Stupidity: Take Away Their License

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

This isn’t a post about DevOps and the ability of organizations to improve customer experiences and provide greater business value. It isn’t about innovation and how it can catapult an organization into the minds of their customers.  No, this post is about stupidity.

Cars, bicyclists, pedestrians and city planners.  I think that just about covers everyone, doesn’t it?

Every so often I have to vent and here is the vent for this quarter.

Cars and their drivers

People that drive cars are living in their own little world.  Literally.  You need to wake up and look around you.  There are thousands of people driving tonnes of blunt metal objects and you need to know what they are doing they need to know what you are doing.

  • That little stick attached to your steering column?  It’s used for signalling for when you want to change lanes or make a turn.  But it’s sometimes difficult to operate, at least that what I have been led to believe by so many people not being able to signal a turn or a lane change.
  • Or, like this lady demonstrated last night, you can actually drive about ten (?) blocks with your signal light on as you slowly, very, very slowly, change lanes.  It took her two blocks to change lanes and I am not kidding you.  Two blocks of slowly drifting to the right lane.  Wow.
  • And that green light you have for making a left turn?  When it turns red it does not mean “just one more“. 
  • And as we’re travelling down 104 street towards the west end and you get in the right lane, knowing full well that it ends at the McDonald’s?  Don’t expect me to stop and let you in.  I don’t let people cut in line at the movie theatre why should I let you cut in line because you were in too much of a rush to wait like everyone else?  We’re all trying to get home so wait in line like everyone else.
  • Those signs on the side of the road that say “Left Turn Only between 07:00 and 09:00”.  In case you were wondering those are times, not dates.  It means 7:00 AM and 9:00 AM.  If you see me giving you a finger because you either can’t read the sign or refuse to obey the sign, don’t bother complaining.
  • When a sign says “No Parking”, it does not translate to “You can park here as long as someone you know has gone into the store because you’re not really parked, you’re waiting”.   Learn what “No Parking” means.  Please.
  • Don’t park on crosswalks.  And if you hear me tell you to move, (I ask politely, the first time) and you use the excuse, “just waiting”, expect me to call you a “fine fellow”.  (Or a synonym of my choosing.)

Bicyclists

Just because you are on a bicycle does not mean that you can skip the rules of the road.  You want to ride you bike on the road, follow the same rules as everyone else:

  • Red light means STOP.  It does not mean look both ways to see if someone is coming but cross anyway forcing cars to slam on their brakes to avoid hitting you.
  • You don’t get to have the same rights as a car one moment, a pedestrian a second later and then a car again whenever you want.  The next time you’re riding your bike on the street, expecting me to treat you like a vehicle, and then you make a left turn on a crosswalk and expect traffic to stop for you … well, good luck with the physio.
  • If you can’t stop on a dime, don’t ride so close to my vehicle.  I may need to stop quickly and I’m not going to care whether or not you can stop before hitting me.
  • If you want to be treated as a pedestrian at a cross walk, get off your bike.  If you’re on your bike I will treat you like a vehicle and I don’t give vehicles the right of way when I think they are being … naughty.  (See movie theatre reference above.)

Pedestrians

You have two eyes in your head.  It might be advantageous to use them when crossing the street.

  • When a crosswalk light turns red, it doesn’t mean that you should start crossing, it means you need to finish crossing.
  • And when that timer gets down to single digits, low single digits, and you start crossing the street, sipping your latte, responding to the latest cat video on YouTube or reading the latest fake news on FaceBook, expect me to honk my horn at you for being disrespectful.  I’m not disrespecting you, I’m telling you that you are disrespecting every driver who is trying to use the roadway with you.
  • If you are crossing the street, outside of marked crosswalks, don’t.  Seriously, it’s dangerous enough crossing at marked crosswalks, but randomly in the middle of the street?  Death Race 2000 ring a bell?
  • And those bike lanes?  They are important to you too as bikes can be coming from both directions.   I kid you not, they are bi-directional, you need to look both ways.
  • And quite walking four abreast expecting everyone to move out of your way.  I’m a big guy and if we run into each other you may hurt yourself.

The City

Part of the city’s job is to facilitate the movement of people and the last time I looked at the word it meant “help”.

  • During rush hour it is imperative to move traffic as quickly as possible from Point A to Point C.  It does not mean turning the light at Point B red so that it is impossible to go from Point A to Point C without stopping.
  • Those pedestrian activated lights to help people cross the road?  They need to be synced to nearby lights.  At the JP Bus terminal there is a pedestrian controlled light that turns red with the traffic lights one block away, in both directions, are still green.  Traffic piles up until people cannot get through on a green light because of the traffic.  (I complained and according to the city this is “operating as expected”.)
  • The timing of the lights changes in winter.  People shouldn’t be driving as fast so the timing needs to change.  Don’t keep summer timing in winter because no one will make the lights causing traffic jams.
  • And when there is major construction in an area, reducing traffic to a fraction of what it was, change the timing.  I don’t want to be waiting at a light with dozens of others when the other direction is green … but with no traffic.

OK, that felt better.  Thanks for listening.

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