Two days ago, I took aim at Chicago drivers. Today I have pedestrians in my sights.
Just like some drivers, way too many Chicago pedestrians do things that make you wonder if they are operating with a fully functional human brain. (My thought is most aren’t.)
For starters, most can figure out that the walk sign means they can safely cross the street, but experience tells me that far too many have no idea what the don’t-walk sign means – at least that’s the impression you get as the morons veer into the street as the traffic light is changing.
Also, they seemingly have no clue why there is a countdown on many don’t-walk signs. The way they react makes you wonder if they believe the end of the countdown signals a race to the other side of the street.
So again in Letterman style, here are three annoying, stupid pedestrian tricks that make me want to commit vehicular homicide. Just kidding. (Not really.):
3. NOT LOOKING EITHER WAY BEFORE CROSSING: Forget about looking both ways – some morons don’t bother looking either way. On more than one occasion, I have literally had to grab somebody by the shoulder to keep them from walking into traffic.
I’m constantly amazed at how oblivious some people are. If there are no cars within a few feet of the crosswalk, they venture into the street without looking, not realizing there may be cars approaching that will hit the intersection just as they get to the middle of the road.
I used to attribute that behavior to stupidity, and I’m sure that’s a big part of it. But I also think a factor of it is that so many people in the last several decades have grown up in the suburbs and never learned how to properly cross the street – something that city dwellers learn when they’re eight – because they never walked anywhere.
2. SLOW WALKING: Just to be clear, I’m not talking people with physical afflictions. I have no problem with them taking their time crossing streets. I’m talking about young, healthy people who move so slowly that they can’t make it to the other side in the allotted time.
C’mon, pick up the pace, people. This is the city and things are fast-paced.
1. LEFT-TURN SIGN CONFUSION: The worst part of driving on Michigan Avenue is making a left turn. Amazingly, some people are dumbstruck by the concept of the left-turn arrow and venture out into the street as soon as the light turns red on the cross street – even though the don’t-walk sign still is illuminated.
It’s a big problem because left turns on Michigan Avenue only are allowed the few seconds that the arrow turns green. Idiot pedestrians in the crosswalk – with that look of bewilderment on their face when a car approaches – muck up the entire process and back up traffic because fewer cars can turn on each arrow.
Again, I attribute that to a combination of not growing up in a city and good ol’ American stupidity.
Ok, just like with the drivers, let’s hear your pet pedestrian peeves in the comments section.
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