In my anguished Los Angeles experience, I’ve learned that pedestrians fall under two categories when they’re crossing a major boulevard at a stoplight — purposeful speedwalkers and pudgy shufflers. I was watching both kinds this morning at the corner of Santa Monica and La Cienega Blvds…slowly shaking my head, exhaling, going “tsk-tsk.”
Let’s herd the purposeful pedestrians under a general Category A. We’re talking New Yorkers at heart…people like myself who understand that roads are primarily about cars (just as ancient Romans understood that horse-drawn chariots ruled on the Appian Way) and that the rights of pedestrians are somewhat important but not as important as those of four-wheeled vehicles…people who therefore walk briskly in order to increase the odds that they’ll reach the opposite curb before the light turns green, and who walk faster and sometimes even jog when they see the yellow warning light.
Let’s call the pudgies Category B types…roundish pokey folk who saunter across boulevards at their own pace, and wouldn’t dream of hustling along if the light turns green and they’re blocking traffic…their basic attitude is “nobody pushes me around…I’ll get to other side of the boulevard at my own speed, and if that means certain cars will have to wait then so be it. And if you don’t like it, tough.”