When you cross a pedestrian crosswalk, the cars are supposed to not kill you. They should stop. You, the pedestrian, totally have the right-of-way. You have the power, yes, but will you be a philosopher king, or a tyrant? It’s up to you.
There’s nothing that gets me pounding my steering wheel faster than a crosswalk abuser, someone who revels in his/her moment of pedestrian right-of-way. You know what I’m talking about. When someone just takes their leisurely time crossing over from one side of the road to the other. As if to say, via body-language, “You bitches are gonna wait for me, as per the law!”
I don’t get the mentality, I really don’t. I’m not wired that way at all. Me? I don’t care who technically has the right-of-way; I derive no pleasure out of being the sole cause of stoppage for two whole lanes of traffic. Nor do I take for granted that people are even going to stop. I’ve actually been slammed into and thrown across the street by a car that failed to stop at a crosswalk. And one time I almost ran over a whole mini-family trying to cross a similar crosswalk. So no, I don’t take cross walking for granted. I don’t revel in the power. I hasten my pace and get my butt across the street!
It’s like these people draw energy from the frustration of those drivers they’ve just made stop. They feed off the frustration and anger. This is their moment, afforded them by their community’s traffic laws, to be top dog, head honcho, king of the hill, and they’re in no hurry to let it go.
I’m not asking that they break into a sprint. Walking is fine. It is a crosswalk, after all. But I’m telling you, sometimes I see crosswalkers slow down the minute they hit the crosswalk. As if they want to milk this rare moment of streetwalker status and pedestrian power. I’ve freaking seen people stop in the middle of the street and take their merry time responding to a text.
What I’d like to see, really, is just a token amount of speeding up. You don’t have to even go any faster, actually, just look like you’re going faster. Definitely don’t go slower! Also, maybe give a friendly nod to the nearest stopped car, as if to say, “Thanks, friend, for obeying the law on my behalf. I won’t keep you longer than necessary.”
Sometimes I’m not sure if it’s about the power, or simply because these people are completely, woefully oblivious to the existence and/or feelings of other people. Perhaps in the head of a crosswalk abuser, there’s nothing but me, myself, and I and hamburgers. That line of five cars waiting for your ego-centric arse to finish sauntering across the street? Don’t worry, it doesn’t exist.
As for me, I’m always thinking about what other people are thinking. To a fault, perhaps, but at least I have a more well-rounded perspective on the world around me. There are, after all, other people in the world around me. I’m not the lonely Spider creature from Neil Gaiman’s Coraline. Show some consideration for your fellow man, how ’bout? Does it really have to be you against the world? Let me guess, you’re were raised by meathead, cro-magnon parents who told you to “use your fists” if anybody disagrees with you. Great advice, that. If you live in Mad Max’s post apocalalitic Australian outback.
Or maybe I’m just jealous of those crosswalk brutes. Maybe I wish I wasn’t so considerate of other people. But Compassion 1.4 is the operating system I came with. You can’t just change operating systems—you have to buy a brand new phone. Really, I feel like an Asimov-model Robot, governed by the 3 Laws of Robotics, which essentially say I can do anything I want except abuse my crosswalk privileges.
What about you, Reader? Are you governed by the 3 Laws of Robotics like me, or are you an unfeeling crosswalk brute?