Monday, November 19

They Wait and I Wait

The last couple of weeks, I have been reminded more times than I can recount that a large proportion of all of our interactions involve one road user deferring to another in the interests of harmony in accordance with rules made to be easy to remember and follow.

Case 1 - I'm riding down an arterial and, off to my right I see a car stopped at a stop sign. Strictly speaking, the motorist at the controls could have made a quick right without me having had to make any action to evade. She waited. And I appreciate it. It made an extra impression on me. It got me paying extra attention.

Case 2 - I'm in a two-way left turn lane, waiting to make my left. I see a motorist coming on who looks like he wants to also go into the lane. He hangs back a bit and, seeing it, I make my own left. I left a little less gap than I might have had nobody else been potentially waiting. No, it didn't rise to the level of a risky behavior.

Case 3 - I'm going straight, in a shareable location, when a motorist came up on my left. Immediately after, I saw her RT signal. She realized she was NOT going to be able to make a right around to my left and hit the brakes. Accordingly, I went forward after deciding that giving up my own right of way was the decent thing to do, but then she'd clearly had an "oops" moment - and waited.

Case 4 - Stopped at a traffic light in the left-turn lane of the Airport Freeway Service Road, I heard a siren coming up behind. I elected to move on to the left-hand shoulder behind some parked construction equipment in order to await the passage of the fire truck. Unfortunately the motorist behind me had less convenient waiting options. She pulled forward and then realized she'd have to run a red light to vacate the lane. Being even with her open window, she realized she was in an awkward position, but felt it necessary to say; "sorry." Truly, I was the sorry one because I was safely out of the way and not simply stuck like her. Fortunately, things worked out OK when the motorists over in the right lane managed to make a path for the truck. Misplaced courtesy or an urge to get ahead? Personally, I think she wanted to make way and just didn't think things through clearly about what the cross traffic meant.

Case 5 - Today, I stopped at a four-way stop. Off to my left had stopped two motorcyclists, sharing a lane. Off to my right was another coming up to the stop line. I waited for the two - one went and the other didn't. With a stopped motorcyclist now waiting to my left and another waiting to my right, it seemed time to go. So I did - like other motorists, mostly motorcyclists are pretty courteous.

Yup. Sometimes they wait. Sometimes I wait. Mostly we all just get along.

3 comments:

John Romeo Alpha said...

There's something to this "getting along". I think motorists can smell it on you.

Mark said...

What John said. Make the effort to play nice, use common sense, and try to remember we all have brain farts.

RANTWICK said...

I've been ruminating a great deal over the past few days about tearing out all kinds of traffic infrastructure, most traffic lights included. The kind of stuff you are describing leverages people's natural empathy and human beings' remarkably quick adpatability. Take it all out, man! Woo hoo! Am I an anarchist? I don't think so...

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