"GOOD THING YOU LOOKED... YOU COULD BE DEAD!"
I will admit I was shaking my head a little as I reached the curb; although to be honest the whole situation was nothing more than a fleeting moment in a busy day... that was until a driver pulling way from the pedestrian crosswalk and shouted,
"GOOD THING YOU LOOKED... YOU COULD BE DEAD".
I was struck a little by the lack of attention on the part of her driving, but this did get me to thinkin'.
I should mention that since I've been in the city I find myself walking everywhere, and to accommodate this activity, the city has very graciously set up pedestrian crosswalks; as you prepare to cross the road you push a big yellow button, then large amber lights begin to flash, all traffic comes to a swift and sudden halt, and you cross safely. An odd sense of power and control washes over you as you make your way to the other side.
On this day, the one that prompted the loud "drive by" commentary, I had pushed the yellow button, the amber lights started to flash and I noticed an approaching car wasn't going to stop (and as I suspected, didn't). I waited for it to pass and them proceeded to cross as the other cars waited patiently... I guess they weren't in as much of a hurry.
While I appreciate the fact that the driver recognized that not everyone obeys the crosswalk rules, I can't help but wonder why the driver would think I didn't have to look before I crossed the road. Maybe the loud "drive by" commentary was an act of frustration with all the bad drivers in the city, or a frustration with people who can't obey the rules, or maybe she just wanted to participate in the urban discussion.
I can't help shake the belief that's not it.
As far back as I can remember, I was always told to "look both ways before you cross the road"; not just me but everyone I knew... it was one of those golden rules of parenting, and in my house there was no way your independence would ever be achieved if this didn't become autonomic. Maybe deep down, I'm just a little offended on behalf of my parents that someone didn't think I was raised properly.
Admittedly, there is some truth to this, but that's not it either.
I keep coming back to this feeling that the driver believed the flashing lights replaced my need to "look both ways before I cross the road"... a system and process had been put in place that would get me safely across the road with no worries. I will say that more than once I've seen people push the button, put their head down and walk into the crossing; if I had done this, the driver would have been right and I would be lying on the road.
For me, this is about a growing deference to ownership, and the belief it's someone else's responsibility.
Ya, that's it.
Maybe I am over reacting here... but then again, I COULD BE DEAD.