When you live in an area like mine, you have to have a certain tolerance for wild life in the road. Early morning or late evening it is not all that uncommon to see black-tailed deer out for a stroll. We are near enough to several parks that raccoons and possums are not a rarity. I don’t mind the animals, they are doing what animals so – out, about, seeking food, shelter or companionship.
The two legged kind, on the other hand, I have little tolerance for. This is Berkeley where, apparently people firmly believe they are entitled. This is a city. There are actually sidewalks. Many of them in my neighborhood have actually been replaced over the last five years. During daylight hours, no one should have any problems seeing the sidewalk.
So please explain to me the reason, other than total obliviousness, why all these people think it is perfectly fine to walk, jog, or run in the middle of the road? The speed limits here are not high, which gives any of us who happen to be driving, enough time to avoid the idiots. But why do they think that it is ok to run in the road.
If it was only an early morning problem, I might be able to understand it. All the emphasis on energy savings means that we have few street lights. Seeing your footing in the middle of the block might prove a bit more challenging. But if you are going to be out in the road at 0Dark30, please, please, please leave your fashion worries at home. There is absolutely nothing wrong with reflective orange, yellow, or neon green. In fact, it might just save your life. I am not driving all that fast, I know better. But nothing makes me more concerned that a jogger happily wearing black, complete with ball cap and headphones trotting down the middle of the street totally oblivious to anything around him. And yes, I used the pronoun him deliberately. The ratio of men:women seems to be about 5:1.
I can accept the bikers in the road. At least those that actually act like they are driving a vehicle and obeying the road signs. But there are a number of them as well that seem to think that lights, helmets and rules are not relevant to them happily peddling down the road.
And I most definitely think it is a Berkeley issue. Picking Angel up from work this afternoon, we detoured down Telegraph toward Oakland to drop off one of his co-workers. There were pedestrians. They were all on the sidewalk or crossing at corners. There were a few individuals on bike. As we drove closer to Berkeley, I could almost see the Oakland/Berkeley border. The closer we were toward campus, the more idiots in the rood.
And, no, it is not just students. Most of those I take pains to avoid are beyond even the age of graduate students. Nope, entitled “adults” is what most of them are. In fact, the closer we drove toward home, the more walkers, bikers, and dog walkers there were. Only the dog walkers seemed to stay out of the road. I am trying to be glad that plenty of people are trying to get some exercise while actually observing more than a minimum of social distancing.
But please, not down the center of the road. Not on foot. And, for that matter, if you are wobbling up our massive hill on a bicycle, you might just want to ride on the side like most others, or walk your bike up the sidewalk.