STOP! In the name of insanity

Boy oh boy, what a long complicated day. I bagged my walk this morning because we needed to get the Mean Green Frog Hoppin’ Musheen over to Suuuuubaru by 6:45 for scheduled maintenance. We couldda dropped it off last night but by the time I got home from work and a walk to the Plum Market, I was done. Done done done. Let’s just take it over there in the morning.

So we took it over there in the morning and then I drove the GG over to That Darn EPA and back to the Landfill. Can I just say… In the first place, I think I hit every single blasted red light on the Planet Ann Arbor today. And also…

We have this wondrous new crosswalk ordinance here on the Planet Ann Arbor. It is causing a lot of problems. The wonderful and underrated Great Lake State has *always* had a state-wide law that when a driver is approaching a marked crosswalk and there is a pedestrian *in* the crosswalk, that driver is required to stop. And I always do unless I am texting (oh, I am just kidding, just try to drive a 6-speed manual and text at the same time or even make a phone call) but a lot of people do not and the law is not often enforced and people have been killed.

So our wondrous Planet Ann Arbor city council has enacted a new ordinance that drivers have to stop when a pedestrian is APPROACHING a crosswalk. Okay. Approaching? What does that mean? Does the person have to be standing right at the crosswalk waiting to cross? If they are 10 feet back from the crosswalk but walking purposefully toward it, is that “approaching”? And then there are the folks that are just waiting for the bus — at a stop right next to a crosswalk. Or maybe parachuting down from a spacecraft from Zephron III.

I have been against this ordinance since the get-go for many reasons but I have not encountered it from a driver’s standpoint until today. Can I just say? There are two of these crosswalks on Plymouth Road, which is on the way to That Darn EPA. It was dark and I found myself scanning the sides of the road to look for pedestrians that might be “approaching” the crosswalk(s). I couldn’t see *anything* more than a few feet off the road. Oh, there’s a guy standing by the road! Does he want to cross? I was about to put the brakes on when I realized he was waiting for the bus. I was so concerned with looking for pedestrians at the crosswalks on this high-speed four-lane road that I almost missed the entrance to the EPA.

This afternoon, when I drove over and picked the GG up from That Darn EPA, it was even worse. There was more traffic and there were actually people using the crosswalks. The traffic stopped for them. Or not. And, on our way back over to the west side, I saw a woman waiting to cross the street but it took me a split-second or so to see that it was *also* a crosswalk. I stopped. I wasn’t sure the person behind me was going to stop without crashing into me and I wasn’t sure that the person in the lane next to me was going to stop at all. If I didn’t stop, I could get a $100 ticket and two (count ’em) points on my license! If I did stop, I ran the risk of being rear-ended. I am ranting but this is a ridiculous ordinance and I think it should be repealed immediately! Maybe the existing state law should be enforced more vigorously. And pedestrian crossings on fast four-lane roads like Plymouth should have HAWK signals or something. I dunno…

Anyway, by the time I met up with MMCB at Barry Bagels this morning, I felt like I had run a half marathon. And then… Dun dun dun… We were talking. We were talking animatedly. I managed to fling an arm out… aaaannnnddd… dump a full cup of coffee over. Oh man. It was relatively hot coffee! Was anyone burned? I was not and my clothing was all easily washable. MMCB escaped the bulk of the whole thing and she was wearing her workout clothes. Whew! We have been meeting for coffee at Barry Bagels since our kids were in 6th grade and I was totally mortified.

Of course, by that time, all I could think was that the day could not get any worse and it didn’t but I am still knocking on wood and crossing my fingers and all that stuff.

P.S. The day has actually gotten worse but since no one has died or anything, I guess we are motoring on. Fingers crossed, knock on wood.

One Response to “STOP! In the name of insanity”

  1. Margaret Says:

    That does sound REALLY DUMB. It is an impossible ordinance to follow. Some days I think we should just not get out of bed. Sorry for the crappy day. Hope tomorrow is better.