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I caused a minor traffic accident



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

In central 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 of course is why I often feel kind of guilty when I have to wave them on, saying something like "no; please keep driving — this is not a crosswalk."

But in any case 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. It's annoying.

I know how to cross a road. I know how to not be where you're going to be if you just keep damn driving as fast as you were driving when I saw you. I don't need your charity — and it's not much charity when your compulsive braking fouls up my whole concept of where and how fast the aggregate of traffic is moving.

People will invite me to cross the four driving lanes and one turning lane of the busy main thoroughfare of 3rd street. If I'm standing on the median between the four lanes where highway 20 turns into Greenwood, some dingbat will stop, right there, and want me to cross.

There's no logic. Sometimes traffic is too dense to even take advantage of somebody's magnanimousness. Other times, there's nobody else anywhere behind them on the road and I'd have a free and clear chance to go, as soon as.... Nope -- they'll want to stop. It makes no difference whether or not their stopping for me will even save me any time.

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

It's freaky.

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