Is there anything lamer than referencing a nineties MTV reality franchise in a title? The answer is yes. You people don’t know how to drive, walk, or bike in this town. Grab your books and load the bus. The Comoian’s about to take you to traffic school…
To those behind the wheel…
I risk my life every day sharing the roads with you people. Driving the streets and highways of Mid-Missouri is a risk akin to wrestling sharks and eating shards of glass. And not only do you show blatant disregard for those who share the roads with you, but you show no respect for the laws of said roads.
First of all, a yellow light does not mean speed up. I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen a light turn green and just as I’m about to go, three or more cars zoom by. I guess it’s a good thing the city put up those cameras to catch those running red lights, because IT DETERS NOTHING! Red means stop. Green means go. Yellow means that you ought to slow down before you kill someone!
Second, green means go. I have been stuck behind too many of you waiting at a green light for the red light-runners to pass. If we all go right as the light turns green, we’ll eventually block one of these [redacted] who insist on running red lights. Sure, a few lives will be lost, but it’s a valuable sacrifice.
OK. Once you have the the traffic light rules down, you should know that the bike lanes are not there for your parking convenience. The city for whatever reason has decided that West Blvd. needed more lanes. Now there are north and south bike lanes as well as a parking lane on the southbound side. Northbound drivers, that bike lane on your side is not there for you to park. You never parked on that side of West before. Now, the only thing you do is block bicyclists (I’ll get to you in a minute) from using their own lane. The next time I hit a bicyclist because you were too lazy to park on the other side of the street, I will promptly hit you up for some damages…or just clip your car. Besides, there are plenty of parking spaces downtown the city can’t possibly pay for. Use those.
Speaking of places you should not drive, stop for pedestrians, especially those in crosswalks. The worst place in town where drivers consistently ignore signs of a crosswalk in hopes of playing out their sick Grand Theft Auto fantasies, is the crosswalk between the Hitt Street parking garage and First Presbyterian. That crosswalk sign means that you should be cognizant of small children, dogs, and old people going to an arthouse film at Ragtag. Church goers, you can hit them. I guess they don’t call it Hitt Street for nothing. Bu-dum-bum.
One last thing… Stadium Drive is not a highway, particularly between West Broadway and campus. The speed limit is 50 mph, not 60, and surely not 70. Where does one need to get so badly in Columbia that requires breakneck speeds that will surely save you one or two minutes?
To those on two wheels…
Now, that I’ve told drivers to refrain from parking in your lanes, you should consider using them. No more do you need to ride 2-3 deep so as to take up space and slow the rest of us down in the process. The city, much to the chagrin of those who hate to exercise and hate the environment, gave you those lanes to give you a somewhat safe space to pedal away. Use them!
Hey, we share the road, right? Well, then maybe you should consider following the rules of said road. You see that stop sign at the corner? You have to stop there like everyone else. Turn signals? Yep, no matter how [redacted] you feel, use those as well. We can’t possibly avoid hitting you if you don’t follow the same rules we all have to follow.
And since you’re on the streets, stay there. The sidewalk is not your personal speedway or alternate route for avoiding traffic and/or traffic laws. There are people walking there. That’s why they call it a “sidewalk” and not “your own personal bicycle derby range and pedestrian chute.” Stay off my sidewalks and you’ll get the respect you deserve on the streets.
Finally, to those who walk or run…
All I have for you is to actually walk in crosswalks. Of course, if the [redacted] I mentioned above would just stop once in a while, you might. Still, the crosswalk is there for you to use so that I don’t hit you. And while you’re at it, go when the little white man walks on the sign facing you or at least after you’ve looked both ways, taking a small break from Tweeting that you just ate four hotdogs in one sitting or whatever people Tweet these days.
Nowhere is this worse than on campus. Scores of backwards hats and those god-awful Uggs cross my path without a care in the world, especially for their own lives as large machines that can crush them attempt roll through the land granted University of Missouri. Just look up for once! You might see the world that you’re supposed to be learning about between frat parties and shots of tequila to see that you share the street with others.
There. You’ve all been warned. When you see my bright yellow Hummer come down the streets, be prepared to get out of my way or follow the rules I’ve outlined above. Otherwise, travel CoMo at your own risk.