Regarding People Who Take Their Merry Time at Crosswalks

crosswalk teletubbies

People of all colors and creeds can get power-drunk on pedestrian right-of-way.

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?




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7 Responses to Regarding People Who Take Their Merry Time at Crosswalks

  1. You know, I have a theory on these slow cross walkers…I think they are all crazy. And I don’t just meant that they have irrational thought processes because they are crossing a street super slowly, but every time I look at one of these people, I mean really look at them, they always look to me like they are actually deranged. Just me?

  2. Doobster418 says:

    I don’t care how fast or slow someone is walking in a crosswalk as long as my light is red. What really gets me are those who enter the crosswalk just as the light is changing and then take their sweet time as they slowly meander to the other side of the street. And there are those who think they don’t need to pay any attention whatsoever to the “Walk”-“Don’t Walk” signs or the traffic signals and just walk across the road against the light and if you dare to honk at them, they shoot you a dirty look.

    But given that I walk these days more than I drive, I am thankful for the laws that give pedestrians the right of way and I think the most dangerous drivers on the road are those who decide to speed up when they see their traffic light change from green to amber so that they can get through the intersection before their light turns red. Many of them don’t quite make it and come close to hitting pedestrians in the crosswalk who dutifully waited until they got the “Walk” sign or until the light turned green and then nearly get knocked into oblivion by these “beat the red light” demons.

    • Bill Carson says:

      Yeah, that was the scenario when I got ran into by a car. The light was about to turn red, and the dude just decided to book it.

      I wasn’t even thinking about proper red light crosswalks — but you’re right: there are crosswalk abusers there too. They figure they can take their time completely their cross, even if the sign starts flashing “Don’t Walk.” Many crosswalk abusers won’t even quicken their pace.

  3. List of X says:

    I only follow Azimov laws 3 and 1. #2 is about following orders, and I try to limit the number of people with the 2nd law privileges as much as possible.
    That includes “Walk/Don’t Walk” signs, but I do try to take them into consideration – and I never slow down when crossing the street due to law #3

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