While walking home along Skinker, I passed a small dead, headless bird with a little plastic bag tied to its foot. I did not want to contemplate the order in which these events may have occurred.
# 16 – northbound (p.m.)
I was early enough for the #2, which I had planned on catching, that I kept walking and made it to the bus stop off campus on Skinker and ended up catching the #16 instead. For my purposes, they go the same place.
While waiting to cross the northside of Skinker, I watched the northbound cars slow to a crawl and then block the intersection. The light turned red. The cars trying to turn left from Forest Park Parkway north or south couldn’t turn with their arrows.
The crosswalk flashed Walk. On my side there was another pedestrian. Across the street were two bicyclists*. The first cyclist held his hands out to the driver blocking the crosswalk who decided at that moment to inch forward. The second cyclist, slightly behind the first one, paused as the driver tried to inch forward some more. At that point, the cars in front of her were not moving. I hedged my bets and walked behind that car but then ended up in front of a car in the right lane. By then, the cars in front were moving. When the crosswalk was clear, the first driver peeled off, making an audible squealing sound. Classy.
I told R that the true defensive measure on my part (and the other people crossing) would have been to wait until it’s clear. But there’s also no guarantee the next batch of cars won’t also block the crosswalk or the intersection, even though anyone going north on Skinker at that point between 5 pm and 5:30 ought to know to wait. Also, I want to stake my rights as a pedestrian and take my crossing when it’s given to me. I do not, however, want to end up as a hood ornament for some fancy sedan.
The bus ride was uneventful — it’s really only 4 minutes stop-to-stop. It was an older bus that smelled slightly of sweat. A woman in the back was talking about jobs. She said she told her mom she wanted to quit. Why you here then if you don’t want to work?
* I do not understand why so many cyclists are on the sidewalks here. I keep meaning to check the local regulations.
I was crossing through the Delmar Loop Metrolink stop when the eastbound train arrived. On the street above, the #16 (southbound?) bus arrived, and a crowd of departing bus riders ran down the stairs toward the train. A ramp crosses through the stairs, so I decided to use that to avoid being trampled by the people running down and to make sure they had the room and time they needed to catch the train. After the first segment, I rejoined the steps, which had cleared.
The woman on the landing, also heading up, said to me, I should take the ramp. My knees can’t handle this.
I replied, It’s hard to get going in the morning.
She said, You know that’s right.