If you have been reading Pamela’s Punch for the past few years, you may have picked up that I got rid of my car about 3 1/2 years ago and have been a Metro-riding, taxi-taking, pedestrian.Â When it’s nice out, I love to walk.Â It opens my mind, allows me time to process the normal headaches of the day, and I get a fresh perspective.Â Usually, I pay attention to the homes, the establishments, the little hidden parks with fountains, the wild and planted flowers, the cracks on the sidewalk, the people who like me are strolling, walking, running, or just sitting with coffee taking it all in.Â Using your own two feet is not only healthy for your body, it is for your mind too. That is, unless you are on a Mission to be Maimed.
Yes. You know these people. They are the ones who give we pedestrians a bad name.Â Whether I’m borrowing my boyfriend’s or a friend’s vehicle in the driver’s seat or if I’m a passenger, I duly note the number of times PEOPLE DO NOT LOOK AND JUST WALK.Â It is beyond my comprehension how dumb, careless, clueless, or insane these people are. And I am a pedestrian, so I’m speaking of my own people!Â What the hell is wrong with you?
Here are some thoughts for anyone who dares to walk instead of drive.Â Take into strong consideration, for all of our sakes.
1) When did we become myopic?Â Have we forgotten that there is a left and a right?Â And that by using our heads which house our eyeballs which allow us to see (vehicles), we can prevent accidents, our own broken bones and even, gasp! our own death.Â So, #1. STOP on the curb.Â #2. CHECK the lights. They are there for a reason. I know they can be confusing, I mean Green, Red, Yellow, So SO confusing!Â What can they possibly mean? Well, grasshoppers, Green means GO for cars, so if you are going in the same direction AND you see the White Walking figure, that’s a GO. If you see Green for GO and yet, a red hand, don’t freaking start walking.Â You see, there’s a reason why you aren’t supposed to go.Â It probably denotes a turning signal or something. By going, you risk cars getting into accidents and your own well-being.Â And p.s. DON’T FLIP OFF THE DRIVER AND YELL AT THEM NOR HIT HIS CAR. You screwed up. You are the idiot.
2) After you look left and right and you feel it’s safe, just be aware that there are drivers that are just as moronic as you were before you started stopping and looking (bus drivers, cab drivers, people who are texting, people who don’t care, people who are aggressive, people who are in a hurry, people who are pissed off at stupid peds) so make sure you keep an eye out for them. They drive early, late and often.
3) If you see the red hand blinking, you are technically supposed to not go. If you decide you are in control and can make it across, then MAKE IT ACROSS FAST. Don’t dilly dally.Â If you have 5 inch heels, or are carrying 10 grocery bags and are pushing a stroller, pause and stop.Â Breaking your ankle, breaking the week’s groceries and breaking your child’s body = not worth the extra 3 minutes you are waiting.
4) Just because you are in a family pack complete with 3 generations doesn’t mean you are safe. This is one time safety in numbers doesn’t apply. In fact, you are risking more lives AND you know you get your panties in a bunch if half of you makes it across and the other half doesn’t.Â Just freaking wait.Â And go across when the light says to go and make it quick.
5) Jaywalking is illegal. Stop doing it. I know M Street is long. I’m sorry, I didn’t design the blocks, but I do know you really are taking a risk by walking in the middle of it and stopping on the yellow lines.Â If you don’t care if your toes are run over or if you are road kill, or a hood ornament, then by all means, have fun, Frogger.
6) When you are getting let out of a car, ask your driver if you can please get out near the sidewalk close to your destination, not in the center lane of a busy street on which you must now stop traffic, so you can cross it.Â Why? Are you POTUS? No, you are not.Â Even the Office of the President and the Secret Service have the decency to block roads.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.Â I am fully aware I am in no way the perfect pedestrian. I have done my fair share of jaywalking, not paying attention, even doing the big no-no’s.Â However, since I’ve been a witness to too many idiotic moves in the past few weeks, I am pledging to change my ways and hope you do too. Because about 10 people almost walked straight into a Range Rover I was driving recently and I really don’t feel like having that on my conscience.
Pamela Lynne Sorensen is the founder of Pamela’s Punch, a leading source of information for the “who, what, when, and where” of Washington, DC’s elite social, professional, and philanthropic scene, which she founded in November of 2006. In 2012 she launched Pacific Punch, based in Los Angeles. Pamela comes from an extensive background in sales and business development from a variety of industries, has been involved with charities and fundraising for a number of years and holds several Board and leadership positions. She currently resides in Arlington, Virginia and when she’s not out on the town, she’s reading or writing while sipping fine wine, or traveling the country and the world ISO adventures, beauty, fun, food, style, libations, music, and the good life. Follow her on Twitter at @pamelaspunch.