Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Back seat driver

Allow me to do what I do best - give you tips on how to drive. Ha. True, I don't drive all that much anymore. But I use University every day, and that means I watch a whole lot of dumb moves you make out there (mostly out of the desire to survive).

I've seen some majorly wacky things lately. First of all, that middle lane? It's a turn lane. It's not so much a passing-at-high-speed-into-oncoming-headlights lane. Playing chicken in a construction zone is not cool. Passing and turning right in front of buses is also not cool. A good rule of thumb - if you're not turning left, get out of the turn lane. Please note the stripey yellow stuff on the pavement.

The thing is, I know that extra 30 seconds you sit waiting is super annoying. But it might save you or someone else a trip to the hospital. And who likes dealing with car insurance claims anyway? Think of how much time you'll be losing then! So instead, think of all the other, less deadly ways you can save 30 seconds in your day.

Next up - the determined parker. I hope that if you are operating a motor vehicle, you are alert enough to catch some bright orange traffic barrels. I saw a guy last week park in the construction zone just east of Bedford, and proceed to walk through the construction zone, over jabby wire bobbins and knee-deep utility holes, to get to an ATM on Emerald Street. My first thought was, maybe this guy is some sort of undercover construction manager - no one would be so crazy to walk through a random road construction project. Not so much. If he had fallen into a giant hole, I would have had to yell down to him that there was an exceedingly adequate sidewalk next to a legal parking space all of 30 feet away.

It would be unfair to blame drivers only. Pedestrians make iffy moves too. I saw a construction worker last week trying to flag a pedestrian off of the 280 bridge (yes, the bridge that is missing part of its deck). Not a stellar shortcut. And I've seen more than one person walking in the traffic lane next to the jersey barrier on University to make the shortest path to a bus stop. Sigh.

Stay safe out there, people. Slow down. Make good choices.

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