY! CYCLIST! THERE’S A RED LIGHT–WHY DON’T YOU **RUN IT**” I would have burst out laughing if I hadn’t been so confused by his obvious attempt to aggressively hide his embarrassment.

  4. By MITGear on Aug 29, 2013 | Reply

    IMO, I don’t care if people jaywalk, assuming that they don’t make cyclists or anyone driving swerve out of the way in order to not hit them. If you are going to jaywalk at least don’t make people adjust their legal behavior in order not to cause you bodily harm. That is a pretty low bar.

  5. By mouth breather on Aug 30, 2013 | Reply

    what bothers me more are cyclists and especially motorists who do not stop for pedestrians in crosswalks when they have the right of way. several times I’ve stopped only to have some bonehead behind me almost knock me off my bike to blow through a mass of pedestrians. I’ve had motorists honk at me while I was AT A STOP SIGN to let a woman pushing her baby in a stroller cross the street.

    and I cannot count the number of times I’ve been almost forced off the road by people illegally using electronic devices while operating their vehicles. All this stupid behavior just makes me think we need complete dutch-style infrastructure in the city.

  6. By y.t. on Sep 5, 2013 | Reply

    I’m with MITGear, for the most part. Do whatever you want, but if it’s illegal, don’t be annoying for other people who are doing right by law.

    Once this pedestrian made eye contact with me as I approached her on bike. I made a mental note and started to slow down. She stepped into the crosswalk/bike lane directly ahead of me. I slowed more, giving her enough time/distance to pass.. and she stopped, pulled out/lit her cigarette and stood still in my path to take the first drag. I swerved around, astonished.

    It was the biggest dick move ever.

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