“Why won’t that pedestrian just cross the road?”

Mommyo, exasperated while driving through an undisclosed intersection in Chicago: “There are pedestrians walking in 5 different directions here, which is sort of amazing, because there are only 3 pedestrians. Why won’t these guys just cross the road?”

Daddyo: “The answer is trivial and is left as an exercise for the driver.”

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About Shala Howell

I spent two decades helping companies like Bell Labs, Juniper Networks, and a genetic testing company that was later acquired by CVS translate some of the world’s most complicated concepts into actionable, understandable English. Now I'm working on a much harder problem -- fostering children’s curiosity and engagement in the scientific, artistic, and linguistic world that surrounds them. The first book in my Caterpickles Parenting Series, What’s That, Mom?, focuses on how to use public art to nurture children’s curiosity in the world around them. My next book will focus on science, and how parents without a science degree can answer their curious child's questions without enrolling in a college level refresher course. In the meantime, you can find me blogging about life with a very curious Eleven-Year-Old at Caterpickles.com, chatting about books and the writing life at BostonWriters.blog, and tweeting about books, writing, science, & things that make me smile at @shalahowell.
This entry was posted in Funny Stuff My Husband Says, Math, Out and About and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to “Why won’t that pedestrian just cross the road?”

  1. gatheringplaceseasonfour says:

    I am very cautious (usually I would be a pedestrian) – there is a huge disadvantage (mass) on the side of any pedestrian, a huge “advantage” on the side of any vehicle (and driver). I have yet to get hit by a motor vehicle. This is amazing, especially considering how many hours I have spent riding bicycle on public roads and streets over about half a century.


    • Shala Howell says:

      I do try very hard to be aware of pedestrians/bikers/motorcyclists, etc., as The Eight-Year-Old and I rely on drivers not hitting us every time we walk or scoot around our neighborhood. I do think, however, that part of being a safe pedestrian (& a safe driver) is to behave in a thoroughly predictable fashion. I find it exceptionally stressful when I’m driving and the pedestrian (or car) in front of me abruptly decides to change their path of motion for no discernible cause and with no apparent warning.

      The other thing I hate about driving in Chicago is that sometimes the bike lanes are between a line of parked cars and the main road and other times they are between a line of parked cars and the sidewalks. As a driver, I’m never quite sure where to watch for bikers, and whether or not my turns/parallel parking efforts are going to cut them off. The lack of consistency seems wildly dangerous to cyclists, especially with the rise of Divvy bike-shares in our area. It drives me nuts that they haven’t standardized the placement of bike lanes in our city streets.

      Thanks for stopping by & stay safe out there!


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