Monday, September 1, 2014
That's what I call it: when pedestrians just wander slowly through the crosswalk.
Don't get me wrong, I understand that pedestrians have the right-of-way. Remember, my home turf is in deep south Texas. Pedestrians have no rights down there. In fact, the general driver's thought process is: "If you don't like the way I drive, stay off the sidewalks!"
Ask my buddy, Herb, who got hit in a crosswalk there earlier this year. And he was looking. Not sauntering. And he had his big dog, Jake, with him. Had they not run like hell... well, the outcome would have been much worse.
We really enjoy our time in Friday Harbor. That time is coming to an end. The loading up process has begun. Trips from the boat to our cargo trailer. And a bunch of crosswalks to drive through on the way. I don't begrudge the saunterers - couldn't they all get together and saunter across at the same time? They seem to have this choreographed so that as one slow-moving group is about to complete their crossing, the next even-slower-moving group begins their tortoise-like trek across the street... those on wheels are stuck.
Maybe its just me? Living where we do, when a driver actually stops for me when I am in a crosswalk, I give them a friendly wave and a "Thank you"... for not killing me. And, I don't saunter; I move smartly, so they can see that I know their time is valuable, too. Friday Harbor is a very pedestrian-friendly place... people step off the curb without even looking for traffic, because they just know the traffic will stop. We have a name for people like that in Texas: deceased.
Down there, you look both ways, take two steps off the curb, and look again while you pick up the walking pace; a quick scan both directions to see if you just might make it to the other side without becoming road-kill, then you really step lively. Here, they blindly step off the curb, look around at everything but the traffic while they saunter, pause just long enough mid-crosswalk so that anyone walking from the other direction will be able to take their place holding up traffic, and never make eye-contact with anyone in a vehicle.
I just know some of these people are from big cities where pedestrians are an endangered species, just like in south Texas. There must be some internet site that lets them know pedestrians can roam freely in Friday Harbor... Sauntering.com?