I’m a “safety first” kind of gal. I don’t eat expired food, I wait for the “walky-guy” signal at crosswalks, and I always come to a full stop when I turn right on red.
Not that I don’t like adventure. I do take many risks, but I want to know that if I fall or fail, or if someone around me is hurt, it’s not because I’ve been careless or negligent.
The new Silver Line has been a game-changer for me. I hate to drive and I love to hike, so the mile to-and-from the Wiehle station has provided not only respite from 80 minutes of daily behind-the-wheel torture, but also taken 10 pounds off my curvy frame. Win-win, right? Wrong. Because every day, twice a day, I still have to deal with jerks in cars.
You know who you are. You are the driver who does not slow — much less stop — for pedestrians in the crosswalk on either side of the Wiehle/Sunrise Valley intersection. Some of you are turning right on to Wiehle Avenue from Sunrise Valley. Some of you are turning right on Sunrise Valley from Wiehle Avenue. No matter — you’re all jerks.
Here’s how it plays out: I’m walking to the intersection and I have the right-of-way. It’s cold –and lately, raining — and you, in your warm, dry car with your music blaring and the heat blasting, decide that your time and livelihood are more important than mine, so you just keep going. You see me. I know you see me. But you don’t care.
So I stand there on the corner, watching the lights change and the walky-guy disappear, and I begin to count the cars ignoring me. Yesterday morning, 12 of you sped by before one gentle soul stopped to let me cross to the intersection.
Look, I know you’re in a hurry. It’s Washington — we’re all in a hurry. And I know you may have forgotten about me because the boss is calling, or the kids are crying, or you’ve just spilled your coffee in your lap. But I’m here, I have the right-of-way, and it’s cold and wet, and I really just want to safely and legally cross the street.
Jerks, I challenge you to make a point today to stop and let someone cross. Just one person. That’s all I’m asking for. Count the number of seconds it takes them to walk in front of your car. I guarantee it’s less than 10. And in those 10 seconds you’ll find your redemption.
Photo: Reston Station Boulevard