8.02.2006

Road Rage

So last night was a disaster. Something went wrong at the 9:30 Club and the Fire Department had to evacuate the building. It wouldn't have been quite as sucky for the club if this happened in the middle of The Wreckers concert. Instead, this went down at a show that sold out in less than ten minutes. On a farewell tour no less. Lots of suckage there. Thankfully, Sleater-Kinney will be back on August 3, so, no complaints. All the kids crying in the U Street alleys after the evacuation can cheer up.

I certainly wouldn't dream of criticizing the 9:30 Club for this fiasco. I mean, if your transformers overheat, what other option do you have? And blaming the Fire Department would be ludicrous. I just hope they get these problems fixed by Thursday.

Instead of complaining about the evacuation, I will complain about a dangerous little habit I've noticed in DC's drivers. I decided to walk from my office in Golden Triangle to the 9:30 Club on 9th and V. (Two miles in 100 degree heat. I don't know what I was thinking.) Across from the Liberty Gas Station on V Street, there is a crosswalk. I shouldn't have to remind you that, in the absence of "walk/don't walk" lights, pedestrians have the absolute right of way. It would be madness to just walk across the street without looking both ways; proper precautions still apply. But when I walk across the street, I expect cars to slow down.

Yesterday, a car sped up. It got close enough that I felt the need to sprint out of the way. That's some scary shit. This isn't the first time this has happened to me either. Anecdotal Evidence A: The intersection of Wisconsin and Garrison. Anecdotal Evidence B: The intersection of Massachusetts and Macomb. The latter is especially frightening during rush hour when cars are racing to get to the Marylanfd suburbs as fast as possible.

Why do DC drivers do this? I've had the same frightening experience a few times now. And it isn't like these cars are maintaining speed. They are noticeably accelerating. Like, you can hear their engines rev. What a psychotic thing to do when someone is crossing the street. People who do this have broken brains.

I know New York and The New England Commonwealth That Will Not Be Named have the same pedestrian laws. Drivers there actually stop for you. Both of those states are bright red in Schuyler's wonderful map. Yet drivers there, in my experience, don't actively try to scare the living bejesus out of pedestrians. So not only are DC drivers stupid, they are also aggressively dangerous.

I don't own a car, so I shouldn't have any reason to complain about bad driving. Yet here we are.

38 comments:

  1. Welcome to DCAugust 02, 2006

    Maybe the drivers recognize you.

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  2. Well, most people in DC are liberals, and most people in DC drive like psychopathic assholes.

    I'll let you complete the equation.

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  3. Drivers know that if they run you over, the DC police dept will do nothing.

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  4. I once saw a fresh body mowed down in Adams Morgan (four years ago) when I lived in the city.

    Drivers here are assholes when you're trying to cross the street, even when you're in a marked crosswalk. A woman driving her BMW convertible blew through a stop sign and nearly mowed me down just this morning.

    Also, people honk at me and get mad when I stop to let a pedestrian cross on a right turn.

    Cyclists are no better, though. They plow through red lights but then get mad at pedestrians for daring to jaywalk (even in a crosswalk). I'd love to shoot some bicycle commuters I've seen.

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  5. People can be real sadists here, as my foreign-feathered friend poiinted out recently.

    You get the same deal if you're a fellow motorist trying to merge at a high rate of speed onto a roadway--they'll sometimes try to block you out by accelerating!

    I've gotten into TWO street fights because I gave the finger to a man who tried to run me over in a crosswalk. Both times, they got out of the car in a rage and assumed they could beat me b/c they were larger (thank god for martial arts).

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  6. I was in SEATTLE last summer and almost shit when a motorist stopped and insisted I cross the walk at my leisure. I was wearing a Red Sox hat w/ my buddy who was wearing a Yankees hat.

    I thought the driver might be trying to set us up or something. Is this a trick, I said?

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  7. Yeah I almost got mowed down this past Sunday on New York Ave. The light was green for me and there was a crosswalk. Drivers around here are nutso.

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  8. Krystal Koons (AKA THE PIMP DADDY)August 02, 2006

    i was in a crosswalk at 15th and I where the bum park is and these two clowns in a truck making a left turn literally were ready to plow into me. I stopped and the fat pig driving the truck got out and wanted to fight me. Mind you this is at high noon on a nice day so the suits were all over the place mingling with the bums. Two witnesses came to my aid and the fat slob tried to fight one of them. Then out of the blue came 5 secret service cops. I lauged so hard in that fat pig's face.

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  9. As much as I hate you, Krystal, I would have definately have helped you.

    Wow, a rare occasion in D.C. when the pedestrian wins! Good for you.

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  10. Is that the gas station right oustide 930? I used to cross there to get to the club, but I too encountered several reckless drivers. I've since rerouted my way to the 9:30 club from the metro station. It's also easier to scalp tickets that way.

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  11. Krystal Koons (AKA THE PIMP DADDY)August 02, 2006

    Thanks anonymous. I'm touched.

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  12. There's an awesome commercial on t.v. right now about aggressive driving (and it's not even from the Church of Latter Day Christian Mormons).

    Business people in suits rush around their offices, pushing people and yelling and being petty about being the first to the coffee pot.

    Tagline: You wouldn't behave like this at work, why do you drive that way?

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  13. Hmmm...takes me back to my years as a pedestrian in DC. Incidents like this, and general lack of ease of getting around convinced me to move out to VA and get a car myself.

    I'll try not to speed up when I see you cross, but I would rather die then drive in DC when I don't absolutely HAVE to be there.

    FY-

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  14. Rusty - you are a liar. I am a former resident of Boston. My roommate was hit by a speeding BMW on a residential street. Also plenty of students have been injured and killed on Commonwealth Ave from drivers accelerating so that they dont have to wait for the pedestrians to cross.

    Sorry your concert blew.

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  15. Boston drivers have always stopped for me. Of course, I've spent a total of 3 days in Boston over the last 5 years, so I'm no expert.

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  16. I had a car when I lived in DC. One quiet night, I was driving out of the Park Bethesda parking lot when a pizza delivery man who was zipping around the lot like Mario Andretti SMASHED into my car. RARRRRR. WHY IS THAT NECESSARY. Only accident I ever had, and my car was buuuuuuusted.

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  17. I hate when other drivers come from behind and then pull into the little space I've created between me and the car in front of me (by not tailgaiting).

    They get one car length ahead and begin tailgaiting the next guy.... If you're one of those people, what does that DO?!

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  18. Aggressive driving is not at all unique to D.C. And trust me, D.C. can't hold a candle to Philadelphia drivers -- at least two kids at my college were hit by cars as they were crossing the street (granted, one was drunk and staggering into traffic, but the other was on his way to class in broad daylight).

    Accelleration into pedestrian traffic was not at all uncommon in Philly. It was downright routine. That's why you look both ways and move your ass when you cross the street. Simple, really.

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  19. yeah, cyclists are ASSHOOOOOLES. They insit on cycling through an intersection as though they're a car, but the minnute a light turns red, they keep going. Suddenly they're a bike again! Those bug-eyed freaks need to chill.

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  20. How timely. A friend of mine just moved to D.C. from Boston a week ago. Yesterday, on the last leg of a long exploratory walk, he was confronted by a herd of roving Segway riders, jumped out of their way, and was promptly clipped by a driver. His hand was severely lacerated and his ankle swelled to thrice its normal dimensions. Naturally, the driver didn't even blink and kept on his merry way. The Segway 'tards? Nope. What a f***ing introduction to D.C.

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  21. I'm all for alternative modes of transportation, but you know you have to be a real middle-aged man faggot (not to slight homosexuals)to be riding one of those around town....

    I heard that about Philly too. They'll honk their horns at you if you refuse to block the grid when the light is green or yellow.... And they don't stop.

    Cyclists want it both ways--they're bi-cycular.

    Worst country in the world!

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  22. Rusty, I think you need to touch on how awful the work culture is here. Where is that entry!?

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  23. Walking is for douchebags who work minimum wage jobs. GET A CAR ASSHOLES!!!!!

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  24. Rusty,

    that stuff about drivers stoping for pedestrian in Boston and New York is bullshit and you know it. If anything theyve been much worse in my experiences.

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  25. In my limited experience with Boston traffic, I've noticed that some cars don't stop for pedestrians.

    But DC is the only place whyere the cars actually speed up.

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  26. I would say that Dc driving is difficult because no one is from here, so you have tons of ifferent regional styles of driving converging into one little area. I would also like to point out in your post that you mention "getting back to the Maryland suburbs as quick as possible" that would make these drivers decidedly NOT from DC. That being said, I have been known to take pedestrain retribution before. I had the right of way crossing the street and a cabbie came screaming up at me and had to slam on his breaks, so I put a nice boot shaped dent in a quarter panel and a fist shapped one in his trunk, then told him to get back in his car or I'd do it to his face. He got back in the car.

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  27. I agree with the philly thing. Although I've been out of MA for 9 years, I still have masshole tendancies (left before the green, horn if you're not turning left the millisecond the arrow turns green). What no one has mentioned, and why I think some DC drivers speed up, is because a lot of pedestrians will cross while you have a green light, then when they see you coming, they'll SLOW DOWN and look at you and continue to take their sweet old time crossing. Not that I condone urban aggressive driving, especially when my boyfriend feels it necessary to accelerate to 45 mph down P street past whole foods because no one is using the crosswalk (BTW, he's from philly). And not that it is a wise thing to do because as we all know, in DC, the pedestrian is always right.
    My midwestern friend (who has since moved back) threw his starbucks on a BMW once in dupont because the guy was being a dick and wanted to cut him off from crossing. I'd say 80% of BMW drivers overall are dickheads. Just my observation and one of the reasons I got REALLY sick of VA.

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  28. Sometimes I feel bad about myself and think that I'm the only one who gets into these petty little competitions w/ other people. Now, I know I'm normal.

    A month ago I was on a lake in New England and now I'm here.... August in D.C. always makes me feel as if everyone ELSE is on vacation somewhere cool.

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  29. Krystal Koons (AKA THE PIMP DADDY)August 03, 2006

    No one should have to live in this fucking swamp during august.

    And don't tell me about how the british gave their diplomats hardship pay in 1878 because of the heat. Heard it 7,987,231 times. No, it doesn't add any charm to this dump. It just means it's hot as hell.

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  30. Rusty, this post is full of crap. One of your examples of how bad DC drivers are is actually referencing Maryland drivers.
    I think what's happening here is you are comparing your more recent experiences in a (pseudo) big city to your romanticized upbringing in a suburban environment. I've got news for you. No matter what big city you had moved to, many drivers would not be giving the respect to pedestrians that they should. What a shock! Drivers in Philly and NYC are way worse (as noted before), but I've found drivers in Kansas City and Dallas to be just as bad.
    Message: get over it.

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  31. No, I don't agree. It ain't gotta be like that. Courtesy is contagiious

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  32. http://www.nbc10.com/news/9621055/detail.html

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  33. How about a moratorium on narcissistic posts having to do with the 9:30 club, ticket scalpers & bands you like? Enough already.

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  34. I like the narcisism (more on personal observations is great; who the hell cares what you clowns think about national politics?)....

    But enough about the 9:30 club already. Don't they let teenagers in there? Lame.

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  35. Rusty,

    Why can't you complain without lying? DC is no worse than any other big city. You could never tell me NYC or Boston drivers are better than DC drivers. That's complete crap. Plus, Boston people are assholes. Yeah, DC people are assholes, but Boston wins.

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  36. To everyone complaining that this post refers to Maryland and not DC drivers:

    Of COURSE it's referring to Maryland drivers. The vast majority of people who actually live in DC don't drive and/or can't afford cars. The asshole drivers you encounter are, by and large, commuters and cabbies.

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  37. I hate people who cross when the light is green. They deserve to be hot and so did those people who ride things called bicycles.

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  38. Any fare hike happen? how about cab drivers?

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