Dear Commuter,

First of all, I’m not one of those militant Center Square folk that don’t want you to park your car here. I’m aware of the difficulties for those who work here that do not live here have with trying to find garage space (if there even is any, or if you can even afford it). However, I would implore that, while looking for a spot, that you treat the neighborhood – and its residents – with a modicum of respect.

1. Do not tailgate me.
This is a pedestrian neighborhood, with primarily one-way streets. Going above 20 miles an hour really is not safe. So, therefore, it definitely not safe for you to be going 45 miles an hour. No, I will not speed up for you. No, I will not get over for you so that you can pass me – generally, because there is no room to do so. If you don’t like it, deal with the traffic on Washington or Madison.

2. Do not honk your horn at me when I’m trying to enter my car.
Once again, I am not going to cater to your need for speed through my neighborhood. I’m sorry that you have to slow down to the speed limit if I’m getting into my car, but that’s too bad. I have a right to use my car, and you DON’T have the right to speed.

3. Do not run red lights.
Really, this is just common sense.

4. Mind the crosswalk.
I agree, it’s annoying when pedestrians walk out in front of traffic without paying attention, and worse, amble along like there isn’t a line of cars trying to get through. However, most of us in Center Square don’t do that. We look both ways, and wait for the “Walk” symbol. It’s not cool for you to go 45 miles an hour down Lark St. and nearly take my toes off with you, while I’m trying to crane my neck around a line of cars in order to see the traffic coming.

5. Mind the one-way signs.
Once again, common sense. If the one-way arrow is pointing left, this means you can’t turn right. And, no, I’m not honking at you to be an asshole, I’m honking at you because you’re going to cause an accident.

6. Do not honk when I’m trying to turn into the Plaza Garage.
There’s a lot of traffic there. I know it’s annoying that no one lets these cars in and there’s a backup. I don’t like it, either. But honking really isn’t going to change anything.

7. Do not park like a jerk.
Yes, your car is very pretty, and I can understand why you don’t want the bumper scratched. Really. However, you taking up two spots so that no one can park within a few feet of either side of your car is really not cool. There’s limited parking in this neighborhood, and to do that is just plain inconsiderate.

8. Double Parking.
Ahhh, a necessary evil. I do it, too, when having to unload my car, or run in for something quick. However, keep it to a minimum – 5-10 minutes, maximum. Any more than that is quite rude, especially if the person you’re double parked next to needs to go somewhere.

9. Don’t ride up close behind me when I’m clearly trying to parallel park.
I have no room to back up and park if you do that. Now you have two options – you can go around me, or back up. On most of the streets, this isn’t an issue, but on Henry Johnson Boulevard, you’ve backed yourself into a corner now, haven’t you? And guess what – those cars behind you aren’t going to be upset with ME for your poor decisionmaking.

10. Do not gridlock.
Yes, people DO need to turn onto these streets. We live here. You causing a gridlock because you don’t want to wait another light cycle (trust me – you’re not going to gain any ride time by engaging in gridlock), just means that I have to block traffic in the other direction while I wait for traffic to move so that I can turn down my street (or go straight, as the case may be).

These are really not difficult guidelines. We residents would just like you to respect the place where we live. How would you like it if I did these things in your neighborhood? I don’t think you would like it very much at all.

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