2006/07/06

Ped-rage And The Urban Frog

Have you heard? Drivers with cell phones are as impaired as drunks. Hmmm...there's a surprise. I live in a city where it's practically open-frickin-season on pedestrians. I'd be safer in a Vice Presidential hunting party than walking the streets of Babylon by the Bay.

Like I need to be told that a cell phone welded to ear of some cager in his SUV is a menace. At least a drunk is trying to drive slow to cover the fact that they're impaired. Whereas your urban cager has got the presence of mind to think about the extra...what...20 miserable seconds that they'll save by running that red.

But it doesn't stop there... How about the legions of cagers who think that a green light is a mandate to nose 2 tons of transportation through the pedestrians in the crosswalk? Then you've got your straddlers. Boneheads who put their vehicles right on top of the crosswalk. Hey moron? Should we lift your license because your spatial acuity is shot, or should I just walk on your goddamned hood since you seem to think that I like detouring around your grill into traffic.

Cabbies...carrying on non-stop conversations while racking up points for scaring pedestrians and fares! Hey Chatty Kathy this isn't The View so turn off the freakin' phone and zip it. Bus drivers with their 60 tons of pedestrian-menacing transport. Double-parkers, triple-parkers, sidewalk-parkers!

Aaaauuugggggg! Makes me want to get a gun and blow out the tires of every car I see, a Dirty Harry of pedestrian vengeance.

I'm experiencing a lot of ped-rage--probably going to need some therapy.

26 Comments:

Should we lift your license because your spatial acuity is shot, or should I just walk on your goddamned hood since you seem to think that I like detouring around your grill into traffic.

Hooooooooo Agggggggghhhhhhh!
As a confirmed pedestrian I can only concur.
The bumper sticker in Sydney says it all - if you don't like the way I drive, get off the footpath! (that is sidewalk to you)
I'm talking a city where the SUV's sport 'bull bars', an essential piece of hardware to fend off the buck kangaroos which are apparently a constant inner-city danger.
Oh, don't whine. With a whole lot of prudence and caution, a smart ped in San Francisco can get it down to one or two near-death experiences per day. That isn't so bad, is it?
;-)
okay today we are going to work on acceptance.

big deep breaths now - well as deep as a frog can manage

we can not change these gas guzzling, cellphonies moronic global warming contributers with the Bush bumper stickers. arguing with them will do no good and likely get you (a) more angry or (b) squashed

we can only change our attitudes towards them. Pity them. think of hard difficult living inside such a narrow mind must be.

and the next you have a "near death experience" and are face to face with a hummer grill, slip a kommando or 2 into it.
oh, and while you're at it - pity we dyslexics of the world and our ingenius and convoluted sentance structures....
Dude..you have me worried..Did someone almost run you over?

I feel so bad now for any of those things you mention that I know I have done at some point in my miserable life..let him/her without sin cast the first stone.. :p
Frightening Freeway Moment #10341

Next to me today traveling at 70 MPH was one of those huge, tank-like Ford pickup trucks driven by a construction contractor. His left hand is holding his cell phone to his ear. His right hand is busily writing notes on a clipboard on the passenger seat. He's steering, I think, with his knees. If he was looking at the road it was with a third eye he has growing out of his left temple.

Give me a drunk driver in a Mini Cooper any day over that guy.
Sorry for the sparse commenting--been out of pocket all day.

Cartledge, I've seen stuff like "bull bars" in Minnesnowta. Think it's for deer.

Tom, oh yeah? Well welcome to the ranks of the ped-ragers oh new convert to CityCarShare.

Callooh, oh thanks alot. You're bringing all that "change from within" bullsh*t that I spouted back on the 4th back to haunt me.
Dusty, I've had to jump out of the way a few times, but the Frogette has come face-to-face with a grill, more than once. I'm just getting old, crusty, and angry in my dottage.
Hey, Froggy. Loved Critical Mass but I'm having trouble getting the blurry/shaky photos to load onto my post about it so it's still in draft form. Once I get it up, you'll know all about it. But anyway, I'm hooked. I'll be out there every month riding in it. Thanks for the heads-up about the clothes-lining. And I loved the look of frustration on the cagers' faces as we rode past them. Yes, very satisfying.
People are jerks driving anyway...they don't have to have a cellphone or a huge-ass truck to be stupid drivers that KILL and MAIM. Nobody pays attention anymore...what little mind they have left...is on it's way out of the building with Elvis.
I've been tempted at walking over cars parked on footpaths/side-walks/whathaveyou.

I generally don't walk because it's 15km to the big city, but I do use a bike, and I get (almost) hit almost daily - a lot of people forgets that if they're turning right, they have to wait for the buzzing speedy gonzales (that's me) coming from the rear. Once, I almost got bumped by a police squad van.
You know, I live in a town of about 20k people and I have the exact same problem. It seems especially bad when I'm pushing Baby in the carriage. I'm sure before long she's going to be able to say the phrase "You hit me and I'll own that car!" Blah!
PT, my bike-commuting days are behind me, but I can definitely understand where you're coming from. And Romunov, people not watching out for bikers in our bike lanes is is a huge problem here as well. Turning right doesn't mean doing it without frickin' looking at where you're going.

Sumo...no truer words. Here it seems to be a correlation between the expense of the vehicle and the cluelessness of the driver.

Gratis, there is a special place in hell for anyone who would menace a parent with a carriage.
Is there a word for wheeled pedestrians? Us handicapped people of all ages who require mobility assistance -- wheel chairs and/or electric scooters.

I live in a 7 story apt. complex for senior citizens and the handicapped. Within a few blocks there are several convalescent homes. So on any given day there are elderly citizens and younger ones who are handicapped going about the community in wheel chairs or scooters.

We know to be wary, to cross streets only after the "walk" sign comes on and keep an eye out for cars making turns onto the street we're crossing, to try to make eye contact with cars screeching to a halt at the red light, and to keep our speed settings on full so we can cross as quickly as possible
. Yet a number of our seniors and handicapped have been hit by idiots who, for some reason, cannot see us. We are trapped; we cannot leap from our mobility devices and run. We are helpless before the behemoths bearing down on us. One of our WWII vets attached a fiberglass pole to his wheelchair, bearing bright, flourescent orange flags --and still got hit. The driver told police, "I didn't see him".

After the fourth time I escaped by a hair's breadth being hit, my son said he was going to attach a boat air horn to the handlebars of my electric scooter. I hope he does. Normally I am a pacific old lady, but I have evil thoughts what uses I'd like to put an air horn to.
PS: Our electric scooters are not street legal. We drive on sidewalks just like the wheelchairs do.

That old WWII vet that got hit: when he got out of the hospital and completed therapy so he could ride in his new wheelchair, in addition to his new orange flags fluttering 5' high, he mounted one of those orange rotating lights like the highway crews use, installed a siren, and bought a heavy plastic baseball bat.If a car comes too close to him or stops, blocking the crosswalk, he whacks it with the bat. They might yell and curse, but they back up. Not too many people have the gall to beat up an 85 year old man in a wheel chair. May not be the wisest course of action on his part but he suffers from a severe case of ped-rage.
Tom, oh yeah? Well welcome to the ranks of the ped-ragers oh new convert to CityCarShare.

Kvatch, I'm a charter member of the Ped Rage Club. I've gone through Ped Rage and come out the other side, and gone through it again, and come out again, and gone through it...and hell, I don't even know where I am anymore. Except pissed off at drivers. That I know.
;-)
Is there a word for wheeled pedestrians? Us handicapped people of all ages who require mobility assistance -- wheel chairs and/or electric scooters.

Worried...that special level of hell I mentioned? It's reserved to for anyone who menaces the elderly or the handicapped as well. But go for the air horn just in case the ped-rage isn't enough!
As someone who both walks (a lot) and drives (as little as feasible) in SF, I gotta say that I also lay a lot of blame on the pedestrians (and for bicycles, the cyclists).

For example, I spent years in Boston, and NEVER ONCE did I see a pedestrian step out into a crosswalk without looking at the street. I see it here every day -- it's sort of an aggressive obliviousness. Now, I see that in the drivers too -- like when they just drift into a lane without a signal or a reasons.

And cyclists, why exactly is it that we need to look out for you coming up from behind us on our right in our blind spot when we're stopped at a stop sign? If you're a car, act like a car: the person from the rear is always at fault. Oh, and incidentally, stop at stop signs, at least if there's a car there. I don't really care if you've got momentum coming off that hill.
Even other cars and princes no less? Are you culling froggy?
: A member of the Tongan royal family known as the "People's Prince" for his efforts to bring democracy to the Pacific island nation has been killed in a road accident in San Francisco.
Prince Tuipelehake, 56, and his wife, Princess Kaimana, 46, died when a teenage driver who was allegedly speeding collided with their car. They had been on a visit to discuss political reform with California's Tongan community.
Prince Tuipelehake wanted Tonga's king to resign in favour of an elected government.
jsw, thanks for stopping by. True the pedestrians in this city are, for the most part clueless, but that said...in the contest between car and pedestrian, the car always wins. So I don't give the cagers much slack. And on the subject of walking out into the intersection without looking, it may be dumb but as long as the pedestrian has the light, they've got the right of way--period!

Cartledge, that was bloody tragic, and apparently they're going to throw the book at the girl who did it.
A couple of years ago, they finally granted pedestrians legal right of way when in crosswalks here in Prague.

Prior to that time, I guess the crosswalks were just recommended crossing points.

It was great watching the pedestrians assert their new legal rights in the first few weeks after the law passed. There was plenty of hood-tapping and finger-pointing, and a few full-on brawls.
Oh, and incidentally, stop at stop signs, at least if there's a car there. I don't really care if you've got momentum coming off that hill.

A-motherfucking-men, brother! I've got plenty of ped rage for cars and bicyclists, who (in SF at least) don't appear to give a rat's ass about the rules of the road.
A-motherfucking-men, brother! I've got plenty of ped rage for cars and bicyclists, who (in SF at least) don't appear to give a rat's ass about the rules of the road.

That's a good point. In a state where there is a common use law, such as California, bicyclists must, must, MUST obey the rules of the road. Otherwise, CA might just take that right away, and then you'd be living in Virginia (which I did), where there is no common use law; where it's open season on any bicyclist dumb enough to dare the pavement; and any accident that befalls the unfortunate cyclist is--BY LAW--the cyclist's fault regardless of the actual circumstances.
True the pedestrians in this city are, for the most part clueless, but that said...in the contest between car and pedestrian, the car always wins. So I don't give the cagers much slack. And on the subject of walking out into the intersection without looking, it may be dumb but as long as the pedestrian has the light, they've got the right of way--period!

Hey, I don't want to hit anyone. I try really hard not to hit anyone, and so far, so good. All I'm asking for is that the peds help me out a little (as I do when I'm walking, which is most of the time.) One would think that simple self-preservation would suggest a modicum of sense when stepping out into the street...

Oh, and w/r/t intersections, I was thinking about stop sign intersections, including the occasional 2-way stop. I agree completely about lighted intersections. In my neighborhood at least, when there's a van or truck parked near the intersection, it's often impossible to see a pedestrian walking toward the corner if you're stopped at the stop line -- and sometimes they just step out in front of you without looking at all.
Hey, I don't want to hit anyone. I try really hard not to hit anyone, and so far, so good.

Sorry for coming on so harsh. I'm widely known as a crank on this issue since, for 7 of 10, of my years in Babylon by the Bay, I have not owned a car. You're right though. Pedestrians can be clueless. My pet peve on this issue is the peds who stand off the curb, actually in the street, while they wait for their light. This is a real problem for the cyclists who have a bike lane but can't use it because the pedestrians are crowding it.

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