I just drove home. Who are these idiots on the roads?
The major road through U-Minnesota's East Bank campus (major = only one that actually goes straight though) has a pretty long light to cross it, letting the pile of traffic through. It's got lots of traffic all day. Needless to say, the pedestrians at this particular crossing (none of the others, just this one) actually wait for the cross light. Not this chick. She is blithely strolling across the stopped traffic. This wouldn't be a big problem, except that my lane to turn on to Washington Ave is, by default of course, green. She abruptly gets this deer-in-the-headlight look as I come to a halt to avoid plowing into her and her GDMF cell phone. And you thought the drivers with them were insane? At least hitting a car (which would likely have had a Republican perfectly coiffed soccer mom in an SUV sitting 4 feet higher than my VW) would mean hitting a fairly well armored target. This girl? Splat! like a bug on my windshield
2 lanes of a large road (Cedar Ave) at an intersection becomes 3 lanes: the same 2 + a left turn lane. Some SUV not only swerves in front of me as the light turns red, she swerves straight across my lane and turns left through the intersection. (Don't know if it was a Republican perfectly coiffed soccer mom.) Loud cursing and a long honk ensues.
Same road. Back to 2 lanes (in each direction). Another SUV just abruptly swerves 1/2 way into my lane and then swerves back. Why? There was a bicyclist in the right lane. There was also no one behined me in the left lane. Could the SUVidiot wait 30 seconds for me to pass, so that she could gracefully and safely pass the bicyclist? Apparently not. A much quieter curse and a little honk.
Still the same road. 2 lanes in either direction. The black sports car in front of me starts to turn right on a green light. Using his turn signal. She abruptly comes to a halt, half way into the turn. I.e., I am part of the way into the intersection. I come within about 12 inches of hitting her. Why? Same bicyclist. This time there's significant cursing, although no honking.
Although, I'm willing to bet that the cyclist wasn't using hand signals before she got to the intersection. (why? Because I rarely see them used hereabouts. An amazing situation, given how many bicycles are on the roads). I would be equally willing to believe she used them, and the driver didn't pay attention. Considering her blatant disregard for her own life (no helmet + big city streets = stupid), I would be equally willing to believe that she drove ahead with no regard to whether or not she had the right of way compared to the car.
At this point, when the black car continues through the intersection, the cross-traffic has a green light. I have no room to back up, because another car is right behind me. I - of course - have to drive through a red light to avoid getting hit. It wasn't just a little red. Or orange. Nope, it was red all the way across.
Much honking ensued - at me.
I'm off the stupid street, into my neighborhood, onto a normal street. All is well, right? If it were, the post would end here.
This is now an ordinary neighborhood street: one lane in each direction. Although with parking allowed on the sides, it is fairly wide (35th St.). Being wider than the completely residential streets, it follows that there's more traffic than in front of our house. What happens? This time I need to move out of my lane. Not abruptly, I might add. Why? There is a completely idiotic bicyclist on the road, bicycling in the wrong direction towards me. I'm not sure who has the bigger death wish - the chick on Cedar Ave or the old guy on 35th.
I'm afraid of getting back in the car to drive over to pick up Jr.Gopher #1.
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