Honk all you want, mini-van road warriors, I am NOT pulling forward in to the crosswalk at a red light.
Crosswalks in the suburbs are like a really fat line drivers think you stop in the middle of or something.
To be fair, when young-and-stupid me lit-out for the “big city” years ago, this was actually a habit I had to unlearn. After all, I had spent over 3 years driving around in the very town where we now dwell.
:::shudder, SMH, shudder:::: (the disbelief still sneaks up on me sometimes.)
I distinctly remember a few red light stops that involved angry bike messengers, winos, punkers-in-groups, etc, banging on a portion of my old Cherokee, gesturing toward the crosswalk my front tires were resting firmly in, and giving me the “WTF!?” angry eyes.
I learned quick, the crosswalk is actually supposed to be available for use to those trying to get across the street (go figure, right?) and was not designed as a space for motorists to let their vehicles creep into as they grew impatient for green-means-go.
I actually assumed that with the HUMONGAZOID growth of this particular burg, the crosswalk-as-stop-zone thing would have phased out of the driving pattern around her.
Stopping completely behind the crosswalk frequently results in horrifying moments when I look in the rearview and panic as I watch the dummy behind me hauling A up to the rear of Frederico Escapé (yes, my car has a name,) and seriously doubting that the offending idiot is going to be capable of executing a complete stop without mangling my “Native” bumper sticker.
Not only that, but as I go to shoot the universally understood “narrowing eye daggers” to alert said late-stopper to the fact that I KNOW you were doing wrong, buddy, that look is always answered with the aforementioned “WTF!?” angry eyes!! In the minds of my fellow motorists in the burbs, I am the problem because I stopped short. I even got a HONK once, as if I had stopped half a block back and started fishing in back for my kid’s binky or something. (Oh wait, I am the only one who DOESN’T do that around these parts.– a move which seems totally acceptable out here.)
Basically, if they can’t see a herd of middle-schoolers heading toward the crosswalk, protected by the flashing lights of a “school zone,” the crosswalk doesn’t exist in the minds of these people – you have to make a HUGE SCENE about staking a claim on the crosswalk as a pedestrian, or it is fair game for every driver out here.
Well TOO BAD, Suckers – because I am not picking up what you are putting down when it comes to this.
Look out, I might just decide to come up to your window and explain, using more than dagger eyes, just how it all works.