Tuesday, June 04, 2002

I'M JUST GOING TO bitch about traffic-related matters again.

1. New York cabdrivers? Fast. Very fast. There's an amusement-park quality to the experience of riding in a taxi in Manhattan. This tendency makes sense: They get paid by distance. Somehow, they manage to slow down enough to pick up passengers. D.C. cabdrivers? Slow. Very slow. I can understand slowing down to troll for passengers in pedestrian-heavy downtown, but taxi drivers in Washington don't seem to employ that kind of logic. The cab can be full and the street can be a highway, but the cabbie still goes 20 mph.

2. I'm all for jaywalking. If you can make it across midblock or against the light, go for it. But could you at least pretend to be concerned for your own safety when you put yourself in the path of a motor vehicle? The prissy little "I'll take my own sweet time, and the drivers will just have to wait" show of power by the otherwise powerless pedestrian got old the first time I saw it, and I've seen it a lot. One of these days . . .

3. You see that "yield" sign you just drove through? That means I get to go and you have to sit there until the traffic clears. If I'm a nice guy -- and I am -- I might let you in, but this cutting in front of me has to stop. It's not always possible, but drivers -- and pedestrians (see above) -- would be well advised to act as if they're invisible. It's when you make others take evasive action that the trouble starts.

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