Pedestrian Aggression

Being a pedestrian is an adventure, amusing, dangerous and exciting.  It probably shouldn’t be, but it is.  Ideally, I would be able to get from the train station to my office with ease and with no dangers. This, however, is not the case.  Friday morning I looked like a knight attempting to slay a dragon, only it was a blind guy beating a car attempting to make an illegal U-turn.  I had the right of way, the large SUV (dragon) just decided that he could be not only the oncoming traffic, but also the person in the crosswalk.  There was a swerve, a gasp and then the *WHACK! WHACK! WHACK!* of cane on car.  The passenger looked horrified, I couldn’t make out the drivers expression.  They hopped into the wrong lane to continue along their route with a few more hits for good measure.  I don’t advocate for others to attack vehicles, it can be dangerous, you don’t always know how the driver will react, but I’m willing to take those risks if it means that maybe, just maybe, they’ll be more aware in the future.

Other times I have to do the sidewalk samba to get to my destination relatively unmolested.  I sidestep, twirl and sashay to avoid the various hands that try to steer, slow or stop me.  While avoiding the people I also have to avoid the chunks of loose concrete, children and animals that litter the walkway.  Fortunately my fancy footwork is only getting better with age and experience.

While going out for a stroll it’s also important to keep fellow pedestrians in mind, there are slow walkers out there that tend to travel in packs, it’s not good to trip one, lest they all go tumbling down like bowling pins.  I try to get around them as quickly as possible.  This can be done in several ways: 1) tapping loudly against the sidewalk, or any inanimate object that isn’t a ming vase, is a good way to raise attention that you’d like to pass (aside from using your mouth to say “excuse me”) 2) gently slipping your cane between two of the obstacles and moving them aside 3) attempting to get around them by passing into oncoming pedestrian traffic; this is done by hoping that the “Moses Effect” occurs: you simply walk into the flow of traffic and hope they part long enough for you to hop infront of the walking roadblock that was in the way.

Do you have any fancy pedestrian moves you’d like to share?


People with disabilities have the right to be independent, make decisions for themselves, have access to their community and to achieved goals in life like any other individual. disABILITY LINK is committed to promoting the rights of ALL people with disabilities.
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