Life Without Wheels: Chronicle of a Car-Free Lifestyle
 
I wanted to link to Will Campbell's post about drivers who think they are being polite at an intersection, trying to wave you through, but really are just putting you at danger, but I can't search quickly enough and I need to post this. Recently there have been hit and run collisions/incidents in the news in which one lane of traffic stops for a cyclist or pedestrian, and other drivers, who can't see why traffic is stopped, zoom around into the other lane just in time to smash the poor ped or cyclist into pink dust. Do these people not watch the news and see these stories? What I love the most is when they try to bully you through an intersection. I'm sorry, you can't bully me.

Today at Highland and 4th, I pulled into the intersection and waited for traffic to clear, and about 10 cars in a row tried to stop and wave me through (while they had a green light ahead and no traffic behind the set of cars). When I waved them through to keep going and not stop traffic, they take it as a personal affront. For some reason, not one of them paid attention to the fact that I waved through the car in front of them, shaking my head. Most of them just shrugged and kept going, but one fat asshole (and I'm not kidding he was pudgy) decided to roll down his window and say something indiscernable as he finally pulled through. I really don't care about his good opinion compared to being dead.

Another instance: lLast week, while running on 4th Street, I came to a four-way stop that had a lot of cars backed up in all directions. I jogged in place (on the sidewalk, minding my own business) and waited for the cars that were going west to have the right of way, but some idiot going north stopped traffic for a full minute trying to wave me through, like I was actually paying attention to him. I wasn't standing on the curb and acting impatient or unpredictable, in fact, I was about 10 feet or more back from the curb, jogging in place. Now, forgive me, but I'm not putting on a show for anyone. So if you think you're going to wave me through and get to watch my ass bounce through the intersection, you're wrong. I'll sit down on the sidewalk and cross my arms before I do that. But also, cars were honking at him to go, what the hell was he doing? He started to yell at me as he drove past and I couldn't resist just smiling sweetly and giving him half a peace sign.

Here's the deal motorists: I implore you to do two EXTREMELY SIMPLE things: first, just obey the fucking right of way and, second, don't stop traffic when it's clearly not necessary and a cyclist or ped is shaking their head "no" and waving you through. I have no legal obligation to pull through an intersection because you decide to stop traffic. I can see far better than you when it is safe for me to go through the intersection. AND, I DECIDE WHEN IT'S SAFE FOR ME, NOT YOU! So don't roll down your window and yell at me like I'm insulting you because I won't let you decide my fate. I do not need help crossing the street.
 


Comments

05/05/2010 07:16

Very funny post.

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05/07/2010 06:50

"Hear, hear!" and "what you said!"

Relatedly, although I know my neighbors are trying to be helpful by holding open the front door to our apartment building, really folks, I have this worked out. I do it fairly regularly, y'know? Like every time I leave home and every time I return home. I do know how to hold my bike with one hand and open the door with the other. And when you get in the middle of that, you are making things more difficult!

And to the guy who tried to assist by holding my bike while I unlocked the door... bravo for the impulse to be helpful, but get your mitts off my bike, buddy!

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