"It never gets any easier. You just go faster." ---Greg Lemond
"Don't buy upgrades. Ride up grades." --- Eddy Merckx
"You drive like shit." ---The Car Whisperer


Thursday hate

Baristas with no sense of humor.

Erik and I stopped by the Starbucks at Central and Devon for a rare mid-commute espresso. Standing at the counter, Erik tried his “is it Free-coffee-for-cyclists day?” angle out the wearers-of-the-green-apron, but the girl at the register looked at him as though he’d asked for a stray cat corn dog or if she liked it in the back door. I think she actually thought he was serious, from the way she looked at the other guy, making coffee. You are serving caffeine to red-eyed grumpy people before 7am – crack a smile, at least.


Shortly after, while changing Erik’s tire on the sidewalk just outside, a big white SUV pulled up too fast to the curb and hit a big puddle of standing water, splashing both of us and a little old lady with drawn-in eyebrows. The driver literally waited until we rolled away to get out, avoiding the inevitable confrontation; although she was another little old lady wearing a fur coat, so that wouldn’t have been very sporting.


Jesus CHRIST, people. Even if it’s a green light, it is illegal to proceed into the intersection if traffic isn’t moving.

Because then the light turns red, and the people who’ve been waiting patiently for their green are now blocked by your cell-phone-using-while-driving, inconsiderate ass. This is called a “gridlock law.” Last night coming south on Elston, the drivers in the west bound lane of Irving Park were just driving brainlessly into the intersection causing each set of cars waiting at the light to sit through at least two cycles. Once the honking started, the offending assholes would just raise their hands as if to say, “What can I do?” I swear to God, so few people are capable of having a single, proactive thought it’s a wonder they can even operate a car without killing themselves at all. I am calling my alderman’s office today about that intersection, but there has got to be a better way to enforce this law, including some creative, science-fiction-y Mr. Gadget-type robot arms wielding Mickey Mouse gloves with shotguns and explosives, and trap doors in the middle of the intersection.


There are way too many hyphens in this post.


Duncan Watson said...

"Blocking the Box" in NYC is a large ticket. I live in Seattle now, but the ticket when I lived there was over $200. They would enforce it by stationing cops at the light, who would just walk over to the offending vehicles and ticket them. Most of those cops were on OT and only got paid if they wrote x tickets/hour.

I get really pissed when people do this out here. It is just bullshit.

allenpg said...

I was at the intersection last night on Elston coming back from ORD and I wanted to get out of my car and push the morons on Irving Park out of the way. Ironically, there were copy just a couple of blocks away and have seen them ticket folks for blocking intersections. I can't remember if this is a red light camera intersection or not.

The Car Whisperer said...

No cameras. I long for them. The east bound traffic in the early AM runs reds a good 2 seconds after Monticello is green. This intersection is probably one of the worst I've seen for blocking the box.

A roundabout would make so much more sense.