Saturday, March 7, 2009

WTFisconsin: pedestrian peeves

You'd expect living in a major second-tier city that you wouldn't have to fear for your life or your convenience walking through it's streets. Unfortunately sometimes I run into that. This week was one of those times.

Those who follow me on twitter may have seen my upset tweet on Tuesday:

Just had THREE CARS cut me off in the crosswalk at van buren and wells. Car 3 caught my wrathh [sic--hey, i was typing from a cell phone after almost dying]

I then asked for folks to give me their scariest intersections and I found that others share my fears. Some comments from twitter and facebook:
  • Oakland and locust
  • ogden and astor. it's a four-way stop, but nobody can figure out who should go first, esp. when there are pedestrians.
  • E. North Ave. and N. Farwell Ave.
  • crossing St. Paul on the west side of Water
  • how about Capitol Dr. - and any side street. As for Milwaukee - anything near the PAC.
  • Brady/Farwell/Oakland
We shouldn't have to live in fear. Drivers please LOOK IN THE CROSSWALK for people before you hit the gas pedal. It's best for both of us.

Yesterday I ran into a couple of frustrating, but not deadly, obstacles.

First, the city is doing some maintenance to the Riverwalk. Fantastic! However, it's completely closed on the eastside of the river just past John Hawk's Pub. One would expect there to be a sign at the entrance to this section of the walk at Wisconsin Avenue to give people the head's up that if they are using this as a pedestrian thruway (because would you really want to go look at the dirty, melting river right now?) they can't can't through. Uh, well that didn't happen. Instead I got to this:

Really? Closed? You don't say. Maybe the fact that there are big boards blocking the way I'd figure that out. You know what would have been better? Putting that warning up BEFORE I walked an unnecessary 500 ft.

My second annoyance came in the form of navigating through the mudflats at the Cathedral Square sidewalk. Unfortunately during the winter these are never cleared sheets of sheer ice. Spring isn't much better. I'm guessing it's the county that is responsible for clearing, so I have one more thing to blame He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named (but you can guess that his last name doesn't mean he is one!) for:

Yes, that is my shoe sucked into a swamp. Lovely.

One other peeve I had walking home was wondering why there were a bunch of creepy looking middle-aged suburbany white guys lurking around downtown with zombified looks in their eyes. Then I remembered this creepy conservative conference was here this weekend. *Shudder.* If you want to see a lot of white people, check out that last link.


  1. Just the other night coming home after bar we had a big pickup step on the gas as we were crossing kilbourn. I see this all the time.

  2. I'm impressed that you could stand on one foot and take a picture at the same time!


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