Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The Triangle Of Disdain

The Triangle of Disdain
Today's story deviates from train-related material, but it's still about commuting and getting around New York City.

As some of you know, I'm a recent Citi Bike convert. It's a fantastic New York City quality of life improvement. If Citi Bike were a religious cult, I'd wear a robe, shave my head, and live at the airport. I'd hand out flowers, gear shift knobs, and pamphlets to travelers.

Given the amount of time in Manhattan I spend 1) walking, 2) biking, and 3) occasionally driving, I've noticed a personal behavior pattern. Whichever method I'm using, I have great hostility for those doing the other two.

I call this behavior pattern the "Triangle of Disdain." While trying to get from point A to point B, the "green ball of grouchiness," represented by Oscar the Grouch, falls somewhere on the triangle.

I suspect I'm not unique. Let's have a look at how it works.

When I'm on a Citi Bike. I do enjoy unlocking a blue bomber and heading off to my destination. But, you have to pay attention because New York City streets are a free-for-all. I find drivers in cars more courteous and predictable than pedestrians. Pedestrians walk in the bike lanes and against the traffic. Therefore, the green ball of grouchiness moves from the bottom right to the left, toward the pedestrians.

This is not to say that the drivers don't aggravate me. They simply aggravate me less than pedestrians when I'm on a bike.

When I'm a pedestrian. Would you believe some jerk on a bicycle had the NERVE to ring his bell at me for standing in the bike lane, waiting to cross? Then, some guy on a bike rode through the crosswalk. What's wrong with these bikers? The green ball of grouchiness slides to the cyclists when walking.

As a pedestrian, the green ball of grouchiness rarely lands near the drivers. They're simply moving objects to dodge. They barely exist.

When I'm a driver.  Can you believe these pedestrians and cyclists? I can't figure out which are worse. Probably the pedestrians, because they believe that traffic laws don't apply to them. "Walk/Don't Walk" are merely suggestive.

And the bikers? They ride against traffic and ignore traffic lights. As a driver, the green ball of grouchiness is much larger, and it falls squarely between the cyclists and pedestrians.

Next time you're in the airport and observe a meditating man in a robe with a shaved head murmuring about on-time statistics, Citi Bike valet stations, or the Jamaica bottleneck, say hi to me. And don't forget to take a flyer and a flower. Kumbaya.

Happy and safe commuting, and may you encounter uncommon sense.
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