Thursday, June 02, 2011

Getting nowhere fast

People who jaywalk by crossing the street at an intersection against the traffic light but stroll lazily as they do so prove a fascinating contradiction; their action suggests an urgency that cannot wait for the light to change, but their gait clearly indicates they're not in any real hurry to get somewhere.

They seem to forget there used to be contraption on the front of locomotives called cow catchers that were specifically intended to push the slow-moving bovines off the tracks without the train having to slow down. And that interaction was not particularly beneficial for the cows.


Having been critical of certain pedestrians, let's turn this around and point the spotlight on certain motorists.


Something I've observed on numerous occasions over the years: A car speeds up to an intersection and has to brake hard—not necessarily tire-squealing, but such that it ends up in the middle of the crosswalk—despite the fact the light had been red. It's not like the light had been green and the driver misjudged how long before it would turn yellow and then red; there was plenty of time for the person behind the wheel to come to decelerate and come to a smooth stop, but made no effort to do so.

Whether these drivers are running late and delude themselves with notions that braking as little as possible somehow will get them to their destination faster, or they are not paying much attention to actual driving, or they fancy the idea that when they're in that seat they're in some secret street race is unclear. The only thing that can be said for certain: They don't have much regard for their brake pads.


If those on foot and those in motorized vehicles are not demonstrating much thought or consideration, who is left? Cyclists?

The bike messengers I see speeding around on both the sidewalks and the streets display the least amount of concern for human safety—either theirs or that of others—of anyone I've seen.


The conclusion is clear: Humans simply should not go outside.


  1. I don't agree with your conclusion. It's STUPID humans that simply should not go outside.

  2. In Moscow, it's considered sporting to mow down pedestrians with your car. There are not many careless pedestrians still alive in Moscow.

    Bicyclists always think they own the road, for some reason. I give them no quarter.


So, what do you think?