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I caused a minor traffic accident



Central Oregon drivers go weak in the knees when they see a pedestrian.

In Bend, Oregon, drivers are excessively attentive to pedestrians, and will stop for anybody who stands facing the road.

It's terribly annoying for somebody who knows how to watch traffic and await a chance to cross.

I still cannot figure out how much of the motivation of these hyper-polite local drivers seems benevolent — and how much patronizing, obsequious, or condescending. I do know that I don't like it.

These people *seem* to be truly friendly and considerate. This is why I feel guilty when I have to wave them on, saying something like "no; please keep driving." And I do try to be polite.

Here's how it works: if you're standing facing the other side of the street, the next motorist that comes along will stop to let you cross. You want to cross, right? — here's your chance.

And it's not much charity when compulsive braking fouls up the aggregate movement of traffic.

There's no logic. If traffic is too dense, if there's nobody else behind them on the road and you'd have clear chance, as soon as.... nope — they'll stop. People will invite you to cross the four driving lanes and one turning lane of a busy main thoroughfare, any time of day in any traffic.

It's compulsory, in some unspoken local-culture way.