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Friday, April 27, 2007

Provo Surprise: What's Up with These Drivers?!

I was in Provo, Utah today to attend the graduation of my son and his wife from BYU. While walking around Provo a few blocks south of campus, I repeatedly experienced surprising behavior from automobile drivers: they stopped to let me cross, even when I wasn't in a crosswalk. I was really caught off guard the first time this happened. Why is this car stopping? The first time I figured was just a fluke, but it happened several more times in the next few minutes. What's up with these drivers out here?

I started to wonder if I was being "love bombed" by some sort of cult to get me to join. Then I realized, hey, I'm already a member - your clever plot won't work with me.

But I appreciated the change of pace. It just didn't seem that way when I was a student there about 20 years ago. Was this just a repeated fluke?

Fabulous university. I really appreciate the positive changes that have occurred out here over the years. Congrats to all you graduates!

4 comments:

Clark said...

Yeah, it was a fluke. Provo's not normally like that. (Although I will admit it's gotten better then past 10 years in terms of pedestrians)

Anonymous said...

From one that lives here, yes, it is an amazing fluke. I've nearly died (seriously) several times by stupid kids that see pedestrians in crosswalks the same way they see yellow lights-- "Oh crud, I'd better punch the gas. I wouldn't want to have to wait five seconds." I was once 3/4 the way across a 4 lane road in a crosswalk. Other people had already slowed down/stopped, but the guy in the last lane, who I know saw me well in advance, sped up and swerved onto the shoulder and gunned it around me, missing me only because I jumped back out of the way. I've had people blow through red lights making a right turn nearly kill me many times.

My guess is that you were the happy recipient of out-of-towners here for the same reason you are. The students are still horrendous drivers and I'm ready for them to leave for the summer.

Anonymous said...

They also might be used to students jumping out in front of them to cross because they have the right of way. What I mean is that whenever I drove on 800 south from University towards 9th east I would literally be going 25mph and be 15 feet from the crosswalk. Some student would see me and just start to cross the road...it is clearly not enough time to slow down. I always thought they had a suicide agenda. After screeching a couple of times I just learned to stop to let the idiots cross (NOT EVERYONE was an idiot - but because I couldn't tell I just stopped for anything moving). Maybe they that stopped for you were like me.

Russell said...

Actually, I live out here as well and I would say that is less of a fluke than believed. More often than not (though I too have had my share of near-death experiences), drivers have been remarkable in their courtesy (on more than one occasion, I've been waiting to penetrate a stream of traffic when a car actually STOPS THE FLOW OF TRAFFIC to let me in.)

But that said, I was also there when the pedestrian was critically injured on 7th North. Even Provo's driving history has its skeletons...