Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Pet Peeves...

I live in a town that has a downtown that is incredibly touristy. For the most part, I enjoy this as it's also very quaint. However, it does bring with it it's share of things that drive me bonkers.

Bicyclist who ride in tandem or in the middle of the lane. Not just downtown but in the neighborhoods around downtown - where I live. The streets are basically all two lane and narrow at that. You can't pass. And, they poke, so one gets to just poke along behind them. I totally admire anyone who wants to bike where they go, especially in the cold and the heat. I don't admire someone who impedes my ability to get around because they hold up the flow of traffic. Not much I can do about it, though, except grumble the entire time I'm behind them.

Another pet peeve - clueless pedestrians. I don't mind jaywalkers, except we have plenty of legal cross-walks. I do mind people who pay no attention to the traffic around them or where they are going and just walk into the middle of the street. Yesterday a couple did this inside the circle downtown. I did not see them until I almost hit them. Once I'm in the circle, I have the right of way and the center of the circle is landscaped, so the visibility to the other side is limited. Now, folks blow through the yield signs (yield before entering the circle) all the time (another peeve), but yesterday it was all clear, so I entered and was ready to go and almost hit this couple. They barely looked at me, showed no remorse and acted as if they had the right of way. Which, I'm sorry, with no cross-walk in the middle of an active circle, they didn't. Nor did they even try to pick up the pace to get out of the way. A few weeks ago two couples literally stopped in the middle of the street, again no cross-walk in sight, trying to decide where they were going while I waited patiently for them to get out of the middle of the road. I'm not sure they ever realized they were just standing in the middle of the street.

I enjoy walking downtown and do so whenever I can. However, I'm very aware of rights of way and cross-walks and I always pay attention to my surroundings not to mention oncoming traffic. I'm not sure what has gotten into people that they longer pay attention to car traffic or pedestrian flow. However, I'm guessing most people don't even think about who has the right of way, they just assume it's the pedestrian and that isn't always the case.