Friday, August 19, 2005

two things

1. OH MY GOD my head is k-i-l-l-i-n-g me. I don't know what is going on, but I feel like my forehead is going to explode. Do you think it is possible that fall allergies are starting already? I can't imagine what else it could be, even though it is a little early.

I never had allergies until I moved to the East Coast and since then I have gotten sick each and every fall. One of my first doctors here told me it had to do with immunities growing up, and since I was immune only to germs on the West Coast I was bound to get lots of sicknesses. I have gotten bronchitis and laryngitis every fall since I moved here, 9 freakin' years ago. GRRRR.

This is ridiculous, though. It is only August! Granted, we've had a chilly couple of days, but still, it is too early!


2. I'd like to start a campaign, similar to the "Got Milk?" campaign called the "PEDESTRIANS NEED TO STAY OUT OF THE INTERSECTION WHEN THE LIGHT IS GREEN" campaign. I cannot tell you how often I curse at people who step in front of my car, or insist on running across the street after my light is green. Downtown Boston is very congested (especially with the Big Dig and all the excess machinery) and having to wait for all these less-than-brilliant individuals to cross the street at every light is maddening.

A couple of years ago, while living in NYC, there was a breaking news story about a man driving around midtown Manhattan refusing to brake for those people who stepped into the street in front of him. If the light turned green and people crossed the intersection anyway, he hit them, or almost hit them. If they insisted on crossing in the middle of a street while he was driving down the street, he plowed into them.

Now, of course I am not condoning his behavior (although it was a little bit funny at the time), but I did sympathize. He clearly lost him mind in that afternoon when he realized that it took 10 minutes to drive 2 blocks because of pedestrians ignoring street traffic. Thankfully, he didn't kill anyone in his insanity, but sometimes I wondered if pedestrians would be more careful after the incident.

I live about 15 miles from Boston, and there are many mornings that it takes me less time to drive the 15 miles on the highway than the 5 blocks from my exit to the parking lots. 5 blocks > 15 miles. Something is wrong with this picture.

If only I could convince Mayor Menino to put up some billboards telling people to WAIT THEIR TURN. Maybe we could install little shocks in the street that activate after the "No Walk" sign comes on. You cross, you get zapped. Any takers?

10 comments:

Chris said...

I LOVE the new campaign idea! I hate it when people step off the curb in front of my car. Just because they have the right of way at the crosswalk doesn't mean they should jump out in front of a moving car and expect it to stop!

Have you tried taking claritin? I take the generic over the counter stuff all summer long. Hope your headache subsides.

Bad Andy said...

Ahh yes... If I remember correctly the west does really have this problem. Probably because most lights are timed and cars don't really stop for anybody.

Currently located in the Midwest, I work in what is essentially a mall but it expands over a quadrant of 5 by 3 blocks so it looks and feels more like a shopping district (but its all leased by the same company). Shoppers walk around as if it were a mall. Not only is this district busy with shoppers but two main roads cut through adding all sorts of problems. People don't even look before crossing. I remember seeing (and I would think that mothers would be more careful) a lady at the corner with her stroller on the street trying to decide which way she wanted to cross without even glancing at traffic!!!!

SOLUTION: I think that in these problem areas instead of worrying about quotas and parking tickets we should start ticketing jaywalkers (is that PC?). Maybe we could improve education (on how to walk!).

Now after some research it seems like NY tried doing this already.

Pedestrian Advocates Decry Mayor's Latest Crackdown on Jaywalking:
Focus Should Be on Improving Walking Conditions in NYC


I am all about improving street conditions for the poor, and it should be a focus, but I don't understand how focusing on jaywalkers means you can't also focus on improving street conditions.

YG&B said...

umm, i live in NYC, Halloweenlover, and I do nothing but jaywalk and stare down cars who would dare to threaten my pedestrian rights. however, when i am driving i yell and curse at the lackidaisical walkers. also, i got a jaywalking ticket once in LA. it is the most infuriating thing ever by a cop yelling "REER REER REER REER!!!"

KLee said...

My husbnad had a major gripe yesterday that a cop trailed him for 10 blocks in order to give him a citation *just* for not wearing his seat belt. He wasn't speeding, he used his turn signals, he didn't run any stop lights or signs...he just wasn't wearing his seat belt. (Never mind that I nag him all the time to wear it...)

He said this only further convinces him to go the civil disobedience route and NEVER wear the seat belt. After all, it's not like we have any OTHER crimes out there the police could be working on....

Phantom Scribbler said...

Ragweed is out now, so it is perfectly possible that you've got fall allergies. I can recommend an allergist for you if it gets really bad...

What is this "immune only to germs on the West Coast" business??? Like the West Coast has its own, special germs that are prevented by federal order from crossing the Sierras? I'm hoping that you have a different doctor now....

Yankee T said...

Hey, at least y'all have CROSSWALKS for pedestrians. THERE ARE NO FRICKIN' CROSSWALKS HERE! It's like walking is discouraged. I freak out all the time because people are trying to cross busy streets and NOBODY stops because they don't have to. I went from the ridiculous (stop on a dime to let the pedestrian 5 blocks away go) to the more ridiculous: never stop because, well, fuck 'em.

RussianViolets said...

My sinuses and allergies are in overdrive -- I'm sure it's the damned ragweed. And the story about the guy running down jaywalkers made me laugh -- even if it was a heartless thing to do. :-)

Amy B. said...

Oh man, bronchitis is horrible. Sorry to hear you're feeling bad. Luckily I do not live nor work in the city, so I don't really have to deal with these inconsiderate pedestrians often. I get annoyed as it is when driving in front of stores in a shopping center where people just dart out. I think I would probably just end up killing one of them if I had to deal with it on a daily basis. I visited Boston about 7 years ago and the streets were messed up then from the Big Dig. When the heck is it supposed to be finished? Other than all the construction, it really is a beautiful city- although the traffic is horrible- as you know!

Bad Andy said...

The reason why the cost of living is so high on the west coast is because we have fewer allergens. I too faced the same problem when I settled into the midwest. I never sneezed once because of allergies growing up in california. Now that I am here in the Kansas City I finally learned that I am allergic to Missouri and Kansas... sigh... when will winter come!!!

Honey Bunny said...

i get sick every february like clockwork. it's been that way since i moved here from NY in '93. i don't know why, but it happens. so maybe it's just our bodies acting strangely....or something ;)

i don't know how you deal with driving in the city. sometimes i wish i had a car so i could do shopping and stuff, but i HATE driving in the city. both drivers and pedestrians are idiots (us excluded, of course!)