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Seattle drivers: slow down

Late this afternoon, a 40-year-old man died after being hit by a car in West Seattle (my condolences to his family).

Earlier this afternoon, I was walking my dogs during lunch and was nearly struck by an SUV barreling through a left turn from Elliott Avenue as I was crossing Broad Street with the pedestrian signal. I had to stop in my tracks and hold my dogs back as the driver sped up the hill, clueless or not caring that he'd nearly mowed down a woman and her two Greyhounds.

In this same intersection the day before, a woman in an SUV completely blocked the crosswalk on Broad Street while my dogs and I were forced to walk around the rear of her vehicle. As I made it to her side, I scolded her. "You're taking up the whole crosswalk!"

She rolled down her window. "What?"

"Your car is taking up the whole crosswalk," I repeated. "You need to back up."

"I tried," she said, "but another car behind me was blocking my way."

Her lane was completely clear. "There's no one behind you now; you can back up."

She repeated her pity-party, playing dumb as she and her family peered at me through their windows, frowning as if I were a miscreant from Mars.

"You're forcing my dogs and me into traffic!" I said, knowing she was a lost cause. How do numbskulls like her even get a license?

And yesterday while on a bus, I watched as a furious pedstrian chased a car up Seneca Street. Apparently, the car had run a red light and nearly struck -- or made contact with -- this pedestrian.

What is up with Seattle drivers? We are notorious for being dimwits behind the wheel, but now we have become dangerous. Drivers are unabashed sociopathic brutes. Mad Maxes. So fatally dedicated to their quests of getting to wherever it is they need to go that they are willing to take out a pedestrian (or more) to get there.

I love to walk. I am the Forrest Gump of the walking universe. I walk everywhere -- a privilege of living and working downtown. And I am constantly on the defensive, watching out for drivers who are looking in the opposite direction of their turn, steroid-pumped dickheads who burn through red lights, neanderthals who curse me for crossing the street at a corner, forgetting (if they ever knew) that an intersection is a crosswalk, marked or not.

I am over Seattle drivers. Yes, I know there are a lot of Seattle pedestrians who thumb their noses at signals, step into traffic against the light while reading their mobile devices, saunter into a busy street without so much as a glance.

But I'm not one of those people. I'm a hardworking taxpayer, just like you, asshole. So lighten up. Get a grip. Check your ego at home. And whatever you do, please: slow the fuck down.

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