Wednesday, December 5, 2007

dumb pedestrians in bad weather

leaving work this time of year means it's going to be dark when you step outside. if you're walking, paying extra attention when crossing the road is even more imperative, because it might be hard for traffic to see you. when it's snowing out and visibility is impaired, your chance of getting hit by something goes up even more. but you know this, you're reading this blog, so you must be smart! ;)

if you're the guy in the long black coat i almost hit today, you're not that smart. in fact, you might just lack common sense and an understanding of common courtesy.

(here's the deal: check out this map. open it in another window to follow along.)

so i was biking home tonight. in the snow. i've got lights on my bike, and know how to deal with the bad conditions. i went to school in michigan, this is nothing to me. anyway, if you look at the map (you do have it open, right) you can see three points and a line. i was biking on that line up rhode island avenue. traffic was driving along in the lane to my left, cars were parked ahead to the right, and there was this guy in one of those long black coats that look somewhat formal standing there off the curb all the way out in the lane i was biking in.

i couldn't see this paragon of intelligence until i was almost on top of him. if he was paying attention, he had to know i was coming, because i had my headlight on. he had to know that i couldn't move out into the lane to my left to avoid him because i would get run over. so i called out (and not rudely) "i can barely see you!" he took a step back as i passed, and i figured that was that. i thought about saying "you should wear brighter/reflective clothing" but eh, who cares right?

then, as i'm biking away, i hear him call out (in response to my "i can barely see you") "open up your eyes then"...

"open up your eyes then"?

i wasn't about to turn around, i had places to be, but boy oh boy, what an ass. i was doing this guy a favor, letting him know, in case he didn't already, that he was invisible for all intents and purposes standing there in the middle of the road when opposing traffic had a green light and it's snowing outside. and he's a smart-ass about it.

i wish i had a quicker wit, because a witty rejoinder would have been wonderful here. or turning around to see him hit by a truck, that might have been a decent comeuppance.

let this be a lesson...if you're a walking (which i do a lot myself), stay on the curb until you get the walk signal. that extra two steps you can get by stepping off the curb ahead of time isn't worth the risk.

1 comment:

si said...

its called ooching and i dont do it. for real its not worth your life.