I mostly walk to Starbucks these days, as it’s midway on my walk to work, and I could sure use the exercise, so why drive? It’s So-Cal, after all. No snow storms to make the way treacherous, right?
Right. However, the one thing that does make the walk treacherous—the thing So-Cal is known for—is the traffic.
I’m often walking in predawn darkness to Starbucks, but not so early that the rush hour car crowd isn’t already streaming toward the nearest freeway ramp, laser focused on getting to work ASAP. The last thing on their mind, let me tell ya’, is us pedestrians.
In spite of having the pedestrian’s right of way at crosswalks, and in spite of wearing a stroboscopic flasher on my backpack, I have had countless near misses with cars when walking across streets, and even when navigating the Starbucks parking lot on foot. For us pedestrians, it’s a Rodney Dangerfield kind of world out there (“I get no respect”).
I was discussing this with a Starbuckeroo—a guy who’s a daily fixture at the local Starbucks. He offered me this piece of advice:
If you get hit and killed by a car while exercising your right of way, they can put on your grave, “I was dead right.”
Well played. A good reminder that rights are best given, not taken.