Thursday, February 9, 2012
Rantin' N Raven
Another chilling day, it was in the mid-twenties all morning and I was going to go to the track, but then changed my mind and decided to do fartlek instead. That was a good choice because I ended up doing a little more work than I would have on the track. I took the girls for 2 miles first. Isabelle wanted to lie down in the snow and eat it more than she wanted to run. Iris barked at me when I went out the door again on my own, but she got over it.
It's been so gray lately. Our sunshine has gone away. It makes people grumpy. Just in time for another rant on my favorite rant topic of all: cell phones.
How many times have I been trying to cross an intersection while running and some bozo is clueless about their surroundings, and makes a one-handed left turn while jabbering on the phone in their other hand, and doesn't even bother to see that the pedestrian crosswalk sign is activated and their left turn arrow is no longer green, but decides to go ahead anyway and nearly runs me over...then some of them act like it's my fault and get pissed off at ME!!?
More times than I can count, and it happened twice on Tuesday at the same intersection- going each direction. Harmony & McMurry.
I'm still trying to figure out why so many people seem to think driving a thousand pound piece of metal at any speed warrants multitasking.
I read with amusement the article appearing in our local paper, the Coloradoan, this morning, an article on how to make pedestrian crossings safer. I laughed because on Tuesday of this week, I was thinking the exact same thing myself. Mr. Fort Collins Traffic Engineer, are you listening? The crosswalks are only as safe as the people who are using them. I think he had it right with the three "E"s: education, engineering, and enforcement.
As far as education goes, I'll tell you what I think. I think every able-bodied person who applies for a driver's license and renewal should spend some time outdoors, on foot, or on a bicycle, crossing these intersections and crosswalks. Then maybe they'd get it. Maybe they'd finally get it through their thick multitasking skulls that it's dangerous to be out there as a pedestrian or cyclist when you have motorists who don't pay attention, don't adhere to the rules of the road, and are at an advantage with the size and speed of their vehicle. Maybe then they'd be more considerate of people who are not in cars.
I'm not saying that pedestrians and cyclists always follow the rules themselves, but sometimes it's more dangerous to cross an intersection legally than it is to find some random place in the middle of the road to cross when there's a break in traffic. Harmony & McMurry is a perfect example. That's where I typically cross to connect from the north part of the Power Trail to the south end, there's a gap of about 3/4 mile through the neighborhoods south of there unless you go cross country by the power line, where there is no safe pedestrian crossing.
We have pedestrian-activated crosswalks at other crossings along the Power Trail and it's pretty common to see most of the cars stop, but there's always some idiot who is either distracted on the phone, or wants to be jerk, and plows through anyway. You can never assume that just because one lane of cars stopped, that the adjacent lane doesn't contain one of these bozos.
As they said in the article, if everyone were paying attention, there wouldn't be a problem. That's why the cell phone issue irks me so much. There are other distractions, sure, like playing with a car radio or rubbernecking, but from what I see on the roads, cell phones are the major distraction.
Did I ever tell you how much I hate cell phones?