I feel like the world needs a
gentle, friendly, firm, harsh (because too many people are stupid and just be body slammed into a wall of canned vegetables) reminder about the rules of the road. In this rant, “road” refers to traffic roads, parking lots, shopping aisles, stairs and elevators.
Elevators: Also known as one of the most inexplicably difficult traffic jams, especially at hospitals, hotels and parking garages.
- Exit first. Always allow the people on the elevator to exit before you enter.
- Hold the door open if you are inside the elevator. Some people move slowly, give them time. Please don’t hold the door with your arm. There’s a button for a reason.
- Move to the back of the elevator when you enter. No one should have to squeeze by you as you guard dog the door.
- Offer to press the button to the correct floor if you are standing near the control panel.
- Pay attention to the floors. It is extremely annoying to have someone walk out of the elevator, only to catch it again at the last second because they got off on the wrong floor.
Stairs/Escalator: One would think this would be simple but it is not.
- Stay to the right. Always, always, always stay to the right.
- On escalators, you can pass people on the left. Cities with excellent public transportation understand this best as if you block the left hand side of an escalator, you will be shoved out of the way without an apology.
Parking Lots & Parking Garages: Common courtesy people. It’s not supposed to be this difficult.
- Go the speed limit (usually 10-15 mph). You are parking or leaving. Do not rush through the lot like it’s a racetrack.
- If you are in a large SUV or truck, accept that you will not be fitting into a compact space. Just keep going to the next level of the garage until there’s enough space to pull in.
- Look before you reverse. At least 3 times.
- If you choose to cut through parking lot aisles, remember that you don’t have the right of way. Look, I do this all the time so I won’t judge you for it. But if someone is in the legal lane and you’re cutting, you don’t have the right of way. Stop and look first.
- Stop for the people in the store crosswalk. If you don’t like waiting, park on the edges of the lot or go out the back way. There’s a reason Costco won’t even let you drive through the crosswalk.
- When backing out as a driver, look first. If you see people walking towards you, wait for them to pass. If you are walking and a car is starting to back out, stop and let them. Don’t make a big effort to walk around. It wastes more time and if I’m the one in the car, I will run you down.
Shopping Aisles: Yes, there are rules to follow here. I would suggest drugging your children and not being a screaming moron to start.
- Stay on the right. Again, this is a pretty simple rule. In fact, it pretty much applies to all forms of travel in the US.
- When you need to grab an item on the left of the aisle, stop your buggy on the right and reach over to get the appropriate item. This allows you to move out of someone’s way quickly (if you’re comparing products) and not disrupt the flow of traffic.
- Do not turn your buggy so it blocks the entire aisle. You are obnoxious and rude and yes I will shove your basket out of the way even if a small child is sitting in it.
- You do not have the right of way when pulling out of an aisle. Side aisles are like parking lanes, you can move steadily but look both ways before pulling into the main traffic aisle. This is not supposed to be a new concept.
- If you are debating which brand or size to buy and someone is waiting for the same product, allow them to grab it off the shelf instead of standing in the way for 5 minutes like an asshat.
- Take a look around when you step up to the deli or bakery counter. Are you really next or are there six people ahead of you?
- In a double lane checkstand, your shopping cart should be at the end of the lane to bag groceries, not on the side where other customers can’t get by. This is why signs were made to tell you where to put your cart. They are not suggestions.
- While not so much a road rule, stay off your cellphone with the cashier. No one wants to hear your conversation and she/he is busy. Show them a modicum of respect by hanging up until you have finished checking out. Also, try smiling and asking them how their day is going.
Main Street: Wherein I address cars, bikers and pedestrians. Sharing is caring but don’t be a dumbass.
- Dear pedestrians and bikers, yes, as a matter of fact you do have the right of way in a neighborhood crosswalk, regardless of the traffic signals. But please, take a beat and look both ways first. If a car doesn’t have a stop sign, the driver is going to drive straight through, not stop and look for you. Quit assuming we are concerned about your safety and use common sense.
- On that note, drivers, if you see someone looking to cross the road up ahead (and they are in a crosswalk) you are required, by law, to stop for them.
- Anyone who might live in my town should note that I will (and do) always stop for you if you use a crosswalk. If you try to dash across the street when a crosswalk is 10 damn feet away, I will speed up to earn my 15 points for hitting you. Because you are a jackass.
- Pedestrians: The sidewalk exists for a reason. That reason is you. So use it.
- Bikers: Similarly, the bike lane exists for a reason. If you are not going the speed of the cars, you should not be in a car lane but in the bike lane. Do not pedal at 20 mph in front of me on a 35 mph street. I will assume you want to play bumper cars. Because again, you are a jackass.
- Bikers again: There are these things called hand signals. They allow you to inform the cars behind you that you are turning or stopping so that you do not get run over.
- Drivers: If a biker uses a hand signal, you are supposed to observe it. Otherwise you are a jackass.
If you noticed there is a theme here of me calling people jackasses, you are probably too smart to be reading this rant.
- Bikers: Please wear brightly colored clothes and use a light on your bike if riding at night. Also, helmets are your friend. Wear them. Some of you should probably wear a helmet all the time. Everyday helmets.
- Pedestrians: Follow the walk on the right rule. This allows bikers to call out “on your left” and pass you. Or you can get tire treads on your back and be identifiable as a jackass.
- Drivers: Speed bumps are there to insure you are driving the speed limit. You do not need to crawl over them at 3 mph.
- Drivers: Blinkers are your friend. As is the gas pedal. Use them.
- Dear drivers, there’s a thing called a green light. You go through the intersection when the light is green. This is not a time to touch up your mascara, read a magazine or try to master hooking up your bluetooth.
In summation, be courteous, observe the rules of the road and be prepared to eat gravel if you act like a jackass.