Friday, April 22, 2011 Walking for Earth Day

Today is Earth Day. So when I was planning on going shopping I thought to myself, "I'll walk!" So I did. I walked about three miles through the center of my hometown of Stamford, CT to reach my destination.

I almost got hit by a car.

Actually, let's call it four cars.

Stamford is not a pedestrian friendly city. We have sidewalks. We have buttons to push to cross the street and lights that start to count down before you're even halfway across. Sometimes there's even a crosswalk between those two pieces of pedestrian technology.

Do the drivers care? Some do. Obviously today there were at least four drivers who didn't give a hoot.

Yeah. Those thick white stripes painted on the road? Not a piano. Not a tribute to Abbey Road. That's for me to walk in while you stop your car in an effort to obey the law. You know, pedestrians having the right-of-way and all that.

You see, in order to actually get anywhere you can't exactly follow the walk/don't walk signs. Sometimes they never change (intersection of Broad and Summer), sometimes cars are turning even though you have the go ahead (Broad and Greyrock) and sometimes people making a right turn from the center lane don't see that you're even there (I'm talking to you Beemer turning onto Tresser from Grove). A person on foot needs to be aware of all the traffic lights, who has a green, who's got an arrow, who's going right on red and didn't consider the option of a pedestrian coming towards them on a sidewalk. Who's going to run a red light regardless of the fact that groups of pedestrians are jumbled up on the curb OBVIOUSLY waiting to cross the street (That's you, three drivers who ran the light in front of Burlington Coat Factory.)


But, after all, this is Stamford. Where people have turned rude into an art form. Were you avert your eyes and never say hello. Where friendly is not only the exception but it's Halley's friggin' Comet. Who am I to suggest people be considerate?



Tacomamama said...

It took me years to figure out that you were supposed to look up, smile and acknowledge people as you passed them, once I achieved escape velocity from CT.

In the Tenderloin neighborhood of SF (where I went to law school) people will actually get outright belligerent if you ignore them as you walk past.

Headbanging Hostess said...

It is sad but true about CT people... Upstate they're better.

We went on a trip once to Mexico, NY. While driving towards Lake Ontario some guy going out to his mailbox started waving at us, and I thought, "Where the fuck are we?" I'd never experienced friendly poeple before...

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