When drivers’ manners and safety are discussed, it’s generally about their impacts on each other. But ask anyone who walks – the whims of drivers have huge effects on pedestrians.
I admit to some bias as a constant pedestrian and non-driver. To be honest, I’m pissed.
It’s not just the big stuff like red-light runners, speeders, and drivers that turn without looking right. All of those can kill or maim pedestrians. Why offenders are allowed to keep their licenses is a mystery.
It’s also the subtle rudeness. My special pet peeve is cars that edge into crosswalks at red lights. This doesn’t endanger (necessarily) but still manages to convey…that the driver doesn’t care about others, that they aren’t qualified to drive, that cars are more important, who knows.
For 20 years, my response has been to touch every car in every crosswalk. Some drivers don’t like that, which is exactly the point. If they look like they might turn without looking, they get a couple taps on the hood. They like that even less, but maybe they’ll think twice next time.
Cars parked on sidewalks are equally annoying. Again, they’re (usually) not safety hazards, except when they force people to walk in traffic, but aside from some rare scenarios (giving birth perhaps?) it’s always rude. Architects are well-schooled in symbolism – maybe one of you can weigh in here.
Drivers don’t want pedestrians to take over lanes of Fourth Avenue. And we don’t plan to — it would be both dangerous and rude, as well as illegal. It goes both ways.
P.S. We’ve done a good job cracking down on drunk drivers. But isn’t rude and dangerous driving just as bad when the driver isn’t drunk?
P.S.2 Thanks to anyone who drives with pedestrians in mind.