Seattle Space Needle Reflection at Night

Answering a Seattle Police Officer’s Question

Red Light Runners

“Why don’t you use the crosswalk!”, bellowed the Seattle Police Officer moonlighting as security for the Paramount Theater.

My companion and I looked at each other with incredulity, before both breaking into laughter.

On this night, the officer had blocked the entire sidewalk for the convenience of a few rich people, necessitating us to walk in the street to get around the obstruction. Given that I have to do this 15-20 times daily just to get to work and back, it doesn’t even register as an unusual thing to do anymore.  It’s just an automatic reaction at this point, and who short of a clinically insane person could blame me?

We kept walking as we gave the officer a truly quizzical look, hoping like hell the cellphone-toting crowd on the opposite sidewalk would act as a deterrent to me catching a beatdown, or worse.

The laughs, followed by the confusing look we both gave him, seemed to clue the officer in to the fact that he had said something absurd, for he quickly turned his gaze away from us, then proceeded to ignore us.

Whew.

Now, first of all, for those of you who don’t know (approximately 100% of you that don’t live here), all intersections in Seattle are crosswalks, whether marked or not.  We happened to be heading to the only crosswalk on that side of the block, which was unmarked, but which was a crosswalk nonetheless.  Not that crossing in a crosswalk is a priority for yours truly.  Nothing could be further from the truth anymore.

Now, I understand the officer’s alarm upon seeing us walking down the middle of the street, but the fact that he had completely blocked the public sidewalk with automobiles was certainly not our fault, and frankly, we didn’t even complain about it.   Having yet to master unassisted flight, however, we had to walk somewhere, and were just playing the hand we’d been dealt, by him.

Sadly, the scolding didn’t truly come as a surprise.  Courtesy, respect, politeness, and understanding are not things we expect from law enforcement these days, and, well, sometimes it just really sucks to be proven right.

Two wrongs don’t make a right, though, and when I got home, I realized that I had been rude. See, the officer had asked me a direct question, and I had failed to answer it.  Where were my manners?

I like to think that I’m a courteous person, far more courteous than most, usually, but on this night, I had failed. Also, what if the officer truly was concerned about the welfare of a couple of citizens? What if he was asking so that he may better apprise himself of the challenges that Seattle pedestrians face?

Stop laughing, it’s possible. I mean, some people take the job to help people, right? Maybe this guy was one of them. How unhelpful was it for me not to have answered him?

You know what they say, though, better late than never.

I assume the officer has an Internet connection, and while I doubt he reads my site, it’s entirely possible that someone will be able to direct him to it.  I can still save this, see.

And so, without further ado, I am going to answer the officer’s question. I’m going to answer it completely, and I’m going to do it with as few words as possible.

Ready officer?  Okay, here you go … this is why I often DO NOT use a crosswalk in Downtown Seattle:

Driver Blocking the Crosswalk

Crosswalk-Blocking Driver

Crosswalk-Blocking Driver

Crosswalk-Blocking Driver

Crosswalk-Blocking Driver

Crosswalk-Blocking Driver

Crosswalk-Blocking Driver

Crosswalk-Blocking Driver

Crosswalk-Blocking Driver

Crosswalk-Blocking Driver

Crosswalk-Blocking Driver

Crosswalk-Blocking Driver

Crosswalk-Blocking Driver

Crosswalk-Blocking Driver

Crosswalk-Blocking Driver

Crosswalk-Blocking Driver

Crosswalk-Blocking Driver

Crosswalk-Blocking Driver

Crosswalk-Blocking Driver

Crosswalk-Blocking Driver

Crosswalk-Blocking Driver

Crosswalk-Blocking Driver

Crosswalk-Blocking Driver

Crosswalk-Blocking Driver

Crosswalk-Blocking Driver

Crosswalk-Blocking Driver

Crosswalk-Blocking Driver

Crosswalk-Blocking Driver

Crosswalk-Blocking Driver

Crosswalk-Blocking Driver

Any questions?

2 comments to Answering a Seattle Police Officer’s Question

  • Nate

    Come on now get with the program! Cross walks are hit zones. You get points if you hit a pedestrian and those add up to points to elitist heaven. If they die you get and extra 1 million points! That’s the way the law thinks around here. You are just scum to be mowed down. Aren’t you wearing your appointed target?

  • Jeff

    Nice framing of the important photographic elements in the Metro bus photo.

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