Monday, October 3, 2016

The curmudgeon in Marty: don't walk in the middle of the road!

I wish I owned the roads as much as a lot of pedestrians seem to think they do. I am sick and tired of folks walking in the middle of the road, only begrudgingly giving way to vehicular traffic as it approaches. Approaches slowly, mind you, because if Heaven forbid you hit them it's on you, despite the fact that they're where they should not be.

The lack of consideration for drivers as well as their own safety is appalling. This morning two people were blocking the farthest right driving lane walking towards me on a main artery four lanes wide, while the sidewalks alongside had no obstructions whatsoever. I could cut them slack if they were in the curb lane and the walks overrun with snow or debris or what have you, but they were clear and easy to step along. Why were two idiots in the road?

It's actually worse on side streets. I've come along high schoolers walking five abreast in the middle of the road, blocking it completely. Before you dismiss this as simply younger folks not thinking, I've seen it with adults all too often. Then, as I said, they'll only grudgingly part enough for your car, and I mean only just enough for your car to pass by, sneering at you as you do. They act as though you're the one intruding on their space.

I've been offered explanations but, quite frankly, none pan out. A guy told me it was to keep off the walks for safety: someone might run out from between houses and grab or rob them. Sorry, my friends, that's just grasping for justification. Why couldn't someone run from a crouch between cars and get you? Perhaps the walks aren't clear? But we've addressed that: it doesn't wash, either.

The short story is that it's arrogance. They walk in the street because they can, and it's a way of showing they own you. If you have a better explanation, I'm all ears. Until then, I hold that they ought to smacked upside the head and told to be considerate of how the road was intended to be used.

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