Speaking Out


I walk to work. A mile and a half each way, mostly downtown. I’ve been hit before, although it wasn’t serious, and the close calls have replaced coffee as a stimulant some mornings. Too many people are just too intent on where they want to go to look around and see who may be affected.

In order to counteract this, I make a lot of eye contact with drivers, not all of it friendly. If someone creeps up on the crosswalk as I’m crossing, their bumper gets a dirty stare. If they do it again, they get a special, just-for-drivers, WTF look. Someone who’s already in the crosswalk (even though no one ever manages to turn there against the light) may get a knock on the hood to let them know I’m there and using my right of way.

This may not make me the most ingratiating spokesperson for pedestrians. But as long as my life and other things I hold dear (my legs, my mobility, my independence…) are at stake, I don’t care. I’m much more concerned that people know there’s someone between them and their destination, someone besides them who has a stake in what they’re trying to do.