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588 On the Streets 2012-02-28

streets of the neighborhood

I walk, run, and ride my bicycle almost every day through our neighborhood streets. It is springtime, though still in February, and many other folks are also taking to the streets. So, here's a few recent incidents from the streets ...

While Jake, the dog, and I were taking our normal noontime walk, we saw a woman walking toward us (on the same side of the street). She was pushing a sports baby stroller, walking her large hound-ish type dog, and talking on her mobile phone. Now, I understand the principles of multi-tasking; but her one hand was firmly latched onto the phone, while the other hand was trying to manage the dog and the stroller. I hope it was an important call.

At a busy four way stop, I stood and watched the traffic flow for a few minutes. A line of vehicles were in the right lane, turning right. There was no traffic crossing from left to right, therefore all of the vehicles turned right without stopping at the stop sign. Some of the drivers did not even slow down. None of the drivers looked right to see if any pedestrians might be trying to cross the street from right to left. While drivers are learning to share the road with bicyclists and pedestrians, many motorists seem adamant about bicyclists stopping and putting their foot down on the pavement at every stop sign. Judging from my observations, maybe motorist should also stop, open their car doors, and step one foot on the road at each stop sign. Ha! Please stop and look both ways before continuing.

While running on the sidewalk with the traffic, I was crossing an intersection with a green light (there were no pedestrian signals at the intersection). Suddenly, I was startled by a vehicle blasting a horn at me. It was from a vehicle turning left at the intersection onto the street that I was crossing. He was trying to cross the street in a small gap and I am assuming did not see me. I was in the way and traffic was coming quickly. I do not know if the driver thought that I would stop at the green light or not. I was actually watching the vehicles in front of me making right turns at the red light without stopping and did not see the crossing vehicle coming. Watch for walkers, runners, and bicycles at every intersection.

While on a run, after topping a hill I noticed that cars were backed up at a three way stop sign. Vehicles were crossing in front of the first car, but the car did not take it's turn in the stop-and-go sequence. I thought the car must have been having engine trouble. When I ran closer to the car, the cars in the waiting line began honking. The driver of the stopped car was not having mechanical issues, the driver was texting (or fidgeting with her phone.) She was a brazen, unashamed woman. She held up her phone for everyone to see exactly why they were being delayed. At least she was not texting while the car was moving.

Get out there and enjoy the fun.

Happy on the street trails


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