Seattle Space Needle Reflection at Night

Why?

Car Blocking Crosswalk

For a “liberal” city, we sure have a lot of BMWs, Lexuses, and other vehicles the price of which could end homelessness in this city. Like climate change, someone else is always supposed to make the sacrifice.

I took the picture above just incidentally.  I wasn’t going for the car in the foreground.  If you look really close, you can see the new First Hill Trolley in the background.

It wasn’t until today that I noticed that, sure enough, the car in front of me was parked in the crosswalk while the pedestrian “walk” light was lit.  As usual. It’s remarkable, because I actually remember taking this shot, and traffic was very light.  I don’t think there was even a single car behind him.

Never in my life, have I seen so many people come to a stop at a red light IN the crosswalk.  Even when they have the entire block to themselves.

So, I have a question for anyone who might do this themselves (which is pretty much everyone who drives in this town):

Why?

What’s the appeal?

I mean, I assume that most of you passed driver’s education, all of which teach drivers not to stop in the crosswalk.  It’s not the slightest bit unusual or controversial.  So, unless you are profoundly, profoundly retarded, you have to know.  Right?

So what is it?  What is the thrill?

Are you trying to provoke people?  Probably a dozen times now, I’ve seen pedestrians kick doors, throw things against windows, pound on hoods, and of course, the drivers never get out.  Every time, they look petrified and stunned.  So it doesn’t really seem like provocation is something that they want.

Since the cops probably enforce the law wherever you’re from, do you feel like you’re getting away with something in Seattle since our police department is too busy kicking citizen ass to protect us?

Are you just really, really, bad, inattentive drivers who care little about humans that aren’t you?

What is it, exactly, that makes stopping your car in the crosswalk so appealing?

99% of people I talk to, all think Seattle drivers are terrible.  They never think they themselves are terrible, though.  This means that, statistically, everyone else thinks you’re a shitty driver, though.

Seattle ranks at the top of most lists with regards to “environmental consciousness”, so why do you folks make it so hard on pedestrians?  Why are you so hostile to those whose behavior actually solves the issue? Does it make you realize what a hypocrite you are, and lower your self-esteem?  If so, I completely understand.  I might drive like an asswipe too under those conditions.  It’s life-altering when one realizes they’re frauds.

I know that soliciting answers from the Internet in general is an open invitation to idiocy. I get that delusion is part and parcel to being a driver in this area. Therefore, I don’t expect your answer to be rational.  I expect it to be completely self-serving, narcissistic, and probably psychopathic.  Anything more rational, I’ll be pleasantly surprised by.  The bar could not be set lower.

Remember, this is the Internet. You can be honest.  You can admit that you don’t give a damn about climate change.  Nobody will know it’s you. I’m actually very curious.  When you have a whole block to yourself, and you can stop anywhere on the block, what is it about the crosswalk that you find so overwhelmingly attractive?

I’m not being critical, I’m sincerely just trying to understand.

Thanks for any genuine insight.

3 comments to Why?

  • Mark

    As a driver at an intersection, you want as much visibility as possible on the cross traffic. Considering that you don’t want to hold up the impatient city folks when the light turns green, that means pulling far enough forward to lay eyes on the left and right approaches so you know it’s clear when the light changes. I think the subconscious intent to look for potential threats in the form of another car can override paying attention to the crosswalk in some places. Especially if the person already looked for pedestrians and might be pulling forward to make a turn.

    That’s happened to me a few times. I stop in front of the crosswalk at a red light. There are no pedestrians so I pull forward to look and see if it’s clear to make a right on red. A car approaches from the left above the speed limit but I couldn’t see that due to the parked cars blocking my view. That dickhead pulls the Seattle Surrender instead of clearing the intersection, with a pedestrian -looking at his iphone- who came from my right around the corner of the building now ready to look up, double his pace, and militantly jump in front of my moving vehicle based on the fact that there are 4 seconds left on the DO NOT WALK notice. I am now forced to stop with the nose in the cross walk and wait for both of the two to unfuck themselves, lest I get blamed for them turning into lemmings should I continue to make the turn. During the 6 seconds it takes for the driver to regain full consciousness and actually drive instead of creeping at 5mph somewhere between turning and going straight, the light changes, the WALK signal switches and now I’m waiting on the iphone absorbed hipsters and fat chicks in yoga pants to meander across the intersection to my right. They never stop coming, because you can’t spell DO NOT WALK without WALK and because fat chicks in yoga pants with little dogs took over this town years ago. The light changes again, now the militant Pedestrians-Lives-Matter activists stacked on the corner ready to cross in front of me are giving me the evil eye while I give them the “WTF shrug” right back.

    All the while this is occurring, I’m wondering if SeattleRex is going to round that same corner and without having the context of the previous events, have me on his website the following week.

    Yes, that guy in your photo, driving straight across an intersection with pretty good visibility pulled a bit too far forward. The real question is, did he pull that far forward when you were standing on the corner waiting for the WALK signal, or did you round the corner and find him there? I think my reaction to these events would differ based on which scenario it was. I don’t think I’ve ever seen you clarify what lead up to the crosswalk squatters moving in.

    From the looks of it, there’s another 10 feet between the edge of that fabulous crosswalk and the protected bike lane in which I assume a non-crippled person such as yourself might be able to pass by without bumping that car with his own enormous sense of self-entitlement? Or were you carrying a ladder down the sidewalk? Sideways of course, as is custom when on Seattle sidewalks.

    Oh and anyone who could reasonably just walk around the vehicle taking it to the level you said you’ve witnessed instead of just flipping the bird and moving on with their life reminds me of the self-entitled residents of Me-attle you also often discuss here. We’re not all latte sipping, skinny jeans wearing, effeminate hipster pacifists. Try that shit with me at your own fucking peril.

    • http://www.seattlerex.com/the-strange-life-of-a-seattle-pedestrian/

      How about that one?

      Complete blockages are the case somewhere between 95-98% of the time.

      And the pedestrian walking outside of the crosswalk is 9 times more likely to get a ticket than the driver blocking it.

      Of course you don’t see the problem with that. The person who’s not you is supposed to get the ticket. That’s who the laws are written for. I’m aware that this is the standard interpretation. (meattle, amirite?) Holy shit, the times I’ve been caught in the crosswalk after the light has changed, I’ve had motorists laying on their horns and screaming out the window about jaywalking. Oh they’re indignant they are. Boy are they beside themselves. The nerve of people. Breaking the law. Other people, that is.

      It’s the bully syndrome. When in a 3-ton steel cage vs. an exposed individual, the testicals hang low to the ground, but when confronted, they front. Every time. Drivers are only bad mambo jambos with the windows rolled up or with a foot on the gas. I’ve detailed the hilarious number of times cowardly drivers have waved their dick around but shit bricks when someone tries to approach them. So far, that’s been a pure 100% proposition. People who assert themselves with such a weight and power advantage are nothing more than cowards. And there’s a lot of them.

      Of course, none of those people are on the Internet. The only people on the Internet are righteous people who have their shit together. Almost every person on the Internet has an awesome job, extraordinarily good looks, a perfect credit score, oh and wouldn’t you know it, they can kick everyone’s ass. Yeah, all of them. No, really, it’s true. I know it’s true because they tell me it is.

      Between 90%-100% of crosswalks are blocked on my way to/from work every day. And you want me to detail what led up to each and every one of them?

      Yeah, I don’t think I could do that even if I wanted to (I don’t), but thanks for your perspective.

    • From the looks of it, there’s another 10 feet between the edge of that fabulous crosswalk and the protected bike lane in which I assume a non-crippled person such as yourself might be able to pass by without bumping that car with his own enormous sense of self-entitlement? Or were you carrying a ladder down the sidewalk? Sideways of course, as is custom when on Seattle sidewalks.

      I regret like hell that I missed the shot of the guy in a wheelchair who was completely cut off in the middle of the street, but I’ll have another chance to get it. If you believe nothing else I’ve said, believe that.

      But anyway, I get your point. Your point is that the crosswalk wasn’t THAT blocked, and that a person of average health (which not everyone possesses) could still make it across.

      Okay, fair enough. I posted this picture to illustrate that even when it’s clearly not necessary, people just park into the crosswalk anyway. I mean, the road was completely clear and he still rolled right into it. I found it notable, but suburban people who rarely walk in the city probably think “gee, what’s the problem, looks about right to me”. Point taken.

      That said, had I wanted to emphasize the totality of driver’s crosswalk encroachment, well, shit, I had way, way, WAY better pictures to make that point with.

      Here’s just a few, most of them from the exact same intersection on consecutive days:

      http://www.seattlerex.com/answering-a-seattle-police-officers-question/

      Fair warning, though. Trying to justify those might take up the better part of your day.

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