"I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing." ~ Dame Agatha Christie

Monday, January 24, 2011

Pedestrians are People Too!

It may surprise some Americans, but not all adults in this country choose to drive.  I haven't owned a car since 2004 and usually don't miss one at all--even when I do miss having one, I don't miss the cost of owning a vehicle:  car payment, insurance, maintenance, gasoline, parking...need I say more?  And besides--my eyesight is too poor for me to drive (my peripheral vision is shot).

So, I take public transit and I walk.  I walk to the library, the post office, Starbucks, Goodwill, and various restaurants/grocery stores/drugstores.  To do so, I must cross streets--sometimes "major" streets.  Being a sensible woman, I cross at a light whenever possible and wait for the "walk" sign.  The signals in my community offer a person 30 seconds to cross 4-6 lanes, and have a loud, mechanical voice at the crosswalk counting down the last 20 seconds.  Gratefully, I am still healthy enough to cross in that length of time, even carrying groceries.

So, you may be wondering why I seem to be grousing...and I'll be happy to tell you.  Drivers,  please pay attention.  It is true in Texas that you can make a right turn on red after you stop.  People, pedestrians have the right-of-way, especially when they have a "WALK" signal.  I don't care what you drive or how much it cost you, hitting a pedestrian will cost you even more.  Yes, I know--you are in a hurry to get where you are going.  Well, guess what, I have important things to do, too, and I am paying attention to my surroundings because you are too busy texting/talking/eating behind the wheel to pay attention to the fact that I had to step back up on the curb and stand through another cycle of traffic signals to keep you from hitting me.  Is it too much to ask of you to wait 30 seconds for me to safely cross in front of you? 

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