Being a pedestrian in Calgary, especially on campus, has become a most interesting sport... that is, if you get a thrill out of wondering whether you'll have to run, jump, or dive out of the way to avoid a broken leg, like I do. Get a thrill, that is– I have yet to actually experience the broken leg. But every time I come to a crosswalk on the U of C campus, I get the fun of playing a game of chicken with a 4000 lb. vehicle approaching at 30 km/hr. Granted, not that fast, but still...
Here's how the game plays out: I walk happily through the fall weather on my way to my Industrial Organizations class. Luckily for most drivers, I am already above the average alertness for a university student because my ears are headphone-free. As I approach one of the drives that meanders through campus, I see a vehicle coming my way. Just to make sure that they've seen me, I slow down. Not that I'm forfeiting my pedestrian's entitlement to the right-of-way, I just would prefer to arrive at my class in one piece. Some vehicles, however, take my hesitation to mean that they can start to speed up in an attempt to get through the intertsection before me.
Not so fast, bucko. I'm still walking.
All the cars eventually come to a halt at the crosswalk, the aforementioned speed demons with a bit of a screech and all the others to a gentle stop. But they all watch me crossing with an impatient glance to their car clock, assumably thinking to themselves, "Gosh, why can't this girl just fly, or apparate to class or something? It would save me sooo much time!" The speed demons also give me a look that says. "Silly, why did you stop walking when I sped up? Obviously I was going to stop and not run you over. That's what accelerating the engine means!"
I'd rather arrive late than dead.
Needless to say, I have yet to lose.