Coffee and a quickstep: My near-miss as a pedestrian in an Ann Arbor crosswalk
My life flashed before my eyes. And I almost spilled my coffee.
I was walking along, enjoying every sip-step-sip of my Starbucks Raspberry White Mocha and the beautiful sunshine before returning to work, when my daydreams were interrupted by an awkward quickstep with a car.
I was about two feet in the roadway when the driver of the car began inching slowly forward and I was forced to quick-quick-slow, quick-quick-slow sideways out of the vehicle’s turn path.
From Access Hollywood
But the driver was too busy looking north down South Fourth Avenue to notice little ol’ me.
By the time we finally, albeit briefly, locked stares, I was resting on the hood of her car with my left tippy-toe on the pavement (“sloppy” would be Len Goodman’s critique).
Our expressions, the driver’s and mine, mirrored one another: She was as shocked to see me as I was to be sitting on her car.
I gave a wobbly, incredulous “ta-da!” type gesture and motioned to the pedestrian crossing sign, which clearly stated that I was not so lost in my daydreams that I should not have been in the crosswalk.
Having moved to Ann Arbor only about a month ago, I previously thought the city’s two-legged commuters were a bit on the whiny side.
Near-death experiences walking to work? Pssch. Those people were obviously not obeying the crosswalks! But a series of events has since changed my mind.
First, two men in wheelchairs have been hit since I joined AnnArbor.com. (If we won’t stop for them, whom will we stop for?) Second, I was nearly run down by a bicyclist last week in a similar scenario at South Fifth Avenue and East Liberty Street, when the cyclist blew through a stop sign while the cars around him obeyed it. And now today’s incident.
In Grand Rapids, the bicyclist is fighting for his right to share the road. In Ann Arbor, apparently, the coffee-sipping, minding-my-own-business pedestrian must take a stand.
Do you have a near-death experience in a crosswalk you’d like to share?