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Comments

1
Even more infuriating than the 4 way stop issue are the people who IMAGINE A FOUR WAY STOP at an intersection where there isn't one. You're on a side street, waiting to cross a thoroughfare, and some dipshit on that thoroughfare screeches to a halt to frantically wave you across. Yeah, thanks, but I'll wait here with folded arms as long as necessary to cross behind you.
3
@1, being on foot (folded arms) technically has the right of way and the car is required to stop, as state law says every intersection is a crosswalk unless signed otherwise, whether there is a stop sign or not. However if there are other cars approaching from either direction, it is best to assume they would be happy to run you over.
4
P.S. or are you in a car and folding your arms in front of the steering wheel?
5
@3 @4 -- I'm pretty sure he meant in a car.

Oh, and I absolutely agree with Mudede. If you must stand, stand to the right. I honestly don't know when we got so lazy, but I grew up in this town and I rarely saw people standing on the escalator. But if you feel so inclined, then please stand to the side.
6
Blazin bagels in sodo is also pretty decent. The bagels from their own storefront are better than what you can buy in the store, IMO.

also, rain jackets are handy if you want to stay dry and be able to use both your hands. Since you are in Seattle one of your hands is likely occupied by a cup of coffee.
7
@3 - traffic is required to yield to pedestrians in the road, within one lane of the vehicle. If I'm standing on the street corner, not standing in the street, you're not actually, *technically* required to stop for me. For example, if my dog is taking a dump on the corner, you don't need to stop for me. Yes, I am standing at an intersection. No, I am not trying to cross the street.

Stop waiting for people who are not trying to cross the street.

Also, slamming on your brakes for someone who is standing on the sidewalk is not safe for anybody. @1 is right.

Also, and this is a phenomenon I have only seen in Seattle: if I am standing at an intersection and you have a green light, and I have a "don't walk," you do not have to slam on your brakes and stop for me. In fact, it's discouraged! Do not stop at green lights for pedestrians waiting out a "don't walk" sign. That's not how green lights work.
8
@7 - I believe you're right, subject to the assumption that waiting to cross on the sidewalk is not being "within one lane of the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling". Thanks for the correction.

http://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?…
9
God the umbrella thing is just so much bullshit. Look at old photos of Seattle back in the day. People have umbrellas.
10
Please, please, keep the bagels out of Seattle! They have no place here. Or move back to the east coast.
11
Also please stop turning left through the crosswalk while I, one of the few people following the rules instead of jaywalking, am still making my way across the street according to the will of the almighty walking person silhouette in the little box. I bothered to pull my head away from my phone for a bit, you should too.
12
@10 What do you have against bagels? People in Seattle can be so antisemitic sometimes. This is the only city in the country where I've been called a "fucking Jew". Multiple times. Now bagels are the devil. Go fuck yourself.

@9 Yes, umbrellas are great for the rain. People love to complain that it "rains all the time" , but with rain boots and an umbrella, I barely get wet. Yes, I am a transplant, but it rained where I lived before too. I like to keep my eyeglasses dry.
13
Seattle Bagel Bakery bagels are proper BOILED bagels (not mass-produced bagel-shaped crap like most others). Available at their Pike Place Market storefront, Central Markets, Yakima Fruit Market in Bothell -- possibly elsewhere. If you like bagels, then definitely give them a try!
14
The absolute most egregious example of the escalator problem is at Pacific Place. You walk in the building and to the left is the classic zigzag style escalators for morons who want to go on a ride but to the right are the express escalators that go straight to the movie theater without having to navigate any switchbacks. You know, as if they are designed for people rushing to make their movie time.
15
The escalator thing...is absolutely wrong for the collective good. It only benefits selfish assholes only concerned with themselves.

The reasoning is simple. Leaving half the escalator unused is inefficient...more people could be moved more quickly if people stood on both sides. There's actually proof of this. Even if people are walking on the left, they have to leave more space between themselves in order to do so--meaning that it is STILL inefficient to stand on one side and let people walk on the other.

Here's the Slate article: http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/…

Walking on the escalator is the capitalism of choices.
16
A silly excuse for an article, but I look forward to blaming everything on:"a debilitating legacy of Nordic caution."
18
@15 Inefficient if and only if there is sufficient traffic to cause congestion on the escalator.
19
So once again Mr. Mudede shows his contempt for the people of small(er) towns (Spokane, Boise, Butte). It seems that people from those towns have never seen let alone heard of an escalator. Frankly I wasn't aware of escalator etiquette as to keeping to the right to accommodate those in hurry; usually where there is an escalator there are also stairs. But, tongue and cheek aside, it is really Mr. Muddies attitude toward small non-Seattle type towns that I find as elitist and condescending.
20
These sorts of articles are so tiresome and precious. Every city is different; why do Seattlites, newcomers and old, embrace this self-loathing so? Can't drive right, can't walk right, can't bake right, etc. There's an awful lot we do better than most other places, such as yielding to pedestrians (and we're not terribly good at that, admittedly - just better).

If you can't abide the quality of Seattle bagels, quite your annoying whining and start a bakery. I for one am not convinced to the superiority of Californian driving or New York walking, but if that's what's keeping you from being happy here, expecting a post from the bully pulpit of The Stranger seems less efficacious than another obvious solution.

As for the escalator, you're behind the times: http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/…
21
I grew up in Seattle and never owned an umbrella. No matter how wet I have gotten, I have somehow never wished I had an umbrella. (Or one of those plastic wizard-poncho things. I once had one put on me as a child, and thought "this is bullshit.")
22
If there are stairs available and you're in a hurry, it's usually possible to climb them faster than an escalator moves (even if you take them one at a time). And, in my limited experience,-- limited mostly to airports,-- they are normally less crowded.
23
@20 and self-perpetuating articles about "the Seattle Freeze", too. Yes, meeting people takes time and effort. No, not everybody wants to be your best friend after they get to know you. Go try somewhere else, don't sit around blogging about being acquaintance-zoned.
24
Your complaining about Solowheel riders sounds exactly like drivers complaining about cyclists. Good job projecting your own pretentious biases onto others! Yeah, let's point and laugh at those people "trying to optimize" whatever, and never mind the fact that you just made that up so that you could insult people you've never met. It may interest you to know that people, who are not you, may enjoy doing things that you do not enjoy doing, so get the ever-loving-fuck over it already.

And no, I've never ridden a Solowheel.
25
@15 When is the last time you had to wait in a long line to get ON the escalator? That slate article is bullshit and the study cited is bullshit. The claimed efficiency of standing would only be realized if the escalators are continuously at capacity loads which they are not. It is not more efficient; if you must stand do so to the right and please understand that this is lazy, shameful behavior if you are able-bodied.
26
As a strong corollary to the 4-way-stop rule, is that *EVERYONE* should take the right-of-way when it is theirs. I usually walk, but I am occasionally driving, and nothing mucks things up like a pedestrian with clear right-of-way (like, out in the street obviously waiting to cross) stopped and waving cars by, while the car is also stopped waiting for the ped to clear the intersection.

Things work best when all cars/bikes/peds/uni-wheel-what-evers take their turn when everyone knows it's their turn.
27
Narrow Escalators - take Elevator instead.
Would like to add one thing to Charles's argument: For narrow, single-file, escalators, such as the one at Pioneer Square Station, persons who are unable, or unwilling, to walk up or down the escalator should take the elevator.
28
So--of the four stranger staffers, only Eli Sanders is actually from Seattle. Who better to tell you about your own city than from people who aren't even from here? Do, tell us more about ourselves..the "we're glad you're here" was a dead give-away.
29
Also, if the car directly across from you is proceeding straight through the intersection, you can proceed straight through the intersection too! At the same time! Without hitting anyone! Awesome right? 2 cars at once!

We should rename busy Seattle 4 way stop intersections "Engraved Invitation" intersections i.e, 3rd Ave NW & NW 65th St.
30
@20 - I actually think Seattle drivers overall are better than most places, better than anywhere else I've driven. That being said, there are a few things they do that stand out as bad compared to other places. One is definitely that they don't know how 4-way stops work. The person on the right doesn't always have the right of way. I'm positive someone read this who didn't know the first car goes first. So it did some good. That being said, other places it is much more common for people to try to stop 20 feet from the stop line in some silly attempt to be the first one 'stopped at the intersection.'

That and blocking intersections. And, maybe even more annoying and bone-headed, turning right on a red when someone is waiting for the intersection to clear before going straight. If someone is waiting for the traffic to clear, you cannot turn right in front of them on red, wait for your green light.
31
@30 I agree with you (I've not encountered the stop 20 feet from the intersection gambit, but that jibes with my general perception of self-absorbed-maximizer-drivers elsewhere). As for the free right on red at the expense of the the person dutifully not blocking the intersection: special circle in hell for them, but that I've definitely seen elsewhere.
32
Four way stops are easy. At the moment you stop there, you know you are the last car at a four-way stop. Just wait until three cars move and then you go. One...two...three...me! Not before, not after. Get it right kids.

As far as Seattle drivers being bad, as a Seattle native I question this. After all, doesn't everyone always talk about how nobody's really from Seattle and it's rare to find a real native? So then logically, if people in Seattle drive badly and most people aren't from Seattle, then it's your fault, Seattle immigrants. It was all of you, who brought in your bad driving habits with you.

@15 (pg13), while the math may indicate that standing on escalators is technically faster, social norms regarding escalators often carry as much weight or more. And the fact is, if we were to all point to the math while shaking our fingers at escalator walkers, we would simply be practicing a math-geek Northwest provincialism. Because the thing about standing to the right on an escalator is that it's an international de facto standard. If you don't stand to the right of an escalator in New York, Paris, etc., everybody else will glare at you like you're the biggest bozo on earth. It may not be the right math...but it is what is expected of you in many large cities around the world.
33
@32 The dippyness is contagious. Also, it is not all drivers that do the stupid shit listed above, just a high enough percentage to be really aggravating.

We must add to this list: if a car in front of you is turning left and there is ample room to go around them to the right, do it! This is not considered a wildly risky stunt over 99.9% of this earth.Oh yes, and a right red arrow does not mean no right on red. It means the same thing as a red light. If there is no sign saying right on red is prohibited, it is allowed.
34
@22: It's also possible--and marginally faster--to walk next to the moving walkways at an airport. But it's faster still to walk on the moving walkways. And in airports, including SEA-TAC, everyone understands this, and the people who choose to stand stay the hell out of the way of people who are in a hurry. The oh-so-clever observation that it's slightly more efficient for everyone to stand on extremely crowded escalators is inapplicable about 97% of the time in Seattle, because our escalators are rarely at that point of congestion. My normal frustration is to walk half way up and then be stuck behind a person/group of people. Their stubborn, selfish, clueless space-hoarding isn't remotely efficient.

In short: Mudede has never been more correct than he is here. Knock it off.
35
Seriously: Stand Right, Walk Left. Walking up the escalator is good cardio!
36
I've lived in Seattle all my life. I bought an umbrella once...to go hiking in the Baja.
37
@11: One of my Seattle native friends recently remarked about how he gets glared at when he begins turning while someone is still in the crosswalk and he reminded me how people will even sometimes passive aggressively freeze and stop moving to make a point.

Drivers can start turning COMPLETELY SAFELY while you're still slowly meandering across the street with your righteous sense of entitlement. It's called efficiency. It's awesome. This is one reason why driving downtown is a nightmare.
38
Additionally: Jaywalking safely when there are no cars makes those left turns easier and benefit everyone. There are studies about this too, but they've been posted before and it does no good.
41
I'm from Butte. I'm well aware of being in a hurry and standing to the right. This also applies to the moving sidewalks in airports. Infuriating.
42
Deliver me from the 4 way at 5th ave NE and Banner Way. "After you, Alphonse! No, after You, Gaston! No, I insist! I was here first but I intend to make a left turn and I couldn't POSSIBLY cut in front of you..." Inevitably, an enraged NYC transplant goes blasting through out of turn, everyone else gets huffy and offended and drives home basking in exquisite passive aggressive bliss.
43
If any one of the insecure small-town strivers who contributed to this article had grown up in a city of a couple million or more, the article never would have been written.

The hallmark of a true big-city urbanite is expecting to go though every day dealing with a constant barrage of strangers utterly oblivious to their surroundings.

And a real urbanite not only knows how to cope with each and every one of these everyday human obstacles, but has done so so many times that it's become unconscious reflex; the true city-dweller doesn't even notice the countless and inevitable lost, daydreaming, or simply gormless denizens that The Stranger's small-town reporters are so worked up about here.
45
man, what's the deal with airplane food, am I right?!
46
stranger bloggers: remind me where you're all from again? :)
47
@43 -- So I take it that you consider that being a Big City Urbanite is something to be proud of? Some pinnacle of personal achievement? Let me assure you that many of us are simply not impressed.
48
#43, you say that, but the first thing I notice when I go to NYC and London is that people there know how to walk, and that includes escalator use. It you walk like a Seattlite in either city (meandering down the middle of the sidewalk blocking the way for everyone around you), you'll get mowed down.
49
"Big City Seattle" LOL
50
baye
51
@24 Thank you for your comment. I will admit I am a Solowheel rider. I made a very conscious choice about it, and it was not to be "lazy" or to avoid walking. I don't own a car, my work is over an hour walk away, and biking in Seattle can be dangerous (partially because of some of the hate towards bikers). I like that this gives me a realistic option to shorten my commute and NOT pollute the streets with another car. I don't take it everywhere with me, there are plenty of times I do walk. I think its a gross over characterization to say these devices are purely for the lazy who should be walking instead. Do you make that argument or every person who drives a car around this city? Before attacking Solowheel riders the author had just stated how annoying drivers and driving in Seattle can be. I wish that the author would please try to realize that some people are trying to do something about that, and to take that in to consideration before just blatantly attacking them.