August 29, 2007

I am back on Wednesday runs

What I need is structure; a steady, continual pace of work; predictable and plannable. Of course, that's the GRIND, but it does wonders for getting me out for some exercise.

I changed into running clothes at work at 7:30 p.m. and ran towards home. I have no hope of running 9.5 miles home, not yet, but I thought I'd see how I do. I found the running difficult at first because the muscles I've been straining when bicycling were really not happy. But I didn't have to walk too much and the whole 3.3 miles (I ran to West 4th subway entrance) really felt pretty good. Three apples. A couple of very short walk breaks, but didn't have to walk for every coughing fit, just to catch my breath. The run was a lot better than the one weekend before last, a 2.7 miler that felt like twice that.

I did have opportunity to scream at some smug jerk in a small jeep. He came down the little sidestreet along Chelsea Piers and blasted his horn at a trio of pedestrians crossing from the studios towards the West Side Highway. And they were IN A CROSSWALK. He started blasting from 100 feet back and continued right on through the crosswalk without tapping his brakes. I got a good look at him as I screamed from five feet away, "What's your PROBLEM, Asshole???" and he had what can only be described as a smug "fuck you" smirk on his face.

I was enraged. I ran after him, knowing he had a stoplight up ahead about 300 feet, but he didn't STOP AT THE RED. He went right through it, turning right and went down the WSH. Had I caught up to him, I may have tried to drag him from his hermetically-sealed little rolling coffin and beat him. Yeah, I'd be risking get the shit beaten out of me, but it'd be worth it. And the headlines would be phenomenal - a real motorists v pedestrians kind of thing.

We really need stricter control on licenses, more traffic cops on the street and in general more cops patrolling on foot. We need the police to actually enforce the laws and the most effective way to do that is going to be to start on the front end - by connecting with the community. And you can't do that from inside a patrol car. You hear me, Commissioner Kelly?

More to the point, we need better traffic control in general. That man was the sole occupant in his vehicle and wasn't hauling commercial goods or supplies. That, in my book, is the kind of driver that should be banned in Manhattan, and would be under 24/7/365 HOV laws. I am sure the upcoming traffic study (a precursor to our experiment in congestion pricing) will be revealing, but we could be DOING something about the congestion problem TOMORROW. Literally tomorrow! Are you listening, Mayor Bloomberg?

Oh, and no, you don't have a right to drive in Manhattan, or anywhere else. Driving is a privilege, one that must be earned and one a person has to remain qualified for. Clearly, something in that system has gone awry - because I tell ya, that asshole earlier tonight is by no means a rarity.

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