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Pedestrian Rant

This has been bothering me for a long time, and I thought I would write about it before it segued from rant to tirade to incoherent noises of frustration (think of that noise Cary Grant used to make).

LEFT SIDE FACING TRAFFIC. Don’t they teach that in elementary schools these days? And for heavens’ sake, when there’s a sidewalk, use it!

I know runners make the argument that the road is smoother, and in some cases I suppose it is. However, the smoothest road in the world still has sewer grates and manhole covers. You always have to watch where you’re going. If a smooth, regular surface is so important to you, I suggest you run around the track at an area high school or college. I believe there are several readily available.

At least if you must run in the road (and I know some of you feel you must), left side facing traffic. For one thing, most runners I see these days run with headphones. If you can’t hear oncoming traffic, it is a good idea to at least be able to see it.

But leaving runners aside for a moment, let’s talk about pedestrians, who have no excuse. Some of them are IDIOTS! This morning I saw a young lady scorning a perfectly smooth sidewalk to walk on the right side with traffic with her head studiously bent over a device she was texting on. At 4:30 in the morning! For those of you still sensibly in bed at that hour, I’ll tell you if you don’t already know: it’s still dark out. In fact, by some standards, 4:30 a.m. is still the middle of the night. What the hell are you doing walking in the middle of the road in the middle of the night? (said in a loud, frustrated voice, not really expecting an answer)

OK, this girl was not exactly in the middle of the road. My point remains: get on the sidewalk if there is one. Left side facing traffic when there’s not. As they say, it ain’t rocket science. If you don’t reliably know your left from your right (I don’t), just make the L with the thumb and forefinger of your left hand.

I suppose I should be happy people are out walking for health and/or transportation and not sitting home demanding the universe provide them with a car or gym membership. I ought, perhaps, to be impressed that people are out running in the world instead of on a treadmill while they watch DVDs of rolling hills. Well, for starters, regular readers know that I think “should” and “ought” are dirty words (and if that’s not widely know, perhaps it’s material for another post).

And speaking of material for other posts, I’ll get to headphones and electronic devices another time. Stay tuned.

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