I never thought I would see the day when car drivers are now no longer the main source of frustration in my daily commute…Pedestrians we need to talk.
I feel like there has been a lot of effort to get cyclists and motorists to act less like assholes, and to my untrained eye it seems like it is working. I see far less rule breaking from these two road using classes than I did 5 years ago. The change has been slow, and we certainly have a LONG way to go, but its working.
There is one user group however that hasn’t kept up with the “new normal” of road use here in Boston, yes I am talking about you pedestrians. If anything the more orderly traffic patterns, and more well behaved motorists and cyclists seem to have emboldened you to act even worse.
In the same way that cops will pick an intersection and hand out bike tickets, and motorist tickets its time for some targeted enforcement of pedestrians. Even written warnings will do. The time it takes the cop to write out the warning is enough of a punishment to get most peoples attention.
Until that starts to happen, here are some tips for pedestrians, please stop doing the following.
Wait on the sidewalk for the light to change, do not stand in the street:
Cyclists need every inch of road we can wrestle from cars and if you are standing in the road it forces us into conflicts with much bigger more dangerous things. If its a choice between hitting you and getting hit by a car the choice is clear.
Don’t walk from between parked cars:
I feel like this is street crossing 101, but for fucks sake do you want to be hit by something? What is worse is that you are putting other people in danger with your foolishness. You will eventually be hit by something doing this, its just a matter of time. Please don’t be a jerk, don’t hurt yourself or others, walk the extra ten feet to the cross walk and cross with everyone else.
Just because the car traffic is stationary that doesn’t mean the cyclist traffic is:
Cyclists move down the bike lane, or down the right hand side of the road, just because the cars are stopped doesn’t mean the cyclists are. Playing frogger through a bunch of car traffic that isn’t moving is the same thing as jumping out from behind a parked car. You will be hit, it will hurt, you will break something. Oh by the way, just because the cars are not moving now doesn’t mean they wont start moving in a second.
If you must J walk, look both ways first!
Knowledge is knowing the street is one way, wisdom is looking both ways anyway. You might think nothing is coming, you might not hear anything, but you can’t be sure unless you look both ways. Cyclists don’t make much noise, but it will still hurt if they hit you.
You have to wait your turn:
If you want motorists and cyclists to stop at red lights, and stop signs you can’t just go when the red hand is up. Whats worse is when you look both ways, see a bunch of traffic coming, and walk out anyway. Its exactly the kind of behavior that would frustrate you if you were in a car or riding a bike, but you seem to have no problem doing it when you are walking around. You are needlessly putting yourself and others in danger, and being a jerk at the same time.
I don’t think these are unreasonable demands. Nor are they burdensome to the pedestrians that want to use the street. I understand signal timing can be wrong, or that walk times are too short, but none of that has anything to do with what I have mentioned above.
In short, stop being such an asshole and start being more invested in your own safety and the safety of those around you.
Tags: pedestrians, rant, stop trying to kill me with your stupid!
Posted in Bike Business | 12 Comments »