Friday, April 2, 2010

Not-So-Mellow Yellow

I confess I've had more than my share of uncharitable thoughts when I've seen these yellow flags posted by crosswalks in the Seattle suburbs.

The point is for intrepid pedestrians to gamely pluck one from its holder on Side A of the crosswalk, gravely wave the yellow flag to alert inattentive drivers of their presence as they risk their very lives by crossing the street on the yellow lines, and then gratefully deposit said life-saving yellow flag on Side B of the street for the next death-defying pedestrian to use.

Yes Gentle Readers, I admit, I mocked the whole idea of these flags. Now in my defense, I gotta tell you that Seattle drivers are among the MOST POLITE on the planet. I've had many a car screech to a halt 50 feet away from me because I had dared to stick one foot over the curb. In Boston or Rome? Oh yeah, I'd gladly do what I could to stack the odds in my favor. But Seattle? Really? Really?

But then as I was taking pictures, I saw the statistics saying that 62 people who were "not carrying a flag" had been injured...and suddenly I didn't feel quite so smug. I'm not emotionally evolved enough to say that I completely repent for my ill-advised mockery, or that I would actually USE a yellow flag, but I promise not to think uncharitable thoughts any more about those who use them...or at least I promise to TRY...

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