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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Being Patient and Being Rude on the Streets of San Francisco

I've mentioned before that driving can be stressful, but it can also be a pleasure when things go right.

I'd like to share with you something that happened yesterday (Monday) while driving from a neighborhood restaurant to a store where I needed to pick-up something.

An instance of being nice:
I've blogged before about the law requiring all drivers to stop behind a Muni metro vehicle while it is accepting and discharging passengers.  On Judah, the street is notorious for stops that would discharge passengers and the possibility of a car would zoom by with total disregard of the people.

While waiting just a block from Sunset Boulevard, I stopped behind a two-car Muni metro N-Judah vehicle and had to wait over a minute for the traffic signal to turn green and the train to start moving.  While waiting behind the second car, I noticed several cars behind me, including a taxicab; but fortunately, none of them honked at me or drive like a fool to get around me.  When the signal changed and the train moved, everyone just drove on.

An instance of being rude:
While driving on Winston on the north side of San Francisco State University, I noticed a pedestrian wearing black standing at a crosswalk.  The crosswalk is not at an intersection, but a dimly lit one that connects one of the university's parking lot to a stairwell leading to the university's corporation yard.

Upon approaching the crosswalk, I slow down and stop.  The car going in the other direction does the same by slowing down and stopping.

I lowered my window because the pedestrian was hesitant to cross the street and I wanted to encourage the person to cross as both directions of traffic has stopped.  But the driver behind me became quickly impatient and started blowing their horn and flashing the high beams multiple times.  I pointed my finger at the pedestrian indicating the reason why I stopped, but the jerk continued to be a prick.

Soon later, the pedestrian crossed the street and thanked the drivers who stopped.

Akit's Opinion
Being calm and polite is the best way to drive.  If you want to be a jerk, just don't.  I wasn't fond of the driver who was blowing their horn and flashing their high beams while I stopped for a pedestrian waiting to cross the street.  I've had some instances where I've stopped behind a metro vehicle, to have another driver get angry that I'm not passing, but I'm not going to risk hitting and killing a Muni passenger.

1 comment:

Kenneth King said...

It is sad to see our citizens and visitors racing through this beautiful City without the care of injuring limb or taking life. Deadly impatience behind wheel and handlebar is a challenge to the civility and enlightenment upon which San Francisco rightfully prides herself. Akit, keep demonstrating your principles on the road, and I'll be out there doing it as well. If we cannot influence a population to "road relax", we can still prevent the loss and potential tragedy of an accident.