Wednesday, March 21, 2012

From the Archives: An Ode to White Plains

Listening to: Def Leppard – 2 Steps Behind
Mood: Apathetic

2 Blogs in 1 day. Aren’t you lucky!! J Just kidding. I’ve been meaning to write about my fantastic residence in White Plains for a while now.   I don’t want you to get me wrong in this blog. White Plains is a fantastic city to live in. We get the city thing without having to live in NYC. We have just a touch more of the small town feel without the hillbilly thing of smaller towns further north.  However, there are some things that drive me bananas.

I just wrote a blog on a near accident that I had today called Near Misses. Check it out. Now nearly getting in an accident is not an unusual thing here, I just usually don’t come so close to a serious accident.  People here are on some heavy duty crack when it comes to driving. Seriously.  The law of the jungle decides who goes where. Don’t know where you’re going? That’s ok. Just pull right in front of the person in the next lane to get to where you want. Or feel free to stop in a driving lane and think about it. Don’t feel like waiting in line to merge? No problem. Just jump to the front of the line in the next lane and push your way in. Feel like driving really slow until you get to the yellow light and then going through real quick so the guy behind you has to wait? Sure. No problem.  Needless to say, there are some pretty inconsiderate ass hats out there.  What gets me is the people who live here pull dangerous stunts. I have a decent level of tolerance for people who don’t live here who actually don’t know where they are going. Sometimes cities and one way streets suck. Been there done that. Problem is, everyone drives like that. It’s a constant worry that someone is going to pull into you because someone else stopped in a driving lane and the other car just doesn’t want to wait to scoot over.  White Plains is a city. There is a LOT of traffic. Especially at rush hour. Between the sheer volume, construction and stop lights (I’ll get to these in a minute) racing to get ahead of 3 cars just makes you look like a douche.

I’m a suburban girl by upbringing. I am not used to the sheer  volume of people randomly wandering the streets and crossing them for fun. None of the other places I’ve lived (and most of them were cities) have had so much foot traffic. It really astounds me. I applaud it actually. Who needs a car when you can walk?  It reduces the number of cars I have to deal with on the road. However. There are certain rules and indeed, common sense principals, that everyone should be mindful of.  We have an excellent system of stoplights and cross walks. They are NEVER more than a block apart. So why in the name of the Great Bunny (remember him?) do people insist on strolling across the street between the lights? I’m not even asking you to wait for a green light if there aren’t cars. Why are you so freakin lazy???  Let me tell you something. If you randomly wander  across the street when I have a green light and you are not at a corner, I am not going to slow down. I refuse. And you had better not glare at me or I’m speeding up. You wouldn’t try this in NYC, someone would actually run you over. Why is it ok here?  This leads me to the people who totally ignore the stop lights and saunter across the street at the corner or not. You have got to be kidding me. You know the light just turned green for the cars you are trying to walk in front of, why in the world would you randomly stroll into the road and make everyone wait for you while you wander across the street.  It really comes down to courtesy and arrogance. You are not the grand Pooh Bah. You do not have the divine right to make everyone wait for you to cross the road just because you weren’t paying attention or didn’t feel like waiting. Pedestrians have rights, but just because no one is willing to go to jail to hit you doesn’t mean you should act like an ass hat.  On another note. Yes, there is a LOT of construction in the city right now. If one side of a busy street doesn’t have a sidewalk and the other does, for the love of god, people, cross the street and use the sidewalk.  Not only is it extremely annoying for all the cars that have to slow down to wait for you to get out of the road, (and yes, you are IN THE ROAD! Even if you are right next to the barricade) it’s also very dangerous for you to generally walk between moving cars that weigh a couple tons and concrete blocks that aren’t going anywhere. This should be common sense. Up against cars or concrete blocks, you are going to be the one who ends up as hamburger. Please, don’t be so frickin lazy and just cross the street. Thanks!

To the City Suits :
Thanks for making White Plains such a nice place to live. You really have done a bang up job of developing the city and making it a great place to live.  Just tell me a few things. Who designed the stoplights?  And how much crack where they allowed to ingest while they planned how to program them? I understand the need for so many lights – after all W.P. is a big city with lots of cars. But seriously. I have my moments when I could swear it was a diabolical plot to prevent people from driving above 20 in the city. It is literally impossible to drive down any random street and get more than half of the lights green.  Yeah. And the side streets that turn red even when there are no cars there. Not cool. I really don’t like waiting my turn for cars that aren’t even there. One more thing. What the heck is the deal with the construction on EVERY SINGLE FRICKIN STREET??? I was okay when it was just Main street for the new Ritz hotel, but seriously. It’s November and over half the down town streets are torn up in some manner or other. Do you really think you can get all those projects done before winter? And what’s up with all the metal plates on the roads? Are we having a sewer crisis?  Why else would you dig up SO many sections of road at a time and cover them with metal plates? There should be at least 2 or 3 cross town streets that don’t have construction. Give the people some freedom to drive down a street that isn’t going to take them double the time to get down because you tore up both sides for god knows what. I know you have a budget and want to use it all so you have money next year, but how bout a little planning. I’m going to be extremely pissed if you leave all the roads half torn up all winter because you couldn’t plan out the projects a little better.  Now the Lake Street Bridge project – that really is a diabolical idea. It’s pretty much the only convenient way to get out to West Harrison and the airport. Meaning lots of people drive out that way. The corner of Kensico and Lake is already a mess. Why the Sam frickin hell would you work on the bridge and tear up the intersection too?  Perhaps the bridge needs to be replaced – no one really knows – but how in the world are you justifying this? It’s such a busy area, there has to be a better way of doing it.

On that note, I’m done kvetching about my fair city. It really is a great place to live.
Have a good week.


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