Saturday, January 28, 2012

Crosswalk boulevardiers

So, for those who don't reside in California and aren't familiar with our traffic laws, and those who live in California who aren't familiar with our traffic laws, pedestrians in a cross walk have the right of way to everything else.  Interestingly bicyclists who are walking their bike in the cross walk are pedestrians and are protected game.  If the cyclist is on the bike in a crosswalk and gets hit by a car; it is no longer fault of the driver but the cyclist.  I know two cyclists this has happened to, so you can take my word on this.  of course the Missus and I have had to run for our lives multiple times when in a cross walk and the oncoming driver who is texting and flossing his teeth simultaneously doesn't see us and barrels through the cross walk.  The Missus was even bumped once in a crosswalk by a car. 

The point of this essay is to pose a question:  is there an obligation on the part of a pedestrian, when in the crosswalk, to step out smartly (if they are completely ambulatory of course), head up, shoulders back, legs moving briskly to propel the pedestrian to the far side, thus preserving his/her own body intact and to minimize the delay for the always impatient motorists or once in the crosswalk, do you own that piece of roadway and treat it as such, to be enjoyed at your leisure?    I see many wannbe boulevardiers in our crosswalks.  The sophisticated boulevardier of Paris strolled the sidewalks, taking in the scenery, seeing and being seen.   An accomplished boulevardier was well dressed and had a certain casual stroll that didn't cover much ground but caused him to look elegant and to draw attention.  Our boulevardiers have mostly skipped the well dressed part.  In  some cases they are hardly dressed as their trousers seem to have trouble staying around their waist and are slipping down their buttocks.  Sometimes the nouveau boulevardier is listing to music, texting, checking an iPad, or yakking on a phone.  The one thing they have in common is the casual, sometimes defiant stroll through the cross walk as traffic piles up and the crosswalk signal counts down to 1.

I think I'll post a poll to get the measure of the readers of the blog.  In the meantime, if you feel that you are a nouveau boulevardier and have the duty to stroll through the crosswalk like Maurice  Chevalier walking down the sidewalk of Paris signing 'Thank Heaven for Little Girls" (which has always seemed pedophilic to me- the song that is) can you at least wear a top hat and a nice walking out suit?  Singing in a French accent while doing so will help to keep us waiting motorists entertained.


  1. You should also poll people to find out if it is ok to honk at the car who is obeying the law and waiting for the person to cross, thus holding up traffic. Which is more important? Getting where you are going and damn the traffic laws, or obeying the laws and yielding to a person in the crosswalk?

  2. Hilarious as usual, Dad. And if I came across a man in Paris (or anywhere) singing that song, you better believe I'd be crossing (quickly!) to the other side of the street.