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Bend, Oregon

Drivers too polite in Bend, Oregon

I caused a minor traffic accident one day....

I don't like the way that people drive in Central Oregon, and I don't like the way that I feel about it.

They're too polite.

It's a custom, similar to others elsewhere, that seems to become more annoying over time, and not less.

Today it reached a critical point. I was on bicycle, and had visited one of the last yard sales of the season. As I left that scene, and rolled down to the intersection of whatever-it-was and 8th street, I stopped at a stop sign. There were three young teen girls there, happily trying to direct people up toward the sale.

A man in a pickup truck stopped, right in the middle of 8th street, to let me cross.

"Ah for fuck's sake," I said. "Keep going." He just looked at me. "You've got the right of way," I said — and he finally stepped on it and went away. "Excuse my langauge," I said to the girls. They smiled. But, still, I swore in front of kids. Not exactly cool.

People stop in deference to pedestrians and bicyclists for many reasons, I know — many of them not benevolent, I think.

It's a complicated matter. I'm working on it.