Dumbass drivers and impatience

I do believe this to be my very first pit thread. It takes a lot to raise my ire, and even now I suppose I’ll get myself a low rating, as when my ire is raised I tend to smoulder and express my rage in cold, calm disgust.

Now, as most of us know, and as ALL of us who drive SHOULD know, when a traffic light is malfunctioning, it is treated as though it were a stop sign. This makes things very orderly, quicker, and, evil of all evils, SAFER. All is good with the world.

Or so it should be.

However, when the lights are out on an intersection between a large road, and a not so large road, safe, courteous behaviour goes right out the window. When people on the large road see a not-working stoplight, and see that everyone ELSE is going right through, well, why not go too? Who’ll it hurt? Sure, the people who want to go across the other way might get a little annoyed, but I’ll be saving myself a whole two seconds! It’s worth it, no?

No. When the people who want to go the other way have to edge into traffic to get through, risking themselves because they know that if they don’t, they’ll be there FOREVER, it’s not worth it. And for every asshole driver who HONKED, because someone DARED to try and GET THROUGH the intersection, in full accordance with the LAW, well, you drive my faith in humanity just that much deeper.

This is intolerable. The majority of the people who went through without even looking probably knew what they were supposed to do, they just didn’t feel like doing it. Not one person even slowed down as they approached the intersection. Not a single one. They were shocked that the other people would dare try to get where they were going. In the few minutes it took me to get through (since I was going across the larger street), there were so many close calls I can’t even count them. Because people are not willing to hold off their busy lives for a few moments. Not to be good, not to be courteous, not to follow the law, not even to lower the risk of a loss of life.

Pisses me off.

Cars, in general, piss me off. Through observation of the behaviour of my father and others, I’ve concluded that being in a convenience pod makes one feel as if the other drivers and pedestrians are not real in some way and need be dealt with only as obstacles. Not to mention the waste of resources, money (for what it costs to drive a car in Montreal, you could afford a years’ worth of bus passes plus a $10 round-trip taxi fare every day of the year plus a backpacking vacation in Europe), time (don’t you love people who drive complaining about traffic? Maybe if you didn’t drive there’d be less of it!!) and ecological health.

Vicious things. I can’t stand them.

Yeah. I’m with Matt, at least to a point. I concede the necessity of cars for many functions, but people use them too much. Personally, I prefer biking around town. Which seems to piss off many drivers who seem to think that God himself put roads across the earth solely for the convenience of cars. Also, in many situations, I can make better time than cars.

I recall reading recently that traffic delays in LA cost $800,000,000 a year in gas. Interesting.

The inconsiderate drivers you’re talking about are the same people that piss me off. I’m a pedestrian. I walk everywhere. I have a small child who walks with me. Five year old child=short legs. We take a while to get where we are going.

Most drivers don’t wait at the stop signs for us, or they decide to back up in front of us rather than wait for us to pass by. It’s annoying but if we are clearly out of the way, fine.

What drives me absolutely crazy is that cars will pass in front of our path as we crossing the road. While one or two cars are zooming directly in front of us, there are drivers inching up directly behind us. (I’m thinking of an intersection by my home that has two left turn lanes).

I try to make eye contact with every driver around me before I cross the road. Sometimes as someone is zooming past me, I’ll see their eyes shift down and widen as they notice I have a small child with me.

Another thing that bothers me are the drivers who just don’t even look at all. I can’t remember how many times a driver has started to back out and then slams on the breaks, realizing people are directly in their path. Or the woman who apparently didn’t notice the red light (it had been red for a few moments already–she was approaching a red light, not trying to beat a yellow) and had to slam on her breaks to avoid hitting me–while I was very pregnant. It was that incident that led me to become as careful about walking as I am now.

To the people who speed past us, only a few feet away, I want to stop them, drag them out of the car and beat them senseless. (Or perhaps I should say, beat some sense into them!) I couldn’t imagine being that pressed for time that I’d risk hitting anyone, especially a child. I hate the fact that they think the seconds they save by going ahead are worth more than a child’s safety.

We don’t dawdle–we walk at a slower (than an adult) but not sluggish pace. The issue is not us taking too long.

Damn that felt good to finally complain about that “outloud”.

Yes, but it’s still faster and less frustrating than using our excuse for public transportation. My company just moved from the valley to El Segundo. I can see LAX from my workstation. I would have to wait on 4 buses. Or 3 trains, the 1st going in the opposite direction of where I want to end up. Who the hell designed this city? That’s what I want to know.

Whistles, cheers and riotous applause. I have never seen the “automobile effect” described better.

I have to say that unlike matt_mcl, I quite like cars. Working on them, driving them, going places in them. But I just hate what seems to come over people once they get in them, in the way you describe. And I also think they are overused to the detriment of the urban environment.

I cycle commute. My two demonstrations of the “automobile effect” follow.

Firstly, most of my commute in the morning is on cyclepaths and quiet sideroads, but the last few hundred metres is on a very busy road, which at that time is slow nose to tail traffic. It’s downhill, and I can easily keep up with cars doing only maybe 35km/h (that’s about 20mph, for the metrically challenged). And yet even when I am hard on the tail of the car in front I am consistently abused, tailgated, horned, and cut in on by fuckwit drivers who clearly feel (against all rationality) that I am holding them up. The logic seems to be that I must be holding them up because I’m on a bike which everyone knows is slow, even though I’m going as fast as the car in front.

Secondly, a junior employee of my firm once said that she liked to deliberately drive too close to cyclists to scare them into ceasing to ride on the road. Now leaving aside that in this jurisdiction threatening someone with bodily injury is of itself a criminal assault, let’s think about this. This person when in a car considers it acceptable to physically endanger, scare and threaten a person to make them cease engaging in a lawful action that inconveniences her! This is a person I would otherwise describe as law abiding and sensible. In any other context, this dimwit wouldn’t dream of doing such a thing, but put her in a “convenience pod” (I love that expression, thanks matt_mcl) and suddenly cyclists “are not real in some way and need be dealt with only as obstacles…” to the extent that this person will commit a criminal act towards them without a qualm.

Well, this might very well be another thread, but I drive a “convenience pod” and screw you! That “pod” gets me to your house when you call when your shit is broke down! When you are whining about your plumbing, or your AC, or your computer, I don’t get any slack if I said, “sorry, I will be there in an hour because I am on a bike”

As a self employed “service person”, I KNOW how people whine if I am late on a call…

I cut cyclists all the slack in the world, but I also see hypocrites…not to say you are, but WTF?

Lets save the planet, and next time your shit breaks down, I will pedal my ass there when I get there…

By god I hate this. There’s something in the driver mind that if I wasn’t there then they would be at work hours sooner if <i> they could only tailgate the car in front of them instead of being a whole 10 feet behind it!</i> <B>WAH!Stoopid bike!</B>

Kill her. Anyone who has that blatant a disregard for saftey of others should have her liscence revoked and be forced to walk to work. Period.

Unfortunately, one of the easiest ways to get away with murder in this country is to drive around a bicyclist and hit him. Just tell the police “I didn’t see him” and you’re off scott free! Throw some wood at him too and the judge will kiss your ass.

I have one area where I bike from work where two roads merge. I keep my lane, period. although plenty of folks try to merge into my lane, even when looking right at me. One guy pised me off so much it must have been quite a shock to have my bike lock crack against his window.

There is line of thought that states that bikers will get respect from cars drivers only when they <i>fear</i> the reactions and consequences of bicyclists. Thinkers along this line often discuss carrying firearms while on bike. I’d like to totally dismiss them as being reactionary and over-prone to violence…except that I bike.

I think it would cure a lot of pedestrian/vehicle/bicycle conflicts if people would just experience things from all these points of view. Canadians are really bad for having their driver’s seat glued to their butts; in winter, a lot of people have heated garages at home and at work, and never, ever walk anywhere. I think this really dulls their perceptions of what it’s like to have to walk or bike around inconsiderate drivers. People need to leave the car at home for a week or so, and just walk or bike on crowded streets to get a whole new perspective on why they have to watch out for the fragile folks that aren’t encased in a convenience pod.

i cycle only about 6 miles a week on fairly quiet country roads, but thats enough for me to know that people who drive like every seconds danger gets them a hundred miles closer to their destination are dangerous enough to other car users, let alone cyclists.

and Klaatu, you obviously have a need for a car. you need the speed it provides, and i’m guessing from the stuff you say you repair, (plumbing, AC, etc.) you need its carrying capacity too. no-one has said that all car users are a danger and shouldn’t drive. come on, surely you must notice how some people just drive like they’ve got an ice axe in their heads? think how much easier your driving would be if there were fewer “for the sake of it” drivers out there.

I love walking on a busy college campus.

Cars start paying attention to peds when the drivers can’t see around them (large groups) or have a tendancy to suddenly appear, dropping off the curb without looking all that hard.

My favorite ped moment was walking across a busy street in rush hour. An empty bus tried to speed through the light (red) in front of the pack of students. The bus was then stuck by solid traffic. (T intersection.) The students who had to pull feet away from the wheels of said bus spent the time until the bus moved pounding on the sides yelling. Rude hooliganism, but fun.

Here in Boston, pedestrians rule the streets. The law states that pedestrians always have the right of way, no matter what. Also, the penalty for jaywalking, if it were ever enforced, is a one dollar fine. Thus, people meandering across the streets with nary a care in the world. For example, as long as there are already pedestrians blocking the traffic, others will start to cross, meaning that it’s impossible to get through for quite some time after the light turns green. OK, so I also use this to my advantage to run red lights on my bike as well, but that doesn’t make it right.