Richmond Proper: The unruly parents of Carytown

I don’t make it out to Carytown much anymore, being an East Ender now, but the last two times I was there I witnessed some pretty egregious etiquette blunders on the same block of Cary Street. You know the one — Cary Court, Can Can, Sweet Frog, etc.

I don’t make it out to Carytown much anymore, being an East Ender now, but the last two times I was there I witnessed some pretty egregious etiquette blunders on the same block of Cary Street. You know the one — Cary Court, Can Can, Sweet Frog, etc.

“She didn’t mean to!”

My husband and I finally checked out Sweet Frog a few weeks ago, after hearing so much fuss about it. It’s no Verry Berry, but it’s still good. It was crowded, so when we walked in we got in line in front of the froyo flavors we wanted. When it was almost my turn to get some coconut, I noticed that there was a group of children mix-and-matching their flavors. Cute! But what’s not cute was that they were darting from machine to machine, in this crowded, busy shop, cutting in line however they pleased. A spurt of chocolate here, a spurt of mango there, without ever getting back into the line for each flavor. Other children and adults waited awkwardly, not sure when to step forward to the machines. The people I assume were the wild children’s parents looked on languidly.

Between episodes of those kids dancing back and forth between flavors, the guy in front of me managed to fill his cup, and it was my turn. As soon as I raised my cup, of course, a tiny arm shot out and grabbed the handle. I jumped back and looked at one of the parents. He caught my eye and then looked at the floor. Finally, when charming little McGimmeGimme was done, I was able to get some coconut.

By this time my husband had managed to make it to the toppings bar, and was lifting a spoon of sprinkles when one of the children came from behind him and squeezed between him and the bar in order to get in front of him. You read that right — he squeezed, with much pushing and jostling, through the space between my husband’s torso and the toppings bar he was in the middle of using.

I only had time to give him a weak smile of sympathy and notice that a nearby mom had been watching the whole episode before the next impossible thing happened. The little girl who had been next in line also pushed her way between my husband’s torso and the toppings bar. Grabbing the aerosol whipped cream as she moved, she sprayed it with abandon, the overspray landing on both my husband’s clothes and my own (I was two feet behind her, actively trying to stay out of the fray). Dumfounded, my husband turned and gaped at the mom, who stood there listlessly. When she saw his face, she yelled “She didn’t mean to!”

I ignored her and was able to calm him down just enough for us to pay and get out of the toppings bar crossfire, as the poor employee behind the counter scrambled to clean up the mess.

So that was our first and our last trip to that particular insane asylum.

Here’s the thing — of course she “didn’t mean to.” She’s a small child. She doesn’t mean to do lots of things. But she’s your responsibility to parent, to lead, and to set a good example for. When she sees that her behavior gets no reproach, why would she bother to change what she’s doing? She will continue to steamroll others in life, until it’s finally her that the behavior embarrasses and alienates, rather than just her mother. It’s a far graver punishment in the long run to be too lazy to correct her now.

This, of course, isn’t one of those “Why do people let children leave the house?!” posts. My husband and I both really love children and enjoy spending time with them, as many of our friends can attest. But an unhurried trip to get some frozen yogurt shouldn’t resemble a contact sport.

“Thanks for stopping!”

I was driving east on a very busy Cary Street. It was dinnertime on a Friday night. Traffic was thick, and had been crawling along, but finally picked up. My windows were down. I was in the right lane, with a large SUV to my left, and all the cars around me were trying to accelerate as best we could in such traffic.

Suddenly, a gentleman leading three small children by the hands stepped right out into traffic from in front of Can Can. Not even at a crosswalk, but rather, in the middle of the street — directly in front of the oncoming cars. I didn’t even see them when they first stepped out because the SUV blocked my view, but I jerked my head in that direction when the SUV slammed on its brakes. I had no time to stop. As I swerved and sailed past in the right-hand lane, narrowly missing this guy and the children, he yelled “Thanks for stopping!”

No, thank you. Thanks for dragging three little kids, the eldest of which couldn’t have been five yet, into the middle of Cary Street. Thanks for being entitled enough to expect all heavy pieces of metal hurtling toward you to stop an eighth of an inch before they hit you, like you’re Magneto. And thanks for teaching the children when and where to cross the street, and how to act toward others in civilization.

Even an adult pedestrian who cares not to die, who is standing at an intersection, and who has a green light, will double-check traffic before he or she steps into the street. But a guy with three small children, in the middle of the block, as cars are whizzing by steadily? I — I can’t even — I’m at a loss.

I’m terrified for those children, and I hope this guy doesn’t continue using them as pawns in his sick version of Frogger.

Speaking of frogs, I bet they were headed to Sweet Frog.

 

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Tess Shebaylo

Tess Shebaylo is a freelance writer, crafter, history geek, and compulsive organizer. She works at Tumblr and lives in Church Hill with her husband, Dan, and their two cats.

28 comments on Richmond Proper: The unruly parents of Carytown

  1. Welcome to the Brooklynization of the world, where parents who always thought they were special, now don’t have time to discipline their kids. I had a drunk women at a Sushi bar find it appalling that I wanted a mother to not let their child stand on a chair behind my wife while we were eating out. If I am the bad guy for asking the waitress to keep them away, so what?

    Of course, my absolute favorite was after dodging dogs and strollers at a local place, this adorable little two year old was trying to swallow a ping-pong ball. Why would a ping-pong ball be at a place with all these kids?

    It was a local Bar in Durham, NC!

  2. Brandon on said:

    I’ve lived within a couple blocks of Carytown for the last 25 years. I see the families who live in this area and the ones you describe in Carytown. Those people may bring their awful spawn to Carytown but I bet you anything they are not from Carytown. Maybe the unruly parents of the West End would be a better title.

  3. @Steve — Yikes. I’m glad the waitstaff complied with your request. Regarding the ping-pong ball, again, safety is of the utmost concern! With the responsibility falling to random strangers apparently!

    @Brandon — Good point! I wasn’t implying I had any idea where these folks actually live, but just that these events occurred in Carytown. It should have said “The unruly parents visiting Carytown.”

  4. Jennifer C. on said:

    The first occasion actually makes it sort of fun to have kids along, because it provides a “teaching moment,” wherein I can explain to my children how rude it is to butt in line, and that it’s MY JOB AS A PARENT to keep my children from being rude. Ahem.

  5. Mr Case on said:

    a part of this problem is peoples unwillingness to embarrass the parents and the kids equally…. for example at sweet frog, while it may have politically incorrect to ask the parent to please control their child, the utter embarrassment of having been asked to do so would cause most parents to grab their kids by the hand and tell them to sit down and wait their turn, or would’ve elicited a response from a distracted parent of Thank You I’m so sorry about that and they would’ve begun to explain to their kid not to do that.
    I find this to work the best, it alleviates your frustration almost immediately and places the blame squarely on the parent of said unruly child. though, you will wish to have a thick skin, as sometimes you get some rather harsh responses.

    the point of the matter is that while you may say it takes a village to raise a child, the rest of the city shouldnt suffer for the failings and inaction of the village.

    As for the walking into traffic… welcome to the age of pedestrian right of way, people think that because the pedestrians have the right of way that that mean anywhere, everywhere, anytime. and our law enforcement officers are too busy and quite frankly dont have the time to goto court to write 500 jaywalking tickets a day to remind people.

  6. Public embarrassment is a great encourager/deterrent (depending on what you’re trying to accomplish), but in this “Age of the iPod” no one wants to interact with another human being anymore.

  7. @Jennifer — Good call. There can be a bright side to these events when they’re used as teaching tools.

    @Mr Case and @Chairman Brando — I don’t agree that any people should dole out Etiquette Justice to any other person they meet on the street. Punishing / embarrassing folks shouldn’t be our responsibility. For me it would be almost impossible to rebuke people like this without being rude myself, and in etiquette, the aim is not to repay rudeness with more rudeness. I’d also argue that many rude people do these things because of a desperate desire for attention, so giving them more of it won’t help.

    When strangers are involved, I think it’s best to just vote with our dollars and never return to these establishments. Or on the street or in line somewhere, to just be the Grown-Up (since they can’t I guess?), absorb the rudeness, smile graciously, and walk hurriedly in the other direction.

    I think this gets trickier when a family member or a close friend is the culprit. For example, if your best friend’s kid was the one elbowing strange men in the crotch and spraying whipped cream everywhere, you might say “Oh dear Gertrude, I don’t think you noticed this, but little Madison just steamrolled someone four times her size at the toppings bar. Oh my gosh, I feel so terrible. Let’s go apologize!” And then lead by example.

    I’m definitely not the expert on correcting others, and would love to see some more suggestions! For correcting people you actually know, of course. It’s almost never appropriate to waste time scolding a complete stranger. My hope is that someday those strangers will read a column, turn bright red, and go through the remainder of life actually contemplating how their actions affect others.

    [Brought to you by the Ministry of Long Comments!]

  8. I’ve been down in Carytown and other intersections downtown crossing with the light and have almost been run over. Driver’s forget that pedestrians have the right-of-way in marked crosswalks with crossing lights. Since I take the bus to work every day, I cross various intersections. I try to make eye contact with the driver before I cross so I don’t get run over or hit.

  9. Retail Anon on said:

    Let’s not forget places that don’t actually cater to small children! I really love children, but the sight of a small gaggle entering my place of work is terrifying. Parents rarely establish that it’s any different from the child’s costume collection at home, and even tell kids to show me how cute they look playing dress-up. I’m too focused on the growing piles of clothing on the floor to care if a three year old teetering around in pricey stilettos looks cute. And when I ask if I can assist? “No, no, we’re just playing, we’re not shopping today. Shopping is boring for children.”

  10. Elle Dee on said:

    I am a former teacher. I’ve noticed an up-tick in these type of incidences. Unfortunately, it appears that some parents feel that whatever their little darlings do is so cute. “Isn’t adorable. Others seem to have the attitude that every establishment is either the playground or the Children’s Museum where their children are free to run amuck.

    When unruly and rude behavior occurs, I give the parent(s) an opportunity to correct. If they don’t, then the old teacher in me emerges. The teacher look and body language appears and the children recognize this because I always get their attention. I don’t yell or shout out, but quietly redirect the child(ren) to the proper behavior. Most of them will adjust their behavior, some will run over to their parents. Some parents have given me dirty looks or made nasty comments about how those are their children and I have no right to set about correcting them.

    I just smile at them pleasantly and in a pleasant but firm tone say something like, “Oh, so sorry. I know you were in a deep, important conversation with the person standing next to you and it appeared that you missed your precious little one(s) jumping the lines, pushing and shoving, and spraying the whipped cream all over my clothing as well as the clothing of others. I was quite sure had you seen it, you would have stepped in to help.”

  11. @Tess: I’m all for avoidance. It’s the story of my life and probably my biggest [un]talent. But in this universe, people don’t have sudden revelations about their (or their children’s) behavior without any outside prodding.

    Based on your Sweet Frog example, there is no reason someone shouldn’t have told the parents — nicely or not nicely, it’s up to you — to keep their kids under control.

    Additionally, it’s not Sweet Frog’s fault that some random patron’s kids are being dicks. Simply not going again is irrelevant and doesn’t help anything. All you’re doing is hurting yourself and Sweet Frog — the parents and the unruly kids learn nothing and go on to annoy everyone else another day.

    I’m sorry, but smiling will not save the world. Teaching people how to behave in public will. It might not be “polite” or “politically correct” but it is right, and that’s what matters.

  12. I’m reminded of an incident at a mall in Iowa…

    They had a playland in the center of the mall, brand new and really cool. Brilliantly colored climbing toys, cushy padded floor, seating all around for the parents. It was always packed with a variety of ages, from the not-yet-walking to the slightly-above-height-limit. But so long as all play nice, I’m not one to judge who should or shouldn’t be there. Once I noticed one child lying on top of another, pinning him and pulling his hair. The smaller kid on the bottom of this pile was crying, the tormentor was laughing. I looked around for a parent, hoping one was about to intervene, but no one appeared to notice but me. I leaned down and said in my best polite/firm parent-voice, “Please get off of him. NOW.” Both kids immediately leapt off the floor like they’d been electrocuted and the mean one flew shrieking off to his distracted mother. I was waiting for her to come respond to me, but she didn’t seem to notice or care what happened. Other parents gave me covert glances. It was awkward but I didn’t care. I felt like I did the right thing.

    Mostly though as a Mom I feel the best way to contribute to the village is to diligently, visibly monitor and correct the behavior of my own kids. Worst place to catch bad-kid/bad-parent behavior: hands down, any WalMart.

  13. Sally W on said:

    Regarding rude children: I treat children not that much differently than I’d treat any other stranger being rude. In that situation, the second time I had a kid cutting in front of me, I would’ve politely said, “I’m sorry, but I was next in line. You can wait your turn like the rest of us.” Or if the parent was obviously right there, I would’ve said it loud enough for them to hear as well.

    If a child is acting out as a way to get attention, then by explaining the bounderies: you’re giving them positive, instructive attention. It’s not punishment. And I know when I was a kid, I learned pronto how to behave in public because if I didn’t, I was yanked out of the store /situation and it was precisely that embarrassment that I learned from.

    Voting with your dollars only hurts the business not the parents. And most businesses in this weak ecomony are not going to risk the wrath of a parent, going off on them in front of a store full of customers, when the server tries to hold their kid accountable. Minimum wage servers have their *job* to do and their job is not to be a babysitter or parent.

    As for the father using his kids a traffic buffer: that’s insane. I’m a life long pedestrian/public transportation user and my first rule is to “walk defensively” just as most drivers are taught to “drive defensively”.

  14. @Lynda — At a crosswalk, yes, crossing is encouraged. Pedestrians don’t have the right of way when jaywalking, though, as in this example. As a non-etiquette-related-but-safety-related tip, I try to look both ways several times, even at a crosswalk, even when my light is green.

    This is helpful: http://www.ehow.com/info_8663816_rules-pedestrian-crosswalks-virginia-dmv.html

    As well as this: http://law.justia.com/codes/virginia/2006/toc4602000/46.2-924.html

    @Retail Anon — WHAT?! I can’t even…

    Let’s give them the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps they’re a band of lost Romanovs, who inadvertently stepped into a portal and ended up in your store, and they’ve literally never been in a room before that wasn’t their personal play area? That would excuse it, but not much else. Oh, entitlement. :/

  15. @Elle Dee — Thank you for your fantastic tip! I love your line “I was quite sure had you seen it, you would have stepped in to help.” Very graceful. I think teachers must have an acquired knack for dealing with stuff like this calmly. Your idea to approach the child rather than the adult is probably way more effective, but I’d be wary of doing that due to the livid rage some people fly into when seeing their children spoken to by other adults. As you showed, I think someone venturing into this territory would have to tread lightly.

    @Chairman Brando — At Richmond Proper, the goal will never be to humiliate others, whether or not they deserve it. I shudder to think of past mistakes in my life, the kind people who put up with me, and what would have happened if they chose to repay my bungles with what I deserved instead of grace. Everybody acts like a fool at one point or other. The purpose of any etiquette column isn’t to “save the world,” but rather to promote awareness of how we make other people feel when we live together in civilization.

    In all seriousness, you may be more interested in reading columns filed under topics like Sweet Revenge, I Really TOLD Her Didn’t I?, or Giving Others Their Comeuppance.

    I’m not very good at practicing the Art of Responding Calmly, like I know many of my readers are! So my personal goal when faced with a situation like this is more like Han Solo’s goal — to avoid certain entanglements. Thus, I’ll avoid them as best I can. If that means not going to certain places around town where this behavior is seen as A-OK, that’s fine. What would really be silly would be for me to keep going there constantly and complaining loudly “HAY why are there children jostling me?!” Doing the same thing, expecting different results, etc. etc.

    @Julie — Even though I do try to avoid jumping into situations like this, I agree that you should do what you have to do to save a small child from being pummeled. Also, can I get this quote cast in bronze and hung up in Sweet Frog? “Mostly though as a Mom I feel the best way to contribute to the village is to diligently, visibly monitor and correct the behavior of my own kids.”

    @Sally — Yes, my parents too made me aware of exactly what would happen if I were to misbehave. So the misbehavior wouldn’t have been worth the punishment, and I was generally an angel in public. Probably most kids like the ones I encountered know that any threats from their parents are never followed through on, so they’re like “yeah whatever” and keep on wilding out. I think your idea of gently correcting the children loud enough for the parents to hear is fine, provided they’re not yelling and screaming and carrying on too loud to hear you. So adorable! :)

    Regarding attendance at Sweet Frog, I don’t feel like it’s the kind of place where this was an isolated instance. It seemed like the accepted norm. Just another day at the office! The employees most definitely noticed what was going on, and said and did nothing. I know that lots of businesses tell their employees to tolerate any behavior whatsoever from customers, and I don’t want to support those businesses. I absolutely want to support businesses where rabid, belligerent customers are politely asked to leave in order to preserve the comfort of the majority of the customers. And you know, if Sweet Frog is a playground rather than an ice cream shop, I really don’t belong there.

  16. Jennifer C. on said:

    I appreciate other parents helping keep an eye out for my kids, since I’m outnumbered most of the time. Provided a parent isn’t screaming at and/or using a nasty tone with my kid, I’m much more likely to thank them for intervening.

  17. Wow. You guys are very serious about your sweet frog. It’s still new – the kids are excited. Those college kids were nuts when Very Berry opened up as well.

  18. @Eric: I’m sure it’s not about the particulars of the ice cream shop, new or old. This can and does happen anywhere. It’s a matter of parents not bothering to parent and the monstrous kids that result…who then become more awful adults. There’s no excuse for anyone to be so inconsiderate.

    If my kids were that rude, I’d make them apologize to everyone, and pay for the product (with a generous tip.) Then we’d leave immediately, without the ice cream I paid for, which would come out of their allowance. I’d cringe at the waste, but there would be no other choice. We’d have a conversation/lecture in the car about how I was made to feel, how the shopkeeper and patrons were made to feel, and why it was not cool. Fortunately I don’t think I’d be in the position in the first place, my kids know me too well to act that wild. And they love ice cream. :)

  19. @Julie — Well said. Great tip about lecturing kids and focusing on how others are made to feel. I think often when I was a kid and I asked why I had to behave a certain way, I was like “Just because that’s how it’s done” or whatever. But children understand feeling embarrassed, afraid, etc., and I think they can relate in their way to the feelings of others, when you point them out.

  20. Roger Talbott on said:

    I really do think that is is the responsibility of everyone in society to let others know when something is not acceptable. This is especially important when it come to children. In fact, I suspect this trend of passive parenting is a direct result of folks not being comfortable with confrontation. Its critical that we all communicate our boundaries with one another. A stranger is absolutely not out of line to ask that child or an adult to behave correctly provided that they are not rude themselves. There is never anything wrong with an “excuse me young man, it is rude to push/ cut the line. Please wait in line with everyone else.” There is no need for anger, just a firm and polite reminder of what people/children are supposed to do in the given situation.

    Some might argue that rebuking the behavior of others’ children is not polite. Those who argue this are mistaken. This is a traditional socially accepted practice which was quite common in an era where people were expected to respect each other more than they are expected to today. I do agree, however, that vocally criticizing someone’s parenting is not a sound strategy to bring the desired effect. It is best to speak to the child directly, children know when they are acting improperly, they just sometimes need an adult to remind them.

  21. Marsha Killington on said:

    It’s certainly not just Carytown. American culture in general has become so coarsened, and standards of public behavior have fallen so far (and I largely blame Hollywood mass media entertainment for this) that every other venture into the public realm results in some horror or another.

    Now, having said that, I’m acutely aware that the ‘older generations’ have been saying this since Roman times. But that doesn’t make it false. If you think nothing changes under the sun, simply take a listen to popular song lyrics of today in comparison to those of just 30 years ago. Night and day. Language no one dared (or even wanted to dare) say publicly is now par for the course. Sigh..

  22. I was in Carytown over the weekend and vowed never to return. Every block has so much trash on the sidewalk, that you kick it when you walk. It’s stuffed between the buildings and sitting on the window ledges. Speaking of windows, many of the businesses look as if they haven’t been washed in years. ESPECIALLY Pirouzon Rugs. If you are a business that is lucky enough to have a street tree in front, you should care for it! It’s an asset!! Why would you let the weeds grow up through the mulch and leave the trash and cigarette butts there. The place has become just GROSS.

  23. Sally W on said:

    Vistors to Carytown vs residents and neighbors of Carytown probably see this stretch much differently. I’m in the latter camp, and I’ve *never* seen the amount of trash that Donna’s referencing–and I was walking around that same weekend. And I go through Cary St every Mon-Fri on the bus, and I still haven’t seen that kind of mess.

    Even during Watermelon festival, I’ve never seen ” so much trash on the sidewalk, that you kick it when you walk.” Seriously, I’ve never been in *any* part of Richmond that’s been under siege by trash on the sidewalk the way Donna describes it.

    As for Pirouzon Rugs: I walked thru Carytown the day after Irene to see what toll the storm took: and Piriouzon got hit badly with window leaks. Part of the section had collapsed in a bit and there were tupperware containers along the window ledge there (and in some other shops who had the same leaks) to capture the water. So maybe cut them some slack. Then again, as a resident and not a visitor, I might be more aware of the bigger picture and less prone to point fingers.

    Maybe I’m just more used to city environments vs sterile mall environments, and maybe I’ve seen city blocks elsewhere in the US and VA that are truly litter strewn–but the worst I’ve ever seen on Cary St are the occasional trash cans that need emptying. And they don’t remain in that condition for long.

  24. Roger Talbott on said:

    I am an old fogey, I dislike new things because the old timey nonsense is obviously better blah blah blah. you know whats wrong with kids these days? Its that internet they’re always talking about blah blah blah. The music that is popular nowadays is just some cretin shouting swear words into a microphone blah blah blah. This article about manners is now about litter for some reason blah blah blah.

  25. @Sally — I agree, I think of Carytown as one of the cleaner parts of town in terms of garbage. If it’s changed, this is the first I’m hearing of it — but then again, as I said, I haven’t been there much lately at all.

  26. anonymous on said:

    Well, since people are talking garbage, one thing that makes me cringe about Sweet Frog is all the styrafoam. I have seen similar ‘yogurt bars’ that are good enough to make the commitment to biodegradable cups and spoons. Why not Sweet Frog in Richmond?

  27. I would have spanked a bottom, or two!!!!

    If you really want to see a lack of parenting stop by Cartwheels and coffee. I was there with my little dude this summer when a 2 year old came up and smacked him on the head. The parent did NOTHING. My friend and I were astonished at the behavior. I didn’t even know what to say to the child’s mother I was so speechless. Looking back on it I wished I would have said something.

    I taught for 7 years until recently deciding to be a stay at home mom. I learned so much about parenting from being a teacher. I feel like it really toughened me up to make hard choices about discipline with my kids, as I have seen the results when there is none. There has been this backlash in recent years I feel of gen x parents that have a total lack of disciple for their children. They “don’t want to be like their parents” so they let their kids do whatever they want. It basically just makes me sad for the kids because they are the ones who are losing in the long run.

  28. RVAMike on said:

    @Tess, thank you for bringing this subject up! I, like many others on this site, think that it is getting worse. Parents have got to control their kids. It’s really a simple formula for how kids should behave in certain establishments:

    1. If it’s made for kids, let them be kids (e.g., playgrounds, Chuck E Cheese type places, fast food play-lands, etc.) – But violence, like Jenny mentioned above, is NEVER acceptable and something should be said, in a non confrontational manner – not trying to instigate a fight. :)

    2. If it’s ” casual family oriented”, they can be kids, but they need to be confined to their service line waiting to order or seating area – NOT running around bothering other customers (e.g., Subway, Sweet Frog, etc.)

    3. If it’s a restaurant that serves alcohol and has a full wait staff, which typically indicates it is geared towards adults, then the kids need to SIT in their chairs (not stand in the booths peering over at the table next to them), and use “inside voices” (e.g., Outback type places, and more importantly, when the restaurant is closer to fine dining!)

    As many have stated above, it is the PARENTS’ responsibility to ensure their kids are following social norms and respect everyone else’s right to enjoy their dining experience! Often kids do know how they SHOULD act in public, but they often forget, or try to push limits with their parents, so it should be the parents, not us, that corrects their behavior.

    So, if a child can’t act appropriately in these circumstances, and the parents can’t (or worse – won’t) address the behavior, they should a) not be taken to those types of establishments, and/or b) when the kid starts off ok, but then starts to “deteriorate”, as they often do when they get tired, bored, etc., then it’s time to get a doggy bag for everyone and go home!

    As great as it is that there are others out there that are frustrated with this type of parenting/child behavior, I’m sure these comments are falling on deaf ears (or would it be a blind eye?) because, the types of people we are addressing, will never see these comments. And even if thy do, they will immediately think, “These comments aren’t about me!”

    And for the moron crossing the street with his bumper car kids, that is just totally unacceptable. If you are jaywalking anywhere, you are at a much higher risk of being hit. If drivers aren’t expecting people crossing at any given stretch of road, they may not be looking up at all. Add in the distractions of cell phones, stereos, etc., Furthermore, in places like Carytown, when coming from a stop light, cars are accelerating, and often already at a higher speed in the middle of the block, which causes a slower reaction time to stop. Even at crosswalks, you have to be careful of people running red (and yellow) lights.

    The bottom line is whether or not it’s an area where the pedestrian does have the right of way, things can still go wrong (not to mention people walking while texting, talking, and any other distraction), if you are not cautious, when it comes to a matter of a car vs. a pedestrian, the car is going to win 100% of the time!

    (@Tess, apparently I am now an ambassador for the “Ministry of Long Comments!” Sorry for the rant guys!

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