D. All of the above

Which of the following types of people are the worst?

The person on the crowded train who…

A. Puts their bag on the seat next to them?

B. Puts their coffee cup on the seat next to them?

C. Puts their feet on the seat across from them?

More importantly, what obvious breaches of decency and social etiquette do you see people flout on a regular basis in seemingly inexplicable ways?

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113 thoughts on “D. All of the above

      • I now reason that the best parking spot at the grocer is not the one nearest the entrance but one a spot or two away from the cart corral. You don’t want to be right next to it because that outs you at risk for a wayward cart. A spot or two away means you can nab one on the way in (thus avoiding getting to the door to find none available) and you can quickly ditch it when done. Yes, a longer trek across the lot isn’t ideal, but itnis far better than finishing your shopping and loading your cart and realizing the corral is two rows over and ten spots up. Which is probably why so many scofflaws violate this rule to begin with.

        And all that becomes triple important when toting wee ones.

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    • I must truly be a monster, for I have done all of the above at various times on the Metrolink.

      Well, let me clarify on C. I’ve never put my feet up on other seats in a manner that leaves my legs across the main aisle. There are sometimes four-top booths with a table in the middle. If I am fortunate enough to be on a not-crowded train and more fortunate yet to have boarded in time to claim the booth, I have been known to put my feet up on the seat across from mine, under the table.

      And let me clarify on B. If I don’t have a seat with a table, but there is an empty seat next to me, I’ll put my food/beverage on that seat for a few moments while I futz around with other stuff. Trying as best I can to not allow an open liquid container to spill.

      And let me clarify on A. A lawyer’s trial box (the next step up from a briefcase) is big and heavy. Full of binders and computers and paperwork. Like it’s been made out of solid wood. And I’m deathly afraid of losing it. And I’m working while I’m on the train, so I’m in and out of the thing, rooting around for something, rather a lot. Which is why I like the table when I can get it. Part of the reason I use the train is specifically so I can work while I commute.

      And in all cases, I move if someone else needs the seat, and I don’t wait to be asked, and smile at the stranger to let them know I don’t mind or consider it an imposition.

      But still, yes, I am a monster by this calculus.

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  1. Turn Signals.
    I don’t care what lane you’re in. I’m walking — if you don’t put the damn turn signal on, I think you’re going straight.

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    • You’re a pedestrian and you’ve survived to what age with that attitude?

      Many years ago, when my father was a department head at a medium-sized insurance company, the actuaries noticed that half of motorcycle accident claims involved riders with less than six months experience, and 80% riders with less than a year. The company funded a small study with psychologists interviewing riders with varying amounts of experience to see if there was something that could be taught quickly to new riders (the cheapest claim is the one you never have to pay). I was a rider at the time, and agreed completely with the final report’s summary, which was basically: “Experienced riders are the most paranoid group we’ve ever interviewed. By the time they’ve been riding a year, when they get on the motorcycle they believe that everyone on the road is going to try to hit them.”

      I’ve tried to carry that attitude over into my bicycle and pedestrian time, when I firmly believe that turn signals, or lack thereof, are just another way of tricking me into being an easier target.

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      • I know someone who was waved across by a guy (while he was on a normal bike), and then the car proceeded to floor it when my friend was directly in front of the car.

        I am not trained in cartwheeling over cars, so my resources are relatively limited. (I do know a guy who’s had stunt training, and did actually hurt a car more than himself in a 7mph collision with an employee of his (who didn’t realize that he had sent a car hurtling at his incognito employer))

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      • Experience breeds paranoia. It takes a couple of close calls or solid hits to gain that experience. Which is why the two bits of advice my father gave me hold true.

        There are riders who have fallen, and there are riders who are gonna.

        and

        There are old riders, and there are bold riders, but there are very, very few old, bold riders.

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        • One of my motorcycle safety instructors (required class for getting a base permit for a motorcycle) kept a pouch of 3/8″ to 1/2″ ball bearings in his riding coat for whenever a person started tailgating him. Give it a little unobtrusive lob over the shoulder and it’ll star a windshield very nicely.

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            • I’d be curious as to how many dash cams would capture a fast moving ball bearing well enough to distinguish it from a rock kicked up by a passing truck. Unless the rider did something very obvious to indicate they tossed the ball, a driver would just assume it was a rock.

              Also, lets remember that tailgating a motorcycle is exceptionally dangerous for the rider, as a motorcycle (even the big touring ones) can stop in a fraction of the distance a car can. So if we are going to get video of riders damaging cars, let’s also give the car a citation for following too close.

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              • “I’d be curious as to how many dash cams would capture a fast moving ball bearing well enough to distinguish it from a rock kicked up by a passing truck.”

                What truck? There’s no truck in the dash-cam footage. There is, however, a bike, with a rider who is clearly seen reaching into a pocket and shaking his hand the moment before the windshield shatters.

                “if we are going to get video of riders damaging cars, let’s also give the car a citation for following too close.”

                Yeah, citations aren’t going to stop you getting your vertebrae shattered when the guy whose windshield you smashed runs you into a wall.

                Hey I got an idea, how about you just admit that throwing bolts at cars instead of getting out of the way is red-meat macho bullshit and we end this thread?

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                • Hey I got an idea, how about you just admit that throwing bolts at cars instead of getting out of the way is red-meat macho bullshit and we end this thread?

                  Dial it back a bit, DD. Nowhere in this thread did I suggest it was a good idea. Nor did I suggest it was some kind of macho thing* (sometimes traffic is heavy enough you can’t get out of the way all that easily or safely, that doesn’t make the danger of tailgating any less, and people can be seriously thick about following distances). I was replying to Joe’s comment about Death Race 2000.

                  *The only riders I know who would take confrontation over avoidance probably have gang tattoos and carry guns.

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      • I wonder how that compares to the base rate – that is, 80% of riders getting in accidents may have less than a year of experience, but what is the percentage of riders not getting in accidents, who have over vs. under a year’s experience?

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        • I trained new truck drivers for a while. You would think that the newbies would be the most dangerous but, in actuality, it’s the guys with 5 or 6 years experience that have the most accidents. The new guys are still paranoid horsing a big ass truck around thus very careful. After a few years though you get comfortable with the equipment and get a sort of “I got this” attitude and you start getting sloppy.

          Experience can be a double edged sword.

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  2. On the bus, I will regularly insist that someone who has placed a bag in a seat move it so that I can sit, even if there are other seats open. They always do, of course.

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    • “Okay, there’s plenty of seats out there but this schizophrenic is making a huge thing about this particular one? Sure I’ll move my shit, because if I don’t, that’s the kind of story that ends with me being shot through the head because the guy did what his Rice Krispies were telling him to.”

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        • Exactly.

          A few weeks ago, I repeatedly rode a mass transit train. (MARTA) With a bag small enough to put in my lap, but big enough I didn’t particularly want in my lap.

          The rules are very simple. When someone gets on:

          1) If there are enough completely open pairs of seats for each people to get their own two seats, you don’t have to do anything. If they can sit by themselves in their own pair of seats, you don’t have to offer them a seat.

          2) If there are not…you move your bag so they can sit there. It doesn’t matter that there are enough open single seats that they could sit in those. You don’t magically get two seats just because you have a bag. Everyone gets an equal chance of having to sit next to someone, bag or no bag. (The only exceptions is when your bag is large enough that it actually is a problem to carry it in your lap, or you are the next stop and don’t want people to have to immediately move to let you out.)

          3) Even if you *don’t* follow #2, you *always* move your bag if there are not enough seats for the amount of people. People get priority over bags…and you paid for *one* seat. (If you are the next stop…say that, stand up, let them take the outside seat, and sit next to them.)

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          • Oh, and there are a lot of people that will legitimately completely zone out on the trip. They put on headphones and close their eyes and don’t pay any attention to the world around them. (Presumably they are counting stops in their head, or can hear the announcers.)

            I get it. If I were to take the trip every day instead of a few times a year, I’d probably stop paying attention.

            But you don’t get to do that when you are *being allowed* to use two seats by having your bag in one. You want to zone out, you do it contained in *the seat you paid for*, and no one has the right to mess with you. But you don’t get to use a seat you haven’t paid for that no one is using at the time, and then be hard to contact when someone *does* need to use it. (And also you can’t do that in one of the ‘must move for handicapped people’ seats either.)

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            • Right. I’ll put my bag down on a seat, usually unthinkingly, on a relatively empty bus. Once all the seats have at least one person in them, though, it’s time to pick up the bag. Some people are obviously oblivious, and they may just be not good and not awful. Many people know exactly what they’re doing, though.

              Often on buses here, people will sit on the aisle seat, with a bag on the window seat (forward-facing bus seats are 2-person seats), which is just doubly awful. I can understand sitting in the aisle if you’re about to get up (and asking anyone who sits next to you to take the window), but add the bag and you’re just a jerk.

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              • Sitting on the aisle seat with a bag on the window seat?
                I… don’t even. And I’ve sometimes been sleepy enough to try to sleep on two seats (to be fair, nobody wants me crashing into them if I try to sleep in one) — the perils of going multiple days without sleep.

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                • I think the ‘bag on the window seat’ is a way to try to avoid theft, but obviously a much easier way is to wrap the strap around your arm.

                  But even that is a bit paranoid anyway. There’s only about a five second window for grab-and-dash theft on a train anyway, because they have to be able to get off without you being able to. That’s pretty hard timing to hit, too.

                  And while other people trying to capture the guy is probably expecting too much, I suspect that at least one person would have the presence of mind to *hold the door* so the train couldn’t leave before you could get out…and even if they don’t, half the time there’s some idiot in some door somewhere, and all the doors bounce back open *anyway*. Way to have your theft ruined because someone four cars down had a corner of their luggage in the door.

                  At which point, the thief will have to run through a *manned* security turnstile to leave, and is utterly screwed if some guy is chasing him yelling about a stolen bag.

                  I wonder if those sort of thefts even *happen* on trains. Muggings, sure, on almost empty trains, where the mugger can get off and threaten the person to remain on…but grab and dash on the train itself? Probably not…the environment just doesn’t have enough exits.

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              • Yea, the forgetful people suck but will usually self-correct when they come to. Others very purposefully situate themselves to maximize the room they consider theirs. And this is on the commuter rale, which actually has human-sized seats. You aren’t a special snowflake… You don’t deserve a whole row.

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              • Right. I’ll put my bag down on a seat, usually unthinkingly, on a relatively empty bus. Once all the seats have at least one person in them, though, it’s time to pick up the bag.

                Well, or just pick it up at every stop and after put it back down in the empty seat if no one choose to sit there.

                But I was talking about a train, where there are a lot less stops, and people tend to get entirely seated before the train moves. On a bus, picking it up and putting it back after everyone has sat down, at every bus stop, would be a lot of work.

                Many people know exactly what they’re doing, though.

                Especially since, as they aren’t paying attention, they are people who *clearly* ride the train a lot.

                I will forgive newbies to mass transit for not thinking of it, but someone who get on, puts their bag next to them, instantly puts on headphone, and closes his eyes, and then twenty minutes later, thirty seconds before their stop, appears to wake up, puts their headphones back in the bag, and leaves, is not a newbie, and should know the rules about bags.

                There are no inattentive mass transit newbies. Not completely knowing what you’re doing automatically translates into having to pay attention.

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              • Often on buses here, people will sit on the aisle seat, with a bag on the window seat (forward-facing bus seats are 2-person seats), which is just doubly awful. I can understand sitting in the aisle if you’re about to get up (and asking anyone who sits next to you to take the window), but add the bag and you’re just a jerk.

                I represent a choir. Would you mind being our guest preacher?

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        • “I’m cool with either, particularly since I’m thinking they’re awful human beings and therefore don’t care what they think about me.”

          Interesting. Tell me more about how it’s OK to be an utter shit to someone just because you don’t care about them. (Bonus points for explaining how it’s even cooler to do this directly to someone’s face, in real life.)

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  3. The only time that i deliberately use a second seat is when I have milk in the bag (the seat is a lot colder than I am…). I’d put it on the floor, but then it’s hard to stop people from accidentally kicking it.

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  4. All…cause it’s on a train….loosers. :p

    People who don’t know how to merge. As the law says in my state: “The “yield” sign means exactly that, you must yield the right of way to the through traffic and stop if necessary. The through traffic is not required to yield to any entering traffic.” I bolded that part. Putting your blinker on does not give you magic rights to moving into the space I am occupying on the road.

    This is followed close by “I’ll merge by speeding up and wedging my suv into a 1.5 car length space in from of you because I can’t be bothered to slow down and merge into the 1 mile space behind you.”

    And then there’s “I’m so important I have to talk/text on my phone and not pay attention to my speed, the light being green, stay in my own lane.

    Dumbasses. And they all have a “choose civility” bumper sticker on their bumper.

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      • I should have added that. People that go to the end of the merge lane and stop….leaving them with no where to speed up to highways speed, with the blinker on….again the concept of “merge” eludes them.

        Hopefully your stop signs are at the start of the merge lane not the end. I’ve seen those in euroland.

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        • I learned about highway driving through a Disneyland program with Goofy, Freewayphobia. It taught me all I ever needed to know about ramping in, ramping out, switching lanes….

          Did anyone else watch that one? Make sure your teenage kid watches it. It could save his life, and ruin any chance of him thinking of you as a cool person. A Disney Goofy film, good gracious

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    • The people in the state I live in notoriously have no idea how to merge onto the interstate. It’s a MinnesotaNice™ thing. Yes, the merger yields, but that can be taken too far, or misconstrued. It doesn’t always mean letting someone go first; you also have to hit the gas an get in front when that’s required.

      If you’re half a carlength in front of me as we approach, yielding actually means getting on the gas and getting into that space in front of me at the speed I’m going plus 3-5 mph, not slowing to “yield” pride of place (being in front) to me. Yielding the right of way means getting the heck out of my way in the way that causes me the least concern about what you’re going to do. That’s usually probably as likely to be getting clearly and unambiguously in front of me as it is letting me go in front of you.

      #Minnesota

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      • Sadly, my fantasy of buying an island of strategically importance to the us, establishing Independence and getting the us to recognize the island’s sovereignty, then negotiating a long term base for the us gov’t, and diplomatic status for me in the us, AND driving an up armored 1970 ford LTD so I din’t have to worry about people merging into me…just let them hit me (diplomatic immunity biatches!) is not going well.

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      • LOL. You’re supposed to be driving aggressively too, ya know.
        Which means catching up to the person in front of you (or, ideally, getting out of the fucking lane) if the idiot on the onramp is a pussy.

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    • “This is followed close by “I’ll merge by speeding up and wedging my suv into a 1.5 car length space in from of you because I can’t be bothered to slow down and merge into the 1 mile space behind you.””

      Sometimes I feel grumpy about that, but if it doesn’t cause me to actually have to slow down then I get over it pretty quick.

      If anything, I’d *rather* someone speed up and merge ahead of me; that usually means they’re going to keep going at that speed. The worst is when someone comes off the ramp into the merge lane going about 40 and immediately jumps into the 65-70mph highway traffic.

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  5. As a SoCal native, my pet peeve is people throwing lit cigarette butts out the window of their cars.
    More than a few brush fires have started just this way.

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    • Just throwing cigarette butts generally is an odd one (lit or otherwise, out windows or otherwise). It seems lots of people who otherwise don’t litter in general – who put their candy wrapper in their pocket until they find a garbage can, for example – still don’t think twice about dropping cigarette butts all over the place. Often the same goes for the cellophane from the cigarette packet.

      It’s perplexing. Doubly so since, as smokers, they’re already carrying around a small cardboard box into which the butt would fit.

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        • Well I wouldn’t generally pocket up other people’s cigarette butts. Or were you thinking about the pants-on-fire hazard? I wouldn’t expect people to pocket the burning cherry… Throwing that on the ground seems less of a big deal, it’s just a bit of plant matter and charcoal.

          I’m just surprised so few smokers put the finished filters back in the cigarette pack they’re already carrying anyway, or carry one of those little mint tins as a portable ashtray, or do anything at all to contain the littery-ness of their smoking habit – particularly those who don’t litter any other objects.

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          • My first comment was partly tongue in cheek, but I agree wholeheartedly

            The side of my house is a grass covered storm ditch facing an avenue that directly feeds a highway entrance. Picking up litter from cars throwing it into the ditch is a tree times a week chore.

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          • I know why I never put them back in the pack: Old butts smell, quite a bit, and if you put 19 into a pack, you’re gonna smell pretty strongly of old butts. Even one or two is unpleasant every time you open the pack.

            (Yes, I said old butts smell, Beavis.)

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  6. On the bus, since I usually ride with my son, my biggest peeve is people who won’t get up so a four year old can sit down on the bus. I’ve only had this happen a few times, but every damn time it was some hipster who was very intently staring at his phone in an effort to avoid eye contact with me.

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    • The train I ride has a section for disabled rider; the seats fold down and can function as normal seats or a wheelchair can be rolled into that spot while the seats are up. When they aren’t occupied, they’re generally available to all with an understanding that families with strollers can make use of the space so the adults can sit down and attend to their child without blocking any walkways. Otherwise, you are left standing near the doors and have to constantly move.

      Well, this is understood by MOST people. Sometimes you get jerks who see the open space as a dumping ground for their bags or just a space to enjoy a little extra leg room.

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      • We have those as well, and generally people in those seats will let Bug sit there, but sometimes it really is filled with very senior citizens and/or very pregnant women. Then I expect some other fit, young person to stand their ass up, and usually they do.

        But those few times they don’t, I burn holes into their brains with my imaginary laser eyes.

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        • Given that it’s imaginary laser eyes, that’s not really a big deal, but you should be aware that plenty of disabilities aren’t visible. They might be in a lot of pain, and/or not physically be capable of standing, and look perfectly fine.

          (says the recipient of laser eyes, grumbling, and even lectures about how a perfectly healthy “young person” like me should not be sitting down – depending on the day, I am sometimes very disabled, mobility wise, and sometimes not at all, but I am rarely capable of standing still for more than 2 minutes without serious serious pain)

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            • Fair enough.

              I just hear “fit, young person” and I remember getting yelled at. On metros, in elevators (when there was plenty of room in the elevator!), on and on and on. Maybe I just don’t look as grown up as you. :D.

              I actually considered buying a cane before I needed to (I have one now though I am fortunate to rarely need it and/or unfortunate because my arms are almost as bad as my legs so it rarely helps), so I didn’t have to deal with the yelling.

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              • I’ve had a walking stick handy since just after the accident, but a few years back I got one of these, and I love it, not only because it’s a solid camera monopod, but because of how adjustable and collapsable it is. I can carry it everywhere in a pack, so if I should need it, I can get it, but if I don’t need it, it isn’t being a pain to lug around.

                And perhaps I am unfairly projecting, but even if I was having a really bad day, I’d give up my seat to a parent with a small child and just lean heavily on a handrail for the ride. Small kids just don’t have the ability to stay on their feet as the bus turns and changes speed, so they’ll get tossed around a lot.

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                • I might too – I’ve given up my seat before to pregnant ladies, people with a passel of kids – but not on a *truly* bad day.

                  My hands have a lot of trouble gripping on to things, you see, and those mobility issues are bodywide, not just in one spot – so on a really bad day, I will be the one falling over on my butt (it’s happened, and it is both painful and incredibly embarrassing, especially when the bus/metro is crowded and everyone gets knocked around). Whereas a parent could (in theory, unless they have their own disability issues) pick up their child.

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        • Oscar,
          Generally, everyone will move if you ask them. I tend to assume that people dont’ know unless you ask that “yes, you are the person I need to move” (rather than the ten people you didn’t ask)

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  7. When people walk in to a car dealership they lose all of their manners. It’s okay to smile and say hi in return! I promise not to sell you a car. Geez.

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  8. Cyclists who can’t seem to understand that traffic laws apply to them to and they need to stop at red lights and stop signs.

    People who yell at you for not contorting your body in a way most convenient for them on a crowded subway when nobody else is moving.

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    • I think you may be onto something with the cycling-through-stop-signs thing – that it’s really more of an etiquette violation than a meaningful traffic safety violation. That is, the “victims” of the behaviour aren’t people injured in crashes, but motorists who see them and resent the perceived “scofflaw”.

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        • You may be talking about different things here… specifically cyclists versus urban bikers.

          Cyclists can be a problem if they are on a busy road that lacks sufficient bike lanes, though often that has more to do with cars giving too wide a berth and cutting into other lanes than the cyclists themselves. I rarely find them to be a problem with regards to traffic signals.

          As a city dweller (specifically NYC), Lee is likely thinking of bike messengers, food delivery guys, and others who tear through the streets with wreckless abandon. They want the relative privilege of pedestrians (i.e., loosely obeying traffic signals, usually only when it is necessary for safety) but also the privilege of cars (i.e., speeding through the streets). They’ll ride the wrong way down one ways, cross intersections against the light, and weave in and out of traffic, but human and automobile. They do present real safety risks.

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        • That is a different matter, and ought to be irrelevant to whether there is a stop sign. Pedestrians have right of way, full-stop.

          I was interpreting that as a comment about cyclists treating stop signs as yield signs – stopping if there is cross traffic, but not if there isn’t.

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          • I was interpreting that as a comment about cyclists treating stop signs as yield signs – stopping if there is cross traffic, but not if there isn’t.

            Which cyclists do pretty much always. Also riding the wrong way on one-way streets. Also riding through a crowded crosswalk. Also riding on a sidewalk with a wide bike lane 2 feet away.

            I don’t own a car, so I’m not a bitter driver.

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          • Pedestrians have right of way, full stop — on the sidewalk. If you walk down the middle of the street, that’s your fool problem, not mine. (obviously, I still shouldn’t hit you).

            Bikes on the sidewalk have the responsibility to slow down to the speed of the walker in front of them.

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            • As I understand it pedestrians have the right of way. Always. Even when the pedestrian is breaking the law. The fact the pedestrian is liable for a ticket doesn’t absolve the motorist or cyclist of the responsibility to yield to them.

              A pedestrian may be jaywalking – but they still have the right of way. Other road users may honk at them if they’re doing something blatantly unsafe, but It is still the responsibility of every other road user to stop for those on foot.

              – Treating a stop sign as a yield is a different “offence” than the others you list. Going the wrong way on a one-way, buffaloing crosswise through crosswalks, those do potentially put the rider and others in danger. Riding on the sidewalk mostly dangerous to the rider if they’re going at a reasonable speed, though going too fast on the sidewalk can get dangerous to others as well.

              They’re also things that often get asserted as “things cyclists do everywhere”, that I see quite rarely myself.

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                • I guess there are regional flavours of dreadfulness…

                  Wrong way on a one-way is relatively hard to pull off here, as there just aren’t a whole lot of one-ways. A bunch are in the area around campus, where there are by far the most people getting around by bike, but most of those have a bike lane going the other direction, so they’re only one way for motor traffic.

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              • More or less the same where I live, for bicycles with over 20″ wheels. Intended to allow kids’ bikes on sidewalks, used to get away with BMXes as well in practice.

                There are places where it’s still the safest (or perceived safest) thing to ride a particular short section on the sidewalk. There are folks who just ride on the sidewalk even around quiet streets, for whatever reason. And there are sections of sidewalk that are designated as ‘multi-use’ trails (i.e. they’re bike paths that are physically indistinguishable from sidewalks except for a sign somewhere).

                In those cases, I think there is, perhaps not a legal but a not-being-a-jerk responsibility, to ride in a way that’s compatible with the idea that you’re a guest in pedestrian-land.

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    • Motorists that don’t realize that even if they are allowed to make a right turn on red

      1)they still must stop at the red
      2)they still must look in *both* directions before proceding, not just to the left.

      And don’t get me started on vehicles of all types that don’t get that bike lanes aren’t parking/standing zones.

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      • 2)they still must look in *both* directions before proceding, not just to the left.

        Erm, huh?

        People turning right need to look left to make sure a car isn’t coming, and need to look right because that literally is the direction of motion of their car, and obviously people should not move their car blindly into somewhere.

        They don’t need to look to the right to see traffic *coming from* the right, as they shouldn’t be interacting with the *incoming* traffic lane at all. (Unless they’re swinging too wide on the turn, but the solution there is not ‘look to the right’, it’s ‘stay in on your own damn side of the road’.)

        I’m rather dubious people are somehow turning right on red without *looking* to the right, at least not at the lane they literally are driving into, unless your area is experiencing a rash of people driving with their eyes closed.

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        • I see it all the time here. They look 90 degrees to the left, to see down the road for approaching traffic, but only about 45 degrees to the right – only into the lane they’re entering, but not down the sidewalk whether there’s someone about to step on the crosswalk.

          If they hit a pedestrian, the speed will be slow enough they probably won’t hurt them seriously, but the could push them out into the next lane.

          I’ve been almost hit that way myself (I put my hands on the hood and jumped to make sure I didn’t go under the car. The driver finally looked forward just in time to be horrified seeing me apparently flying through the air off her hood.) I’ve also seen several other people hit or nearly hit that way.

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    • LeeEsq: Cyclists who can’t seem to understand that traffic laws apply to them to and they need to stop at red lights and stop signs.

      Sorry about that. That’s me. If I’m not in anyone’s way, I’m going through. Additionally, if there is a car going straight that I can go along with, I’m going through.

      Also, this more often saves other people time than costs them. If I literally come to a complete stop, that backs up the person behind me.

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        • Yep, that thing. Though IIRC studies have found motorists are not all that much better than cyclists at obeying stop signs (I don’t have figures offhand but I think it was something like 70% of motorists vs 80% of cyclists failing to come to a full stop).

          Thing is, we all break laws when we travel, we just break the laws that our particular mode of travel specifically enables. How many people do you know who always drive the limit on the highway? If you challenge them, most highway speeders (i.e. most automobile drivers) will have this thought out and justified argument as to why their chosen amount over the limit is in fact the correct and safe speed, or at least no more dangerous than driving the limit.

          Thing is if you challenge a cyclist on their Idaho stop performed in a jurisdiction that doesn’t have an Idaho stop law, they’ll have a similar thought out and justified argument.

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      • I admit I bring kind of prude’s attitude to this type of thing. I’m probably the sort of guy who’d get upset if a car or bicyclist slows down instead of stops at a stop sign in an open field where literally no one is around and there’s no possibility of anyone getting hurt. That attitude is on me.

        I also realize the rules that grant pedestrians the right of way exist for safety reasons, etc., and don’t exist because pedestrians are somehow more virtuous or extra special people who can do no wrong or cause no wrong. Pedestrians can cause accidents unnecessarily. And they can be jerks.

        But still…..

        You may not think you’re in anyone’s way, but you might be. A bicyclist or car driver can’t see everything around them all at the same time. They have blind spots or at least spots where they’re not looking at the moment. You’re less all-seeing than you think and you pose a danger to others. If that means people have to wait a few more seconds at an intersection, then I’m okay with that. I understand that for cyclists there’s a necessity to keep up momentum and frequent stopping interrupts that momentum, but that’s one of the costs of riding a bicycle in a city.

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  9. OK, this one isn’t public transit related, but people in the front passenger seat of a car who put their feet up on the dash or out the window.

    My tax dollars are going to pay for your crippled ass for the rest of your life because you are stupid.

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  10. “More importantly, what obvious breaches of decency and social etiquette do you see people flout on a regular basis in seemingly inexplicable ways?”

    Not tipping.

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  11. My pet traffic peeve is the extremely weird behavior I see around here at stop signs.

    Specifically, the car sees a stop sign. It starts slowing a little.

    It drives through the stop sign and *continues to slow*, reaching a minimum speed somewhere in the middle of the intersection (Sometimes even almost to a stop), and then speeds up after it *exits* the intersection.

    I can’t even *conceive* of what they think they are doing:

    They are still breaking the law, and will get a ticket for it.

    They have not actually gotten anywhere faster than just normally running the stop sign, and aren’t really much faster than just *obeying* the stop sign properly. (Depending on how much wear and tear they want to put on their car.)

    And they have managed to figure out a way to run stop signs that is *more* dangerous than just driving full speed though them! Other people at an intersection who see a car not slowing down will…not get in front of it. If they see the car starting to slow, though, they might assume it’s actually going to stop at the proper place. *Nope*. It’s just going to drive right into that intersection.

    Meanwhile, someone who is waiting for them might see them enter the intersection, and assume they will be *accelerating* out of it like normal human beings do the second they go past a stop sign, and start moving *their* car with the assumption they will pass just behind them (You know, like people should *actually* operate at stop signs, sorta threading between each other, instead of waiting for the intersection to entirely clearly before heading forward.), and get a rather rude awaking when the idiots stop *inside* the intersection.

    They have literally picked the *worse possible way imaginable* to operate a stop sign.

    And I see this behavior on maybe *half* the cars I get behind on the stop-sign intersection backstreets of my town, stopping or almost stopping after their *rear* wheels are over the white line and their nose is halfway though the intersection.

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        • Not having driven there (but having observed traffic patterns in all 3), Rome and Florence didn’t seem half as bad as Sicily. Romans seemed incapable of staying in lanes (having made about six where it was signed for four) — but that’s not terribly dangerous. Now, in sicily, I saw someone driving on the sidewalk (with people jumping out of the way into bushes to avoid being run over).

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        • It’s not Atlanta, but is is Georgia.

          And, seriously, there’s part of an town that I go to alot for multiple reasons, and how I get there from my house and leave both are ‘grid with one-way roads and 3 or 4 stop signs’, so I do a *lot* of stop signs. And if I get behind a car, there is a fricking 50% chance they will take the stop signs like a crazy person.

          Look, if people want to *run* stop signs, fine. I am not the God-Emperor of this town. Go ahead and run them. If I was in a hurry, and I really thought there were no cops around, and there was no traffic at all, *I* might run them. Probably not, I need a low cost/benefit ratio to break the law, but I might.

          But run them either by just plowing through them, or run them with the California roll where you just sorta *pretend* that 10 miles an hour was a stop.

          Don’t run them in this crazy-ass way, where you either come to a stop or slow down…basically completely inside the damn intersection, well past where you were supposed to stop. What is even the hell? I mean, I’m not some fascist with a measuring tape, I don’t demand you stop *exactly* at the white line, but I’m talking a low-speed four-way stops where the white line is basically right at the corner, and these people are so far past it that they would block cross traffic in the lane closest to them, and even people on the *far* lane would have to swerve around them.

          The *weird* thing is, occasionally, there is cross traffic, and things sometimes get really confused! Sometimes, these cars that do this and stopped with their rear bumper at the white line seem to hesitate, when a car to the right pulls up, like they’re not sure they’re have the right-of-way.

          Guys…you’re literally inside the intersection. You *can’t* yield right-of-way to some other car at that point, even if you did come to a stop. Those people probably cannot get past you anyway. A this point, you just need to get the hell out of the intersection!

          Basically, this sort of behavior has made me think that, for some reason, people are do not seem to understand you’re supposed to stop *at* the stop sign (Or white line if there is one), and just think you’re supposed to stop *somewhere*, vaguely, in the immediate future. (And the people who just slow down instead of stopping think they’re doing a California roll.) They think stop signs are like speed-limit lowering signs…you get a 50 foot grace period to come to a stop after you pass the sign.

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