Don’t Drive on the Sidewalk

Last week my friend Kristi posted about one of her biggest pet peeves: people who ask stupid, obvious questions that could have been answered in TWO SECONDS by Google. Which is also one of my pet peeves. It is especially prevalent among pregnant women. As in “OMG I ordered an organic stone ground whole wheat veggie pizza and then ate it but it totally had SOFT CHEESE on it??!? Is my baby going to die!???!” (No) or “I’m, like, only 32 weeks pregnant and I’ve gained FOUR POUNDS! Is that too much??!” (Die in a fire) or “My husband want to have sex but I’m afraid he’s going to poke the baby in the head and leave a dent. Does that happen?????” (You are the reason Idiocracy is practically a documentary).

Anyways, I was thinking about my own pet peeves and realized most of them are driving related. How is it possible that there are SO MANY bad drivers, considering operating a car (unlike raising a child) is something the government actually requires a license to do. There’s a test and everything. In no particular order, things that make me scream and punch the steering wheel:

People who don’t understand stop signs
At the entrance to our Stop & Shop, there is a four way intersection with three stop signs. Incoming traffic is the one without a sign AND YET 99% of the time the car in front of me stops, usually for no reason. Although when there ISN’T a car in front of me there is always some idiot at one of the signs that thinks as long as they’ve paused for a second they magically have the right of way. I’m constantly almost t-boning someone who has suddenly pulled out even though I KNOW they saw me. I once had a lady roll down her window and yell “But I was already going! I can’t stop once I start to go!!” when I honked at her. Man, obviously she needs to get her brakes checked.

People who don’t understand parking
I could write a NOVEL on terrible parkers. Like the guy in the nice shiny Nissan 350Z who parked less than three inches away from my Jeep on the side with the car seat. Dude. You KNOW I need to open that door. If I could get my ass in that space you can bet your butt I’d swing my door open as hard as possible and leave you with a dent but since I am more than three inches wide all you get is a note on your windshield reminding you that you’re a douche-canoe. YOU’RE WELCOME.
Today it was the guy who parked in the middle of the road. It was a road in the park, so not extremely busy, but a real road with a name and lines and stop signs. His car was at the halfway mark between the curb and the double yellow line. I noticed him parked there on the way into the park and saw him getting in his car on the way out of the park with his fishing pole and bucket. The stupidest part – there is an actual parking lot MUCH CLOSER to the lake. Why not park down there? Are you allergic to convenience?

People who think the road is a sidewalk
This one is actually directed at pedestrians instead of drivers but it makes me practically blind with rage so I’m including it (I have issues). In the same park I mentioned above, there are miles and miles of walking trails, both paved and dirt. We use some of those paths for our Stroller Strides class so I can assure you they are well maintained and usually clear of giant rocks or branches. AND YET every time I drive the (very narrow, windy) roads I have to swerve suddenly to avoid walkers/runners treating the street as their own personal sidewalk. And then they glare at me. Death glares. As if I have suddenly driven my car right through a shopping mall and narrowly avoided killing several dozen school children and puppies. There was also a lady jogging in the street downtown next to a perfectly nice, clear sidewalk and blocking a whole line of cars from passing. LADY. I’m sure you run reallyreallyreally fast but the street is not for you. Jogging =/= car. Jogging is not even equal to biking.

Speaking of biking, SHARE THE ROAD PEOPLE. Bikes are SUPPOSED to ride in the street. If it weren’t for morons like everyone in my town I could still take my bike to the grocery store without fear of being run over and left for dead.

*DEEP BREATH*

OK, I’m done. Feel free to share your own pet peeves – driving related or otherwise – in the comments. Rant begins: NOW.

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Happy Father's Day
Bad Parenting 102
Mother's Day in Photos

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25 Responses to “Don’t Drive on the Sidewalk”

  1. MKP says:

    People who walk slow, people who talk loudly on cell phones, people who take up two seats on the subway when others are standing, men who turn around to ogle after a woman walks by, soggy cereal, the ratio of fan noise to alarm clock volume that has to be PERFECT or I over sleep, people who own iPads and iPhones and Macbooks and have the nerve to complain about ANYTHING ELSE…… whew. I feel better – thanks.

  2. Other Erin says:

    I agree with all but one point. As a runner I can say that sometimes running on the sidewalk/walking path is just not an option. That said, the appropriate etiquette is to keep your eyes out for cars and get yourself onto the sidewalk when you see one coming – the cars have the right of way. They should also give you a wave as you pass as if to say “thanks for not being annoyed that I’m in your way.”

    • bebehblog says:

      I think people who are actual runners – as in training for something, wearing a sports bra, moving faster than my 15 month old – get a pass on some things but not all. Busy city streets are not the place to run during the middle of the day when you KNOW there is heavy traffic, especially when the sidewalks are totally clear, and especially especially when the condition of the road is even worse than the sidewalk. I live in New England. Pot holes are practically our state symbol.

  3. MamaPhan says:

    OMG, I snort laughed at die in a fire (because I feel that way, and often, especially on second tri. I won’t tell you how much I’ve gained, but it’s not much higher than that number & only because I had a stomach virus).

    I agree whole heartedly with this post. In it’s entirety.

  4. Kimberly says:

    My latest is people who can’t hold the door open behind them when I’m pushing my (admittedly too big) stroller. Are you in that much of a rush?
    Oh and the fact that my library’s convenient outdoor drop box is locked when the library is open- even when it’s raining.

    • bebehblog says:

      Oh! AND. People who don’t acknowledge me when I DO hold the door open for them. How hard is it to say “thanks” and smile?? NOT THAT HARD. I usually can’t stop myself from glaring and saying “YOU’RE WELCOME.” Loudly.

  5. Michelle says:

    Ugh, people that don’t stop for me in the crosswalk! Now that I have The Boy, we walk/run downtown A LOT. I have to assume the people that don’t stop are the out-of-towners b/c it seems to happen a lot more now that we are in the summer season. Morons–I have a BABY STROLLER, stop your eff-ing car!

    Also, on a side note–I do not run on sidewalks if they are concrete, or if they are not level. Concrete is much harder than pavement, believe it or not and I don’t like running up and down little ramps all the time soo…I am usually on the road. There is definitely a method to the runners madness, trust. :-)

  6. Audrey says:

    I walked in the road when I was training for my 10k, but only because it was winter and I was less likely to slip and break my leg on the road than on someone’s unshoveled sidewalk. Plus it was usually night so there was very little traffic.

    I hate it when people bicycle in the road as though they don’t have to obey traffic laws or be courteous. Like blindly zipping along weaving in and out of cars..or across intersections..or take a leisurely ride so slow I could walk faster RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE LANE. There are bike lanes in most parts of Cleveland…USE THEM.

  7. brigidkeely says:

    The soft cheese confusion basically made me breathe fire, it enraged me so much.

    If you’re too stupid to figure out what a soft cheese actually is, do you really want to pass those genes on to a kid? Yes, yes, I’m all into eugenics. Whatever. DIE.

  8. Swistle says:

    1. Pedestrians who assume their right of way is a magical barrier between them and my 2 tons of car. I DO see them and I DO stop, but they need to VERIFY THIS before LAUNCHING OUT into the crosswalk, ESPECIALLY if they are PUSHING A STROLLER. Sometimes a driver might not see a pedestrian, and WHO IS GOING TO LOSE THAT CONFRONTATION BETWEEN FLESH AND STEEL, ANSWER ME THAT!!! Right of way is going to be very slim satisfaction for the one made of flesh.

    2. When two lanes are merging into one, with both lanes full, and the obvious fair way is to do one car from the right, then one from the left, then one from the right, etc., but some people won’t let anyone in, and other people will scoot in when it’s not their turn.

    3. When in a tricky intersection I let someone in even though I don’t have to, and then two more cars scoot in behind them, taking advantage of the courtesy.

    4. TAILGATERS OMG TAILGATERS.

    • bebehblog says:

      RE: #2 – Here in Connecticut, we are all VERY POLITE about this, especially at one particularly busy intersection I drive through quite often. But add in the idiot tourists coming to eat the magical movie pizza or buy an overpriced lobster t-shirt and you get CHAOS. It’s called a ZIPPER. TAKING TURNS. DID YOU FAIL KINDERGARTEN???

      Arg.

      • Amy says:

        In Southern California, it is common practice for people to drive on the shoulder to get to the front of a merging section and then cut people off to get to the front. Hate.

  9. Lisa says:

    I agree with Swistle- Tailgaters!!! But my biggest pet peeve on the roads is motorcyclists who wear shorts, sandles, tank tops and no helmet. They obviously don’t value their skulls or skin. I feel bad for the first responders who will have to shovel them off the sidewalk if they crash.

    • sarrible says:

      Yeah, but think of all the people who’ll benefit from their organs. Braindead motorcyclist=viable kidneys!

      • bebehblog says:

        My aunt – the doctor – calls all motorcyclists without a helmet “organ donors”. Especially since they all seem to belong to the “I’m young and healthy and nothing bad can happen to ME” variety.

  10. Amy says:

    I clicked over because the trailer in your RSS feed told me to – good job!
    My biggest pet peeve is bikes on the sidewalk. And bikes who don’t follow the rules of the rode. The stop sign is for you too, buddy.

  11. Ok here we go:

    About cyclists: I get it as a driver of a car, I have to share the road. But you know what? As a bike rider YOU have to also share the road with ME. NYC Cylclists are the worst about this. And I’m not talking about bike messengers and hardcore bikers who ride to work every day, they actually know how to crazily ride their bike along with the most insane NYC traffic. I’m talking to you you stupid leisure cyclist. There are a ton of bike lanes around but noooooo they must ride 2 deep right in the middle of the road and blatantly ignore the actual cars trying to use the road.

    And drivers: would it fucking kill you to use a turn signal when you are changing lanes? Seriously? I know this is NY, land of the shitty drivers but can you kindly let me know when to expect you swerving in front of me?

    I will leave out the obvious shit like making a right turn from the left lane, driving slowly and / or stopping b.c you have no idea where you are going and can’t navigate the simple grid system, or double parking right in front of a fucking open parking space b/c you are too chicken shit to parallel park

    And non traffic related: I hate it when ppl use energy to complain about stuff, when in the time they spend whining they can fix whatever it is they are complaining about. Classic example at the office: OMG the printer is out of paper and there is no more paper and the paper is all the way downstairs in the supply cabinet. I have to go all the way downstairs to get paper? Why couldn’t the person who took the last ream go downstairs and get more paper. Can’t someone who is not me go get some paper from the supply cabinet?

    Wow that felt good. Now back to work to go complain about printer paper :)

  12. E says:

    Only 2 things to add for stupid drivers.

    1. CRUISE CONTROL. Use it or I will hunt you down and blow up every car that you own.

    2. LEFT LANE. It is not a RIGHT LANE. You aren’t allowed to drive in whatever f’ing lane you feel like. And…..AND….Don’t drive in the left lane SLOWER or EQUAL TO than those in the RIGHT LANE. See above for corrective actions that will be taken.

  13. sarrible says:

    I hate my job. I hate people who don’t understand how to use the English language. I hate EVERYTHING right now. Yes. The entire world is my pet peeve. AAAAGH.

  14. Brandon says:

    Totally agree. Somehow or another now that we are staying over in Norwich the drivers are even worst. Most of it we see on 395 on our treks back and forth from Groton. Gotta love the people who speed up to get past you and then slow down below the speed limit in front of you.

    My other favorite is the people who sped through the stop sign by our home in housing. Still trying to figure out how someone hit my explorer from the opposite side of the road practically head on (parked in front of our house) and still was able to drive off like nothing happened. Probably drunk, talking on a cell phone, eating a cheese burger, balancing their check book as they blew through the stop sign.

  15. Britni says:

    I, too, hate people that ask stupid questions. This is why http://lmgtfy.com/ was invented.

    It works like this:
    Stupid person: “What is the name of the 4th U.S. president?”
    Me: Go to site, type in their question. Send them this answer: “http://tinyurl.com/2wu2x4c”

    Stupid person feels really stupid. It also makes me look kind of bitchy, which I always enjoy.

  16. raincheckmom says:

    Northern VA traffic is bad, but what makes me want to scream are the people who slow down to a snail crawl before and during a turn. I know the cars are engineered to handle curves – I just wish people would realize the car is not going to break when they turn the steering wheel. Seriously, turning is NOT THAT HARD!

  17. StraderSpiel says:

    This isn’t traffic related at all, but my biggest pet peeve is customer service reps who argue with me starting with the phrase “but my computer says…” and never ever consider that maybe the computer is wrong!

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