Monday, November 17, 2003
I was crossing the Market St Bridge on my normal route, and I was on the sidewalk at this point, preparing to enter back onto the road to cross the intersection. As the crosswalk signal here seems to be inoperable as I have yet to see it change to walk during my times through this spot, and there is no push button to engage it, I simply proceed with the signal light for the traffic in the direction I am approaching from. So far so good. Well as I was crossing the light changes to yellow, still no big deal, as I will complete my crossing before the side traffic gets its green and moves forward.
However, one big ol' SUV decides to move up into the crosswalk area so they can prepare to make a right turn. People often do this here because the right turn lane can proceed on red in this way, but it helps to be forward some to better see the crossing traffic and to determine if it is safe on red to make the right. Not that this guy isn't sitting up high enough in this oversized vehicle, but hey, maybe his eyesight is as foggy as his head.
So he decides that he owns the crosswalk area and that he doesn't have to stop back at the white traffic control line (and I am guilty of doing this sometimes as anyone else is when driving), and since I am in "his" space gives me a big honk and a flash of his hand (this reaction is what was unnecessary!). Of course I saw him the whole way because I am aware of the traffic patterns here, but he certainly wasn't looking for me. And yes, I was visible, front and rear lights, tireflares, multiple reflectors and numerous strips of reflective tape and stickers.
Whole point being here, besides the hot-headed horn blower, is that vehicle drivers still have a long way to go in thier recognition of bicycles and pedestrians and thier legitimate rights to space. And what if I were a little old lady pedestrian crossing, not lit up for all to see, and couldn't react or move past as quickly as I could on a bike, well let's not think of it shall we?