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Thursday, June 7, 2007

Please Don’t Push the Pedestrians

posted by on June 7 at 15:35 PM

As a loser pedestrian, with no car or plans to get one, I’ve LONG been annoyed with how Seattle drivers stop traffic to give you a little condescending wave-wave to cross the street. Happens every frickin’ day. It just happened at lunch. Did you ever stop to think, that if I’m not waiting at a cross walk, maybe I don’t want to walk in front of your car? Maybe I’d rather wait until the street is empty? I used to live in Detroit. You definitely WAIT for the streets to clear there. You don’t dare even trust the crosswalks. People there, they drive fast, and they drive HARD.

And in Michigan, crazy things like THIS happen.

wheelchair-rides.jpg

RSS icon Comments

1

Yeah, you're right. They should just run you over.

Posted by rad | June 7, 2007 3:25 PM
2

To clarify, trying to cross a street where there isn't a crosswalk available, and needing to cross in the middle of the block...

Posted by KELLY O | June 7, 2007 3:42 PM
3

No, I'm with Kelly on this. I'm just waiting for that one car to go by, then they slam on the brakes and give you that little wave. Ugh. Lately I've just taken to waving THEM back and they don't get it. Then traffic backs up. It makes for awesome comedy.

Posted by Jason Josephes | June 7, 2007 3:46 PM
4

I totally sent this story in as a slogtip. I'm so ripping you off tomorrow Kelly O. Watch out drunks... you're mine!

Posted by Carollani | June 7, 2007 3:48 PM
5

As a loser driver, with no plans to walk, I've LONG been annoyed by pedestrians who don't understand that cars are required yeild to pedstrians crossing at street corners. Don't you ever stop to think that if you're standing on a street corner cars might actually believe that you intend to cross. Maybe you'd prefer to go when the street is empty, but cars are required to yeild to you anyway.

Posted by rod | June 7, 2007 3:50 PM
6

"Did you ever stop to think, that if Iím not waiting at a cross walk, maybe I donít want to walk in front of your car?"


You just said this is on a street without a crosswalk available, so I don't know that the driver should be able to infer anything of your crossing preferences from the point on the block from which you chose to begin your journey.


Oh, to be back in Detroit again!

PS--how's their pizza?

Posted by well | June 7, 2007 3:52 PM
7

Oh, man Kelly O, I am SO glad you posted this. That fucking wave makes me crazy. They do it all the time to me when I'm biking too. What that wave says is "I, the driver, am in control. I give you permission to cross the street."
It is very, very annoying.

Posted by Misty Brown | June 7, 2007 3:56 PM
8

I'm with Kelly. The best is when a line of cars is going by, and the last one stops to let you go (with the wave). If he had just kept going, I could have crossed the street without his help. Yet another reason that Seattle drivers are so bad.

Posted by F | June 7, 2007 3:57 PM
9

Speaking as a non-driver, I'm happy to have drivers wave me past, because at least it means they've SEEN me.

I've been in a car accident without the benefit of actually being in a car, and have no desire to repeat the experience.

Posted by supergp | June 7, 2007 3:57 PM
10

The condescending wave makes me practically homicidal when used at a four-way stop. Oh really? You're stopping for little old me? When you have a stop sign staring you in the face? Thank you! Thank you! Thank you, kindly driver!

Posted by keshmeshi | June 7, 2007 4:03 PM
11

Thank you, rod.

Posted by spencer | June 7, 2007 4:05 PM
12

I'll remember to speed up next time I see you, Kelly O.

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 7, 2007 4:05 PM
13

So...you bitch when drivers don't stop AND you bitch when they do stop?

Posted by Dianna | June 7, 2007 4:11 PM
14

#4 Carollani - you should post a Drunk of the Week tomorrow, when you're in mad control of the Slog

#5 - I'm sorry, I should have said this happens whilst "trying to cross in the middle of a block" - not at a corner, and not at a crosswalk

#6 Miss the pizza, but a fattoosh">http://www.lashish.com/menu-full.html">fattoosh even more

Posted by KELLY O | June 7, 2007 4:18 PM
15

When it comes from me, that wave means, "Hey, I see you standing there like you're ready to cross the street, and now I have courteously stopped for you, but you're still standing there. HELLO! I see you and won't run you over; please proceed." There's nothing condescending about it.

If I'm in the car and you're on foot, there will be no "You go. No, you go," dance after I've stopped -- I have yielded right-of-way, and I'm not about to risk changing my mind at the same time you might decide to walk.

I only do it at crosswalks (which, legally, is any corner), though. If you're in the middle of the block, I'll just be extra careful.

Please don't walk up to the corner if you don't want people to help you cross without having to dodge heavy machinery in the process.

Posted by Phil M | June 7, 2007 4:20 PM
16

"cars are required to yield to pedestrians crossing at street corners"

I think that cars are required to yield if the pedestrian is in the crosswalk/street -- not if the pedestrian is just standing on the side of the road/sidewalk, waiting for a break in traffic.

Posted by Pedestrian Pedestrian | June 7, 2007 4:26 PM
17

3, 5, 8, 9 - good points, all.

Just pay attention either way. Nothing more annoying than a head-up-ass pedestrian. It's not about drivers feeling like they're in control or whatever, it's about keeping things moving. As a driver, I say to you, pedestrian:
-If we get some eye contact and I wave at you and I'm moving still it means I'm slowing down precisely with the intention to let you cross.
-If you're standing at the crosswalk and you suddenly look up from your retarded reverie to see me glaring at you and waving, cross the goddamned street, you fucking retard. You see, there might be 50 cars behind me; I'm trying to help you out - pay attention, or don't stand on the edge of the crosswalk.

Either way, pedestrian, bless your soul. I've never crumpled you before, nor have you power-walked into contact with my thousands of pounds of grill-on-pedestrian. And that's because I'm a smart, courteous and get-where-I'm-going driver. I do want the same for you, pedestrian. I mean, why do we have to even know each other after all? You should appreciate my and others' like my efforts. We drivers appreciate when you, pedestrian, pay the fuck attention and make heads-up movements across the street.

By 'heads-up' I mean that you look both ways, keep your wits about you, don't act like a fucking oblivious retard, do your part to keep the flow going, even let me slide through if I'm already there, and - dude - just cross the goddamned street!

Posted by Lloyd Clydesdale | June 7, 2007 4:37 PM
18

If they stop and wave me across, and there's no oncoming traffic, I'm going. I also will step out and exercise my pedestrian right of way... sometimes. Sometimes I'll back off and let a bastard plow through the intersection even if the right of way isn't his.

The pedestrian/driver relationship is a constant push/pull in Seattle, and some people have more respect for it than others, on both sides. You have to be intuitive and exercise judgment on who to back off from and who.

Of course, I come from Vegas, where, like Detroit and other burgs, people will plow you with their ride and joke about it later.

Posted by Gomez | June 7, 2007 4:38 PM
19

oh, pedestrian, P.S.: Dark clothes are hard to see at night. Don't be a dumbass either.

Posted by Lloyd Clydesdale | June 7, 2007 4:44 PM
20

seattle has the most retarded pedestrians of any city i have ever been in. downtown there is always a steady slow progression of them at every crosswalk, instead of crossing as a group and letting cars turn.

Posted by um | June 7, 2007 4:47 PM
21

seattle has the most retarded pedestrians of any city i have ever been in. downtown there is always a steady slow progression of them at every crosswalk, instead of crossing as a group and letting cars turn.

Posted by um | June 7, 2007 4:48 PM
22

I think we need a Drunk Driver of the Week tomorrow.

P.S.: The best way to show how you rule the road, Kelly O, is cross while it's slippery wet but not dark enough for headlights, wearing a grey or brown cloak so I can't see you.

Never mind the fact that my car has about 1000 times the mass of your frail pedestrian body and physics tell us that, in a crash, you will absorb 1000 times more energy than the car ...

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 7, 2007 4:50 PM
23

Lets see now... is this the Stranger way for car drivers? Ignore the pedestrian but abase yourself humbly before the bicyclist washing their tires with your tongue? And no fucking flossing where anyone can see you!! Goddamit!

Posted by not so confused | June 7, 2007 4:56 PM
24

Ha, I do that just to get you to lower your guard, so I can rev my engine and watch you soil yourself! Muahahahaha!!!

Posted by Geni | June 7, 2007 4:57 PM
25

Look jerks, if you don't like Seattle, fucking move away.

Posted by chris | June 7, 2007 4:59 PM
26

That amuses me solely on the grounds that I'm a pedestrian planning a move to Seattle.

Posted by supergp | June 7, 2007 5:06 PM
27

@20,

You do realize that downtown is busy. Therefore, many pedestrians will reach the end of the block after the light has turned green and before the crosswalk sign starts to blink. Aren't you going to complain about the steady progression of cars going through the intersection instead of going as a group and letting other cars turn?

Posted by keshmeshi | June 7, 2007 5:10 PM
28

Look jerks, if you don't like Seattle, fucking move away.

Posted by chris | June 7, 2007 5:11 PM
29

@23: Nice. Hah.

I was waiting to cross an intersection earlier today, and the driver (who had a green light, and about half a dozen cars behind him), gave me the condescending wave. I shot him a confused look and motioned for him to go since he had the green light; meanwhile the cars behind him started honking, and he gave me a nasty look and burned rubber while shouting incomprehensibly. Real nice, pal.

Posted by John | June 7, 2007 5:12 PM
30

Will, Drunk Driver of the Week is an EXCELLENT idea. I'm on it.

Posted by Carollani | June 7, 2007 5:26 PM
31

@28: That amuses me solely on the grounds that I'm a pedestrian planning a move to Seattle.

Posted by supergp | June 7, 2007 5:33 PM
32

@28: That amuses me solely on the grounds that I'm a pedestrian planning a move to Seattle.

Posted by supergp | June 7, 2007 5:36 PM
33

If pedestrians just crossed at the corner or a crosswwalk like they're supposed to, these awkward & dangerous situations could be avoided.

Posted by driver's side | June 7, 2007 5:44 PM
34

Goddamnit, Kelly O, this was going to be one of my Freaky Friday posts, but from the other perspective. Like Phil up there, I wave to signal that I, unlike the three cell-phone fuckheads immediately before me, I intend to stop as legally and morally required. Because the only thing that's more annoying than being a ped and not having cars let you X, is being in a car and having some drug casualty standing at the crosswalk with one foot in the road, but not leaving the curb once you've stopped for them. It's not condescending, it's courtesy. I wave brain-dead drivers through too, all the time.

PS -- I'm not calling you a drug casualty there, really I'm not. It's some other folks I could mention, who have no clue what their own intentions are.

Posted by fnarf | June 7, 2007 7:54 PM
35

I'm with Kelly O. Even if you stop, Fnarf, who says the cars in the other lanes are going to stop? I've nearly been killed when one car stopped, and another car didn't because the first car was blocking his view of me.

I've been crossing streets since I was five in lots of different cities, and waiting for traffic to clear has always worked wonderfully for everyone involved. Only in Seattle am I expected to exercise my "right" to walk in front of traffic. No thanks.

Posted by Sean | June 7, 2007 8:15 PM
36

I'm with Kelly O. Even if you stop, Fnarf, who says the cars in the other lanes are going to stop? I've nearly been killed when one car stopped, and another car didn't because the first car was blocking his view of me.

I've been crossing streets since I was five in lots of different cities, and waiting for traffic to clear has always worked wonderfully for everyone involved. Only in Seattle am I expected to exercise my "right" to walk in front of traffic. No thanks.

Posted by Sean | June 7, 2007 8:15 PM
37

I'm with Kelly O. Even if you stop, Fnarf, who says the cars in the other lanes are going to stop? I've nearly been killed when one car stopped, and another car didn't because the first car was blocking his view of me.

I've been crossing streets since I was five in lots of different cities, and waiting for traffic to clear has always worked wonderfully for everyone involved. Only in Seattle am I expected to exercise my "right" to walk in front of traffic. No thanks.

Posted by Sean | June 7, 2007 8:16 PM
38

Damn, what's with all the double posts?

Posted by Gomez | June 7, 2007 11:35 PM
39

Damn, what's with all the double posts?

HA, SEE WHAT I DID THERE?

Posted by Gomez | June 7, 2007 11:36 PM
40

Well, really, the freakiest thing about Seattle is the lack of jaywalking. I was rather horrified the first few times I was downtown and saw crowds waiting on every corner for the signal to cross, with no cars in sight. You weirdos.

Posted by Lythea | June 8, 2007 12:08 AM
41

@37 Anytime someone stops and tries to wave me (even though the other two lanes are chock full of cars) they always get pissed off when I wave them away. Just shows how unobservant some people are.

Posted by Hodges | June 8, 2007 5:54 AM
42

John@29, you've got a point: any driver that stops at an intersection where they have a green light to wave a pedestrian across the street should be immediately be shot by pedestrian firing squad.

Posted by Lloyd Clydesdale | June 8, 2007 6:55 AM
43
Posted by J | June 8, 2007 7:42 AM
44

Having lived in Las Vegas and several Southern CA cities, this post just...ticks me off. I've always tried to be a courteous driver. If I see someone trying to cross the road in the middle, and if it doesn't look like they're getting a traffic break, I'll stop and wave them through. I'm not being condescending, I'm trying to be polite.

I also have had enough stupid people just decide to dart across the road in front of me, never mind the traffic, that I'm wary of people standing in the middle of a black waiting to cross.

It strikes me as incredibly rude and condescending of you, Kelly, to complain about drivers who are actually trying to be polite. I guess the whole world should just 'know' your pet peeves so we don't offend you with our politeness.

Posted by Kim | June 8, 2007 12:16 PM
45

MSN I NIIPET
MSN

Posted by Bill | June 12, 2007 2:27 PM
46

MSN I NIIPET
MSN

Posted by Bill | June 12, 2007 2:27 PM
47

MSN I NIIPET
MSN

Posted by Bill | June 12, 2007 2:27 PM

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