Thursday, August 04, 2011

On Hypocrisy and Bureaucrats

Most days I walk over to the community garden where we have a plot.  Watering and weeding are constant chores, chores not often mentioned in the glowing articles on organic and local food.  But that's a different post.

To reach the garden I have to cross Reston Parkway, which is 4 lanes plus turn lanes and is usually still busy from the tail end of rush hour when I'm walking.  So there's a red light for traffic heading north on Reston as I cross.  Some people, I suspect, hang a right from Reston onto Glade (the cross street) so they can try to barrel north on Colts Neck, a less-traveled 4 lane road, bypassing congestion on Reston.

When I'm crossing then, you will be amazed to know there's a small but finite danger that drivers making their right turn on red will not come to a stop.  Further, they may not be looking for a pedestrian walking in front of the stopped cars in the travel lanes because they're intent on making their turn and getting to work, like the good bureaucrats they are. 

Now a person close to me has the attitude with regards to cars that: "they have brakes, don't they."  Unfortunately I've become infected by that attitude, so I tend to walk across the intersection with my eyes fixed on the opposite corner and not overtly looking for someone making a right turn.  I figure they should be obeying the law, right?  They're bureaucrats after all and need to set a good example.

This morning I followed my usual pattern, only to be almost run down by an SUV which made the right turn at about 20 mph, not stopping at all.

Mad? Of course I was mad.  I was crossing with the light and the driver was absolutely in the wrong.  What was even more aggravating is I don't think he ever saw me, after all I was at least 4 feet from his lane.

I fumed as I walked on to the garden. I had the delicious feeling of self-righteousness to savor.  Then I remembered that the walk sign clearly said "Don't walk", so I was in the wrong too.  (I don't usually hit the button to get a "Walk" signal; I walk rapidly and it wastes people's time.)

All in all, a remember of the mote and the beam

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Slam your hand down on the hood of his car. That works pretty well for me.

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