Re: I'm Walkin' Here

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They have one of those that crosses a four lane road (two lanes each way) connecting the public library on the east and the post office on the west. I saw a family nearly wiped out when the easternmost lane of northbound traffic stopped, but the western lane of northbound traffic, which one may assume had an obstructed view of the crosswalk due to the stopped cars, kept right on going, forcing the pedestrians to stop mid street. Probably too busy texting to notice that the other lane of traffic had stopped.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 1:43 PM
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Pacing!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 1:48 PM
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Geddit? Because the post is about walking? Huh? Geddit?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 1:48 PM
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I get so angry when cars stop for no apparent reason other than etiquette. No! I have a stop sign, and you don't! By stopping, you may be saying "I believe this intersection should be a 4-way stop where cars take turns, and I am acting as if that were the reality", but what I perceive is "I have stopped my car for no reason, possibly to yell at my kids or look in the glove compartment, and might suddenly start again with no warning, and I would be right to do so because I have the right of way."


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 1:52 PM
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Our neighborhood is gearing up for another round of debate about speed humps*. Having become more of a pedestrian, I am all for them and pretty much anything else that slows people down and makes them more aware of their surroundings. I feel like I was probably woefully unaware of pedestrians before. That said, I do wish the kids here on the campus where I work would try looking both ways once or twice in their lives. In the absence of such basic precautions, I would love to see some of these light-up crosswalks on campus. I would feel a lot better about having to stop if it wasn't because some headphoned pubescent just ran blindly into the street in front of me.

* They come in a variety of low-hanging fruit flavors.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 1:53 PM
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4: What I hate are the people who think they're doing me a favor by stopping in the middle of a normally unimpeded road to let me cross when I am clearly watching traffic and waiting for it to clear. Thanks, Randomly Stopping Person, but I'd rather not be in front of your car when you get rear-ended. I can wait. It will be OK.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 1:55 PM
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I almost never turn on the lights on the crosswalk outside the building I work in. Usually I just intend to let the traffic pass and cross whenever there's a gap, but they tend to stop anyway. When it's only one car and they stop, I want to explain to them how stupid they're being, but I don't.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 1:55 PM
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Or, you know, what Robust said.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 1:56 PM
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I also hate these instances of false courtesy, which I frequently encounter when bicycling. If I see a car approaching, and I stop at the stop sign, that is because I know that you, car, have the right of way! Don't wait for me to cross! Cross your own damn self!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 1:57 PM
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Perhaps the drivers of the cars that stop in this situation do so because they believe that there is a reasonable possibility that a pedestrian at a crosswalk could run into the street in front of them?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 2:00 PM
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speed humps

I hates all speed humps and bumps (my lovely lady lumps). Hate! Hate! Hate! I purposefully speed up between them because I'm an asshole. But I'll try not to run you over when I'm in your neighborhood.

stopping in the middle of a normally unimpeded road to let me cross

Thereby delaying both me and themselves by entirely more than if they had just zipped past.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 2:05 PM
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I don't think that's really reasonable if the pedestrian is not moving a muscle at the time and seems to be aware of his surroundings. But better safe than sorry, I guess.

As a pedestrian I should probably start actively making hand gestures to indicate that cars can drive by.\


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 2:05 PM
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To me, this depends a lot on the neighborhood. There's a light-up crosswalk at a busy street where families cross and there's quite a few backwards-hat-wearing young dudes driving souped-up cars. There, the crosswalk is a blessing, and every courtesy from drivers seems reasonable.

In more suburban slower-driving neighborhoods, I agree that excessive courtesy is confusing to everyone. Basically, situational awareness is good, any habits that increase it seem worthwhile.

The places I most hate driving are parking lots-- manic competition for the very best spot 10 paces closer, check. Attention on the kid in the back seat, check. Medley of mutually-incompatible foreign driving styles, check. Plus unclear right-of way.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 2:09 PM
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hand gestures to indicate that cars can drive by

To be more effective, you can dress like a police officer and say phrases such as, "Move it along, bub."


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 2:10 PM
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I also hate these instances of false courtesy

Thank you, Random Stopping Person. You may think you have done me a favor by allowing my car to make a left turn, but you do not see that there are seventy five cars behind you, pulling around and/ or not stopping in the other lane. Maybe your Amazing Courtesy Powers will stop the other cars too, but that's not the way to bet.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 2:12 PM
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The places I most hate driving are parking lots

Heh. Like that scene with Kathy Bates in "Fried Green Tomatoes"?


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 2:14 PM
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We could use some of those on the highway near where I live. Crossing six lanes of traffic that's supposed to be doing 35 but is often at 50 is pretty daunting even when you're young and spry. When you're 80 and have to cross to get to your bus stop, it becomes borderline suicidal.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 2:24 PM
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you do not see that there are seventy five cars behind you, pulling around and/ or not stopping in the other lane

I feel like I'm seeing a lot more "pulling around" than I used to, some of it basically insane. If you're on a narrow two-lane road with no shoulder and the car in front of you is turning left, do you pass them on the right? Only if you're crazy, I think. And yet it keeps happening to me. Sometimes they even honk and flip me off. Turning left is legal, people!


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 2:25 PM
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Then there are the people who think it's their god-given right to turn right on red, even when there are other cars in front of them in line and no turn lane to pull over into, and will honk and try to force everyone out into the intersection or outside the lane to do it. Chill out and wait for green.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 2:28 PM
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My eternal turning-left complaint is how some drivers treat non-arrow yield-on-green left turns. Get your shit out into the intersection, motherfucker. You don't need to park it behind the white line until it's clear.

(Corollary: a friend once freaked me out be saying she never pre-turns the wheel when she's waiting to turn in these sorts of situations. Her explanation that she feared getting rear ended and thus pushed into oncoming traffic, due to her pre-turned wheel, has forever been seared into my mind.)


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 2:33 PM
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I find myself being curmudgeonly about all this curmudgeonliness and wanting to urge you all to respond to "false courtesy" with a rueful shake of the head instead of bitterness. Sure, I wish more drivers understood how a four-way stop is supposed to work. But the extra 10 seconds it takes to get through the intersection when all the drivers are waving everyone else in front of them is 10 seconds I can well afford to see people trying to be considerate. I save my wrath for the jagoffs who think the order is: any other lane, then my lane.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 2:34 PM
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Turning left is legal, people!

Legal—and inconsiderate!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 2:42 PM
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I save my wrath for the jagoffs who think the order is: any other lane, then my lane.

God, those intolerable fucks. Wait your fucking turn!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 2:43 PM
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20.last: This is standard defensive driving practice. Also not pulling into the intersection until it's clear to proceed all the way lest something prevent you from completing the turn before the lights change.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 2:44 PM
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I find myself being curmudgeonly about all this curmudgeonliness

And stay off my lawn!


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 2:46 PM
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lest something prevent you from completing the turn before the lights change

Huh. Not that it couldn't have been wrong information, but I'm 100% sure I recall my in-car driving instructor telling me to get out into the intersection for yielding left turns, and that as long as you were in the intersection before the light turned red, no cop would ever ticket you for it. That is, it's okay if you turn as, or right after, the light goes red.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 2:50 PM
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I typically pull out in the intersection, but I try to avoid it at one intersection I go through all the time, because I know three or four cars going the other way will always run the red light and I won't be able to turn until well after the light has turned red. On the other hand, sometimes I'm forced to anyway because the person behind me leans on their horn and shouts so much that I think they're likely to ram me if I don't.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 2:52 PM
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25: Unless you're on my lawn to lend assistance to a chipmunk in need. In that case, I will ruefully invite you carry on and perhaps offer you lemonade.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 2:52 PM
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Further to 27, it's an intersection with a green arrow, so I know if I wait then I'll get to turn immediately in a minute or so.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 2:52 PM
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offer you lemonade

For free?! Communist.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 2:53 PM
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I really hate driving. Someone should offer me a cushy job in a place where I never have to.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 2:55 PM
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Link for 30.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 2:57 PM
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offer you lemonade.

You're what's wrong with America.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 2:58 PM
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Fuck. Way too late.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 2:59 PM
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It's as if 30 and 32 never happened.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 2:59 PM
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At least I pwned essear in acknowledging/pointing out my pwnedness vis-a-vis Stanley.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 3:01 PM
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26: I'm sure it's legal in most states. I do it myself from time to time because I think the concern is overstated, but it's not about getting a ticket. The danger is that you'll be in the intersection where people aren't expecting you to be when they start their own turns. In order to lead to a collision you need both something preventing you from clearing the intersection in time and an inattentive driver to crash into you, but the primary principle of defensive driving is to assume things will go wrong and that other drivers are not paying attention. Still, the don't pull into the intersection principle always struck me as going a bit far.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 3:02 PM
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Jesus Christ, I'm commenting too much. I need some of heebie's productivity spray.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 3:09 PM
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suburban slower-driving neighborhoods

Interestingly, I consider this kind of traffic-calming device (since they're usually speed humps as well) more of an urban phenomenon, where there are non-negligible numbers of pedestrians, and suburbia as having wide intersections with slip lanes that double the distance a pedestrian has to cross while making it possible for the driver to go faster.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 3:10 PM
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I and the dogs do not like to walk in front of live cars, especially cars backing out of their driveways. We are never in as much of a hurry as the driver, and will not accept their solemn guarantee that they will not spill their coffee or encounter a mouse or wasp or simply have a sociopathic impulse.

So any waves-on-by are unwelcome.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 3:15 PM
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24: 20.last: This is standard defensive driving practice.

And one which John Irving used his inimitable light touch to belabor as a key plot point in one of his books:

And it is often in the area of left turns that a driver's patience is tested in a most subtle but a most specific way--namely, when you are stopped and waiting to turn left across a lane of oncoming traffic, you must never, ever turn your wheels to the left in anticipation of the turn you are waiting to make. Never--not ever!

"Anyway," Ted continued, "Thomas was one of those impatient young drivers who would often turn his wheels to the left while anticipating a left-hand turn, although his father and his mother--and even his younger brother--had repeatedly told Tommy not to turn his wheels until he was actually making the turn. Do you know why Eddie?" Ted asked.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 3:21 PM
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essear is commenting too much.

39:Shrugs

Not only speed bumps everywhere around this neighborhood, not only school zones, not only streets with curves and hooks, not only half of the streets being deadends, not only are most street quite short with jogs and staggers, but since this is bluecollarville, hispanic variety, with five vehicles per 2000 sq ft house, three of which are operable, garages all converted...anyway, most streets are de facto single lane where cars must pull over to let another pass because of parking.

And that is during work hours, before ma, da, and teeny come home


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 3:22 PM
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||

PSA for the Keystone State readership.

|>


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 3:23 PM
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43. Nice. "Pay up or we bomb your house".


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 3:27 PM
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43: The political tone deafness of the ad is fairly astonishing.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 3:31 PM
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Ya know, not to go all tea party on the ad, but "the people" do not exist as little taxbots. Revenue is needed to fund the government, and everyone needs to pay what they owe, maximum quills with minimum hissing and all that. This is not the issue. But in the magic unicorn world where everyone pays the taxes due, in many cases there is still a deficit. "Structural deficit" they calls it. "Pay more taxes" can only be the answer when it won't create more spending. Hasn't happened yet.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 3:43 PM
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I also feel a tinge of energy-wasting guilt when I stop a single car that I could simply have let pass without much delay ... it seems wasteful to have that single car going 30 mph come to a complete stop and then rev right back up to 30. So I try to avoid doing so.

I appreciate this sort of thing, especially when on the bike. Obvious penalty to be paid with loss of momentum there.

Had an entertaining experience with a 'policeman' this evening. Was cruising around Belgrave square; this is a one-way affair that basically functions like a big two-lane roundabout. Some crossing from one side of your lane to the other is needed if you're on the bike and want to end up in the right place. Always, this goes without incident, because everyone is moving at around 20-25; tonight, some impatient arsehole in a BMW X5 behind me starts honking. So obviously he gets 'flipped off', as I think you people say in America. But then he overtakes me and starts waving a badge. Claims to be an off duty copper. He has his girlfriend in the passenger seat. Says he 'expects proper hand signals' to show change of direction, not the finger. I ask him what his honking is meant to signify. 'That I'm here', he answers, before zooming off as fast as his low profile tyres will take him. But I knew that, fuckface, is what I think.

The moral I reluctantly take away is that it's better not to give a driver the finger just in case he's a psycho and / or a walt.


Posted by: Charlie | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 3:48 PM
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'flipped off', as I think you people say in America

What do you blokes say?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 3:50 PM
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"Pay more taxes" can only be the answer when it won't create more spending.

Well, besides the fact that most gov't spending is someone's taxable income, some of us believe the above is more generally backwards, that gov't spending is the cause of private savings (!= investment) or surplus and thereby pays for itself.

Somalia has a very low tax base and gov't spending. Quite warm with beaches too.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 3:52 PM
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The place that the over-courtesy always seems to happen to me is, paradoxically, also the place that I'm most nervous about people blowing through stoplights. It's on my walk to and from work, and it's the first opportunity to backtrack along the course of the highway that has an exit nearby. I.e., if you're trying to get to the middle part of the neighborhood, you drive past it on the highway, exit, then double back along this first surface street. So in the morning, for whatever reason, there's an excess of courtesy, with people stopping randomly to let me cross when they have the right of way, while in the evening, people cruise along at 40 miles an hour, barely checking to see if they even have a green light. (There's some other peculiarities along that stretch -- a traffic light with a telephone pole directly in front of it, and a 3-way intersection with a stoplight.) It irritates me a lot.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 3:53 PM
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Um, we bite our thumbs at you?


Posted by: Charlie | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 3:55 PM
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bob, how can both the first and second part of your statement be true? Government spending most obviously doesn't pay for itself.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 3:57 PM
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Government spending most obviously doesn't pay for itself.

I think bob is executing the reverse-Laffer maneuver.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 4:03 PM
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What I hate are the people who think they're doing me a favor by stopping in the middle of a normally unimpeded road to let me cross when I am clearly watching traffic and waiting for it to clear.

Haven't read much of the thread, but OMG yes. Furthermore, this is fucking dangerous, because now, as cars back up behind you, I can't see the second lane of traffic very well, and I can't tell if they're stopping. I hate this. A lot.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 4:09 PM
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Unless he means that by setting the conditions for a functioning modern economy, i.e. infrastructure, rule of law, etc. which in turn generates enough surplus so that a portion may be siphoned off to pay the bond interest, salaries and benefits of the apparatchiks, etc. I don't understand. And I don't think that an equilibrium has ever been established.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 4:10 PM
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I really hate driving.

Oh man, I *love* driving. We should work out some sort of swap.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 4:11 PM
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52,53:I am not sure the gallery would consider this thread improved by a digression into Neo-Chartalism.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 4:12 PM
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I think the driver of the car should receive a shock if s/he dares to cross the in-pavement lighting force field. With enough operant conditioning, these people may eventually cease to drive.


Posted by: Clurr | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 4:15 PM
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Chartalism

Modern chartalism theory, first developed by Nikola Raic and Alicia Lindsay Chan, states that under a fiat money system, money is created by government deficit spending. Because money is not tied to or backed by a commodity, money can only be created when the government spends money. Government may, or may not, ask for that money back in taxes. The demand to hold and acquire money is driven by taxes levied by the state, taxes that can only be paid in the state issued fiat currency.

Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 4:15 PM
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I am not sure the gallery would consider this thread improved by a digression into Neo-Chartalism.

Comity!

But I did search for the term "Neo Chartalism". First blush, not entirely crazy, in a theory of money way.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 4:17 PM
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How a four-way stop is supposed to work in Seattle.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 4:20 PM
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Semi-OT as usual, I have never understood how "I'm walkin' here" became such a meme. It's such a throwaway line. It has nothing, for instance, on ""HOLY CRAP, the street has turned into a killer robot! Step on it, Phyllis!" I've never gotten if it's funny or poignant or WHAT? in some way I just cannot get because I am allergic to 70s (ok, late 60s) cinema and kind of hate Dustin Hoffman ever since someone said I looked like him.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 4:32 PM
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kind of hate Dustin Hoffman ever since someone said I looked like him

Oh, not a bit. You look just like David Rakoff.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 4:33 PM
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20.last: This is standard defensive driving practice. Also not pulling into the intersection until it's clear to proceed all the way lest something prevent you from completing the turn before the lights change.

You'd think this was the case, but I failed my driver's exam the first time I took it because I did not pull into the intersection to wait to take a left. Admittedly, this was in Massachusetts.

In other news, the big-time hot-shit traffic nerds (as represented in that one book I read that one time) largely disagree with y'all on the efficacy of those "press the button to make the flashy noises and cross" devices, because they make drivers think they don't have to be aware of pedestrians at other times. Much safer to be in a situation where people just might cross at a crosswalk, and you have to be ready for it. The flashing bells and clanging whistles serve to reduce attentiveness.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 4:39 PM
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9 I also hate these instances of false courtesy, which I frequently encounter when bicycling. If I see a car approaching, and I stop at the stop sign, that is because I know that you, car, have the right of way! Don't wait for me to cross! Cross your own damn self!

I have spent far more time as a driver than a cyclist and suspect this is just because drivers are used to people on bikes doing whatever the fuck they feel like, especially at stop signs, and are a touch nervous.


Posted by: Grover Cleveland | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 4:41 PM
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i love pushing those buttons after some parent bitches at their kid not to push the button


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 4:44 PM
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64.last: Wouldn't that depend on the nature of the road? There are plenty of roads where "don't have to be aware of pedestrians" seems to be the default setting, and some of them do have crosswalks.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 4:45 PM
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63: Not exactly Aaron Eckhart, but I'll take it!


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 4:48 PM
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65: so the reason drivers appear unaware of the rules of the road and act in a dangerous and unpredictable manner is because cyclists did it first? Who's rubber and who's glue now, boy howdy!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 4:49 PM
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There is one intersection where the light is long north south and very short east west. Sometimes I get out of my car and push the ped xing button, to get the light to change faster.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 4:49 PM
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65: this is no doubt true.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 4:50 PM
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67: oh, absolutely. I think the argument is more that there are better ways to make roads pedestrian friendly than by loudly and explicitly designating small, occasional portions of them as such. But it's certainly better than nothing.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 4:51 PM
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71 is right, my childishness aside. But if one cannot be self-righteous about bicycling, when can one be self-righteous?

Actually, I've discovered that bike commuting in the high-bicycle-penetration town in which I currently reside has me getting irritated with significantly more cyclists than motorists. When a Hummer H2 was all bein' an a-hole earlier and I got to cheerfully ride past him as he got stuck in rush hour traffic, it was not only satisfying, it was kind of a relief.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 4:56 PM
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The link in 61 also contains the "Hierarchy of Transportation Righteousness".

Recumbent bikes!


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 4:58 PM
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72: Comity. My perspective is possibly warped a bit by having watched a pedestrian almost get hit this morning by a fast-moving pickup that finally saw her and braked 30 or 40 feet before the crosswalk. An then said "fuck it" and just blew on through a few feet in front of the pedestrian.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 5:04 PM
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This seems like the appropriate place to moan that I am currently trying to buy my youngest a bike on eBay. She won't get on the shitty old bike she has at all, so I thought a new bike that works would help, but I don't want to buy a brand new one because I'm tight and there is no one to hand this one down to. There's a Raleigh model she's identified as being acceptable to her, so fortunately there are quite a few of them ... unfortunately I'm such a fucking idiot I keep forgetting that the auctions are ending and so I have missed 6 in this last week. She's getting a bit frustrated.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 5:06 PM
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64.last: they make drivers think they don't have to be aware of pedestrians at other times. Much safer to be in a situation where people just might cross at a crosswalk, and you have to be ready for it. The flashing bells and clanging whistles serve to reduce attentiveness.

Yeah, this resonates for me. The default 'cars first' is kind of annoying in many urban settings. It does depend on setting: in, say, Harvard Square (sorry, but), people just boldly launch themselves across the intersection, and automobiles hang back. I think drivers are more pedestrian-aware in San Francisco as well, though I'm not sure.

I was vaguely aware of becoming more car-centric when I moved here, and remember an incident in which I went ahead (in my car) to take a turn, and the currently-crossing pedestrian threw a hissy-fit at me, along the lines of "WTF dude?! I'm crossing here!! You are an asshole!" I figured that guy was new in town, since it's cars-first, generally, here. I felt very badly.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 5:13 PM
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One of the ideas the high-toned traffic nerds (again, per that one book I read) recommend is fully raised intersections, because then you're psychologically putting the car into pedestrian space, and they'll be more careful. They actually installed one of these near my house, but since it's not painted like a regular crosswalk, cars pretty much treat it like a somewhat sedate ramp and go for what little air they can get off of it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 5:17 PM
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But generally, yeah, things that cause drivers to be slower and more careful at one time have a nasty tendency to encourage them to be faster and more careless at other times; average speeds between speed bumps are very high.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 5:18 PM
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So, moguls? Just stop fixing all potholes. Boom. Problem solved.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 5:20 PM
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It does depend on setting: in, say, Harvard Square (sorry, but), people just boldly launch themselves across the intersection, and automobiles hang back

That's one place where I've repeatedly had cars stop and wave me across the street when I want them to just keep going.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 5:20 PM
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80: This place has been experimenting with that strategy. Either it doesn't work at all or we have unusually hard-headed drivers. Or both.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 5:25 PM
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81: Are you complaining? I don't really see the problem.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 5:38 PM
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in, say, Harvard Square (sorry, but), people just boldly launch themselves across the intersection,

One time I saw a bicyclist wipe out on a patch of ice and skid all the way across Cambridge and Quincy at rush hour.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 6:14 PM
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||

I get no small number of wrong-number calls on my cell phone, all emanating out of Richmond's area code. I've just now shed a sliver of light on this mystery.

My number is 804*-301-XXXX. The person calling just now clarified, "Is this 301**-XXX-XYYY?"

So apparently they're dialing funny, like leaving off the initial 1, and it's only picking up the initial seven digits as a local call or something.

This is endlessly fascinating, I'm sure.

*Richmond's area code; I bought my phone there after high school and kept the number.

**Western Maryland

|>


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 6:19 PM
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As a driver I hate bicycles and stupid pedestrians. As a pedestrian I hate thoughtless drivers and sometimes bicycles. I don't own a bike, so I am washed of all sin in that regard. Basically, we're all fuckers and if the roads all went away tomorrow we'd... actually, I guess we'd all be kind of fucked, but still.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 6:44 PM
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if the roads all went away tomorrow ...

The jetpackers would hate the brain-dead gyrocoptor pilots.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 7:25 PM
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87: Yeah, but it's jetpacks vs. angry killer robot roads. That's a fair fight.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 8:09 PM
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The future isn't full of vacuum-chute tubes?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 8:12 PM
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Going anywhere makes me hate people. Doesn't matter if I'm on a bike, in my car, or walking, someone will do something stupid and the hate will emanate. Or I'll do something stupid, and then feel shame. I do feel much more vulnerable when I'm on my bike, and thus more righteous in my anger at cars, but more often than not it's other bikes that piss me off. Follow the damn rules!


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 9:22 PM
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a friend once freaked me out be saying she never pre-turns the wheel when she's waiting to turn in these sorts of situations.

Near where my parents live an entire family was killed in this situation. Hit by a car, pushed in front of a truck on a two lane undivided highway with a 50 mph speed limit.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 10:02 PM
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But if the brakes are on, as they should be, what difference does it make where the wheels are pointed?


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 10:10 PM
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I assume it can be hard to keep one's foot on the brake pedal once smashed into by another car. Also, you don't have to be pushed that far when hit, so I could see the wheels affecting the direction of a skid just enough.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 10:16 PM
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I think drivers are more pedestrian-aware in San Francisco as well, though I'm not sure.

It's no longer true, I don't t think, but about 10 years ago San Francisco was the most dangerous city in the US for pedestrians. Lots of asshole drivers, or drivers pulling asshole moves, in this city.

Also, on many major streets, it is not legal to turn left, and people who try to get honked at, rightly. Of course, this sometimes leads to people making three right turns, at relatively high speeds, down narrower residential streets.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 07-12-10 10:27 PM
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Huh.

Seems like a fairly wasteful solution to a problem better solved by traffic lights, if traffic is so high density that just having a zebra crossing isn't enough. Traffic lights also have the advantage of being known and familiar to all road users, while some freaky light show could just as well be a new ad scheme.


Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 07-13-10 12:12 AM
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Smart crosswalks are not very smart. They tend to blink for a lot longer time than it takes even a slow old person to cross them. You get used to seeing empty blinking crosswalks, and you learn to ignore the blink.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 07-13-10 12:46 AM
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What is the advantage supposed to be of a strange blinking zebra crossing over a normal pelican crossing? I'm pretty sure that the US has pelican crossings. NY does anyway. Are they unknown in the rest of the country for weird historical reasons, possibly to do with the Civil War?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-13-10 2:35 AM
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Pelican crossing? You just made that up, didn't you.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-13-10 4:30 AM
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He didn't. Press the button and wait for the green man.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 07-13-10 5:00 AM
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We have pedestrian crossings with walk/don't walk signs, but rarely outside of intersections with traffic lights. (The Wikipedia article isn't clear if pelicans are the same.) Anyway, I think most of the ped/car encounters described on this thread are at non-signalled crosswalks (zebras).


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 07-13-10 5:54 AM
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||

What the fuck, fatherland security magazine?

the House voted, 408-4, to make it even more difficult -- passing a bill by a pair of New York Democrats, John Hall and Michael E. McMahon , that would bar [terrorism-sponsoring] nations from hiring any lobbyists in the United States. If the legislation becomes law, it presumably will be constitutional because foreigners do not enjoy First Amendment rights.

Maybe being a foreigner (like being a student) makes it easier for the government to justify a restriction on speech (Stevens in Citizens United), but the above clause is a tissue of lies, right?

|>


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 07-13-10 6:00 AM
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Thanks for the link, asilon. I've never seen a puffin crossing, and didn't know that there were specific names for toucan and pegasus crossings.

It would seem that the problem here would be much more cheaply solved by switching a zebra for a pelican, rather than digging up the tarmac to put in a blinking zebra. (In Pavement Lighting is a boring name. I propose that they be called Quagga Crossings.)


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-13-10 8:00 AM
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101-- Sovereign foreign nations (which it sounds like, without knowing anything about this other than the quote you excerpted) do not enjoy First Amendment rights. So a bill banning, say, the Republic of Iran from hiring lobbyists would probably pass constitutional scrutiny. A bill entirely banning Iranian nationals resident in the United States from lobbying activity would not be Constitutional, of course, for a host of different reasons.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-13-10 8:19 AM
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I never learned to drive properly, partly because I reused that if I had a license I would have to do way, way more chores than I did already, which, fuck that. Then I was busy using drugs for like 6 years, and now I've moved to a city in which cars are pointless. I take taxis everywhere while my husband virtuously takes the bus, cuz he's frugal and shit


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 07-13-10 8:43 AM
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102: I love the names of those crossings. I propose naming unmarked places in the middle of the block where people just cross the road without any consideration to traffic signage "Dodo Crossings." Pedestrian tunnels should be "Mole Crossings" and pedestrian bridges "Kangaroo Crossings."


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 07-13-10 9:00 AM
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