Tuesday, February 14, 2017

I'm Walkin' Here

Mark is amazed by pedestrians in Chicago. I am not. I used to drive a taxi in Chicago, and I am not surprised or shocked at the utter disregard pedestrians in Chicago have for their safety.

I'm relaxed and grooving to the radio in the car when Mark lets loose with one of his worried intrusions.
"Ahhhhhhh, Alan! Look out!"
I flinch at the sudden outburst. My heart misses a couple of beats, then races.
"WHAT, WHAT THE HELL!" I scream.
"Didn't you see that woman?"
"What woman? The woman with the baby in the stroller who pushed the baby out into traffic to test and see if it was safe for her to follow? That woman?"
"Yes, you almost hit her."
"I did not. I only let her know I was there. Trust me, I saw her all along and was not going to hit her."
Meanwhile, Mark is in a sweat all worried about the next dumbass who might throw themselves in front of the car. Mark is right though. Pedestrians in Chicago have no cares at all when it comes to traffic. They just wander out in front of cars as if they aren't there, as if the car careening towards them is a big, soft pillow. I noticed that back when I drove a cab and adjusted my driving as needed. It's kind of like playing Frogger, except the object is to not hit them. Depending on what neighborhood you are driving through, the game is either tough or simple. Black neighborhoods are the worst. People seem to be challenging you. They look right at you, as if they can stare a car to a stop. Turns out, they can. It's the hipster areas that cause the most distress. Those people are oblivious. They're blabbing on the phone, or more likely, texting while crossing the street. I almost want to actually hit them. Over in the more suburbanized areas, like Lincoln Park, you find parents pushing the strollers out into traffic. They scare me the most. They feel entitled, they feel as if their parenthood protects them and the baby from all harm. It does not.
"CHICAGO (CBS) — An 11-month-old girl in a stroller was hit by a car Saturday morning in the Lincoln Park neighborhood on the North Side. A 60-year-old man was driving a 2015 Toyota Corolla south on Southport at 10:30 a.m. when he turned left onto Clybourn and the car hit the girl, according to Chicago Police."

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