Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Bastard of the Day

Okay, you've all been waiting for this... I am today's bastard.

I was sitting in my car at the Brown Line crossing on Rockwell Street waiting for a train. When a westbound train passed, a cyclist on the north side of the tracks pedaled around the still-lowered gates and continued south. And in that instant, I had two thoughts: 1.) a man from Milwaukee died doing the exact same thing in this exact same place last month, and 2.) I hope this guy gets creamed just to teach him a lesson for his stupidity, even though I'd rather not be a witness.

And that's where I crossed the line into bastardhood. My anger toward people who do stupid stuff, particularly on bicycles, has grown so intense that I wish death upon them for their ignorance. In that moment I was rooting for it to happen.

It turned out there was an eastbound train coming, but fortunately for the dumbass bike rider it stopped at the station. Sometimes trains that are "not in service" do pass through without stopping, so he was damn lucky -- there was no way he could have seen whether a train was coming through eastbound until it was too late. Oh well, I hope he made good use of the extra ten seconds he saved by risking his life. That's the kind of shit that gives CTA motormen nightmares.

Speaking of the Rockwell crossing (and other at-grade crossings on the Brown Line), why did the CTA (or the city) replace all the crossing gates a couple years ago without making each long enough to cross the entire street? Since I moved here nine years ago, there have probably been about 10 accidents involving idiots driving (or pedaling) around the gates. Adding ten feet to each gate would be a small price to pay to discourage this reckless behavior. There's nothing like a train crushing a car to screw up everyone's commute.

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