punkwalrus (punkwalrus) wrote,
punkwalrus
punkwalrus

Dear Pedestrians... or is that Deer-like Pedestrians?

I walk about a block to work from the Silver Spring Metro Station. I cross two streets, Ramsey and Dixon. The crossing at Ramsey is the most dangerous area of road that I have ever crossed. Traffic comes at you from 5 different ways in an intersection that is more like the Chaos Star than a normal X. Where I cross, I have to deal with traffic going in all directions that could come at you from Wayne Avenue, Ramsey, the parking garage, the massive Discovery Building, or the Metro station bus lane. What makes it worse is that so many city drivers don't pay attention. I have seen many people making rapid turns into the crosswalk while jabbering on the cell phone, drinking coffee, or reading their Palm Pilots.

On top of this, because both pedestrians and drivers ignore the copious Walk/Don't Walk signs, I think everyone came to a conclusion to stop paying attention to them, and dart across the lanes whenever they damn well please, which would be okay if people paid attention. But they don't. So that's why have seen 5 accidents in the 7 months I have worked here, 3 of them involving pedestrians. And there have been many more I haven't seen, judging from the evidence left behind. I never know who's to blame, but does it matter?

To me, it's not a matter of if I'll get hit by a car or bus, but when.

On top of that, I get continuously fooled because 99% of the city population knows that in a crowd, traffic keeps to the right. It's that annoying 1% that will fuck up everything. It's usually some brainless moron with an iPod, walking in lazy circles like the rest of the world can just go around them and deal. It's not so bad that they are an obstacle to the flow of people trying to get in and out of the Metro, it's a moving obstacle, which makes people act unpredictably at this brainless trout swimming upstream, and then everything gets clogged in an eddy of people scooting around to avoid crashing into this jerk, we're pushed into traffic going the other way, and it makes 1% seem like a much larger problem than one would expect.
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