May 13, 2008

What is with these Portland pedestrians?

Every day, every day, I drive downtown, people are crossing against the light. I admit, I do my share of crossing against the light, but I wait until cars that are going through a green light have passed, and there are no more coming. And yes, sometimes I will hit an intersection when the “don’t-walk” light starts flashing, but I speed up, even run, to get to the opposite side so as not to interfere with the cars that are going to get the green.

Is it just me, or do other drivers get pedestrians who start sauntering through the crosswalk just as the driver is going through the intersection? Is it just me, or do other drivers see people standing on a corner, staring at the walk/don’t-walk sign, and then start crossing as soon as the don’t-walk signal turns solid? Is it just me, or do other drivers seriously want to flip these people off, or run them over?

I’m all for questioning authority, and breaking rules when it isn’t going to affect someone else or get me hurt, but it seems like these people are going out of their way to be obnoxious to people they don’t even know. Is it a control thing, like, “See, you have to stop and wait for me because I’m the pedestrian, and I have the right of way, even if I’m doing something against the law”? Or is it solipsism? Or maybe they are just tired of living.

Hey, come on! Even anarchists can have common courtesy.

2 Responses to “May 13, 2008”

  1. 1 David S.
    May 15, 2008 at 11:49 am

    Thanks for speaking my thoughts on this exactly! I see it in parking lots too (especially Safeway for some reason). My take on it is that people either think they’re immortal or have a subconscious death wish. I mean, they wouldn’t actually say “I want to get run over and die today” but something deep inside is making them take the chance. I don’t get it either. I’ve always believed you should get the heck out of the way, cuz you should NEVER assume a car has your best interests or well-being at heart (they DON’T!).

  2. May 15, 2008 at 12:25 pm

    Yeah, the parking lot thing gets me too – I mean, why do people have to cross the driving area diagonally, so that it takes them longer to get out of the way? Walk straight across, and then walk parallel to the flow of traffic. I know that physics/geometry show that the diagonal distance is actually shorter than the two 90-degree legs, but really – how much farther is it?


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