this burns my socks. just about year-round in missoula, and certainly during the warmer months (all four of them), pedestrians and bicyclists, often accompanied by their baby strollers and unleashed dogs, ply the streets of the city. missoula prides itself as being friendly to alternative, non-fuel-consumptive transport, which is fine. but the majority of said amblers and peddlers abuse the privilege.
i'm a professional driver, during this particular incarnation of my long and sordid life. i'm on the road 4-9 hours a day, and i see all the venal sins that you pompous, self-righteous walkers and bikers commit. you have developed a sense of entitlement, not to mention righteousness, that makes me homicidal. not for you the rules of the road, oh no. if the sign says "don't walk", you walk anyway, in crowds, and vehicle traffic backs up, idling engines adding to air pollution. many of you can't even be bothered by walking (good for your health, i hear) to the nearest crosswalk. you amble with blinders on, not checking for traffic, right across the street in midblock. screeching tires and warning horns seem to make you more determined to claim the public thoroughfare as yours, and yours alone.
bikers. sweet mother of god, don't you realize that you are subject to the same traffic rules as cars are? you ride on the roadway or the sidewalk, with or against traffic, ignoring stop signs and stop lights, swooshing your daring way through one potentially lethal confrontation after another. lethal to you, by the way, not the poor unfortunate sod off whose hood you may happen to ricochet. it's all about speed and style with you, and the devil take the hindmost.
pedestrians and bicyclists of missoula, your behavior is disgraceful, dangerous, and despicable. you wouldn't survive for two minutes in houston or philadelphia or boston without turning into road pizza. get over your egotistical selves, realize that you share the road with the very motor vehicles for whom those roads were built (using fuel tax dollars). stop, look and listen before crossing.
or, keep it up, and you may find yourself in the path of a moving vehicle whose driver has no intention of slowing down for you. not me, mind you. i'm a professional, even on my days off. still, the temptation is there ...