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  1. #1
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    Driving to The Mailbox

    I live in a semi-rural area where people have their mailbox at the end of their driveway. I order to avoid walking to the box to pick up their mail, they will drive up to it in their vehicles. This often means that they will wind up on the shoulder facing against oncoming traffic. This is a serious hazard to cyclists who are forced to take the lane at an inopportune time. It also effects oncoming cars who generally swerve into oncoming traffic to avoid the vehicle on the shoulder. I was once riding with my group AFRAP when a lady approaching from the opposite direction came at us head on with absolutely no hesitation across the center line to access her mailbox. It was truly unbelievable. She literally did not give a care that there were cyclists there. Plus she screamed at us to get out of her way. In retrospect, I think she may have been mentally ill.
    Aside from the safety aspect, there is the laziness aspect. Most of these people are perfectly capable of ambulating to their mailbox, and most of them have a fifty foot driveway. The laziness is stunning.

  2. #2
    Senior Member howsteepisit's Avatar
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    Seen that type of behavior for years. Also seen people drive 200 feet to wait for a school bus with their kids in the car. People are what they are, you ain't gonna change them, so its no use getting perturbed about their choice of behavior. and on the other hand, a car represents quite a large investment for most people, why shouldn't they get the maximum benefit of that investment?
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  3. #3
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    That's OK. I once saw somebody make three stops on one short string of errands. Stop one, go in for a minute, come out drive the car 1/2 block to the 2nd stop, then make a U-turn and drive back to the middle of the block for the 3rd errand. The total distance covered must have been less than 50 yards + crossing the street.

    People are lazy.

    OTOH, while inconvenient for you, there's no rule about stopping on shoulders, and you should be ready and willing to ride around obstacles. If there were a huge pothole in your path and you had to maneuver around it you wouldn't have posted about it. Lazy or not, humans deserve more consideration that potholes, so while you may not like the behavior, try to make room in your life to take it in stride.
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  4. #4
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Don't' drive so far to the right.

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    Quote Originally Posted by howsteepisit View Post
    Also seen people drive 200 feet to wait for a school bus with their kids in the car.
    Every bus stop I pass now has no kids waiting outside. They're all sitting in the backseat of a car with their heads buried in a tablet. It makes me sad. I wonder if the parents realize that they're depriving their children of socialization skills that will hurt the kids later in life.

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    You think that's funny? Watch a gym parking lot right after the new year. Drivers "vulture" for parking spots as close to the gym as possible when there are wide open spots just 100 yards away from the door.

    I sometimes just want to scream out, "If you'd WALK more than 10 yards maybe you wouldn't need a resolution to get yourself in a shape other than rotund!"

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    That's OK. I once saw somebody make three stops on one short string of errands. Stop one, go in for a minute, come out drive the car 1/2 block to the 2nd stop, then make a U-turn and drive back to the middle of the block for the 3rd errand. The total distance covered must have been less than 50 yards + crossing the street.

    People are lazy.

    OTOH, while inconvenient for you, there's no rule about stopping on shoulders, and you should be ready and willing to ride around obstacles. If there were a huge pothole in your path and you had to maneuver around it you wouldn't have posted about it. Lazy or not, humans deserve more consideration that potholes, so while you may not like the behavior, try to make room in your life to take it in stride.
    Maybe. Many jurisdictions do not allow people to park their cars facing the wrong way, so the folks who are driving across the roadway to access their mail boxes while facing into oncoming traffic may well be violating the law.

    Sure, from a cyclist's perspective there isn't a whole lot of difference between a car on the shoulder that is legally parked and one in the same place that is otherwise legal but for its orientation. The whole thing falls under the heading of (very) minor annoyance, with the benefit of being predictable and thus easy to counter.

    When I see this sort of behavior, which is almost daily, I'm reminded of the opening scenes from the movie The Gods Must Be Crazy.

  8. #8
    Senior Member RPK79's Avatar
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    I don't think "checking your mail" is a valid excuse for crossing the center line and entering the oncoming traffic lane.

  9. #9
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by achoo View Post
    You think that's funny? Watch a gym parking lot right after the new year. Drivers "vulture" for parking spots as close to the gym as possible when there are wide open spots just 100 yards away from the door.

    I sometimes just want to scream out, "If you'd WALK more than 10 yards maybe you wouldn't need a resolution to get yourself in a shape other than rotund!"
    Parking lot... PARKING LOT??? Got that one beat...



    BTW this IS in my town.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    Parking lot... PARKING LOT??? Got that one beat...
    I've been seeing (and using) that photo for years and always wondered if it was "live or Photoshop".

    Thanks.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member shipwreck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    Parking lot... PARKING LOT??? Got that one beat...



    BTW this IS in my town.
    The people on that escalator seem fit and able to use the stairs, but I have always wondered if they do any physical therapy at that location, thus the escalators. Those that use the escalator on their way to spin class are more the joke than the fact that they exist for those who might benefit from them.

  12. #12
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    I've been seeing (and using) that photo for years and always wondered if it was "live or Photoshop".

    Thanks.
    Yeah I had seen the photo for some time... and then one day I happened to make a wrong turn... and whoosh, there it was. Weird when reality does that now and then.

  13. #13
    Senior Member mrodgers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spivonious View Post
    Every bus stop I pass now has no kids waiting outside. They're all sitting in the backseat of a car with their heads buried in a tablet. It makes me sad. I wonder if the parents realize that they're depriving their children of socialization skills that will hurt the kids later in life.
    In my wife's and kid's defense, it was -32° out, there are no other kids around because it is the end of our driveway in the middle of nowhere, and it is pitch black out at 6:25 am with no lights.

    Ok, they canceled school when it was -32° (coldest I've ever experienced in my life) and she waits in the breezeway between the house and the garage until see sees the bus coming down the road turning into ours. Prior when both kids were in elementary school, they both walked out to the end of the driveway together and waited for the bus at 8 am, when it was light out. High school catches the bus well before the sun comes up (starts getting light out about 6:50 and you won't see the sun until well past 7:30 in winter.)

    When I'm a little late leaving for work, I always see the kids sitting in cars at the end of driveways waiting for the high school bus. But as I said, this is about 6:15 am for this school district and there are no streetlamps in the country. They would be standing down there in pitch black with cars zooming by at 70 mph. I wouldn't have wanted to stand along side a 2 lane 70 mph road waiting in the dark by myself in below 15° weather when I was in high school either.
    Last edited by mrodgers; 08-19-14 at 12:45 PM.
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  14. #14
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    ^ these are on nice weather days in neighborhoods with sidewalks, well after the sun has risen. Helicopter parenting at its worst.

  15. #15
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    The "serious hazard" reported by the OP was properly described as "The whole thing falls under the heading of (very) minor annoyance, with the benefit of being predictable and thus easy to counter" on post message 7.

    The posts following appear nothing more than efforts at who can be more smarmy than a previous poster with another smug anti-motorist rant. No bicycling advocacy or safety content.

    Recommend closing the thread.

  16. #16
    Senior Member RPK79's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    The "serious hazard" reported by the OP was properly described as "The whole thing falls under the heading of (very) minor annoyance, with the benefit of being predictable and thus easy to counter" on post message 7.

    The posts following appear nothing more than efforts at who can be more smarmy than a previous poster with another smug anti-motorist rant. No bicycling advocacy or safety content.

    Recommend closing the thread.
    Thanks for the play-by-play.

  17. #17
    rugged individualist wphamilton's Avatar
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    I live in an apartment complex with a community mailbox center. It's about .4 miles from my door, and closer for all other residents. Almost ALL of the residents that I've seen there are climbing out of their cars! I can't laugh too hard though because my riding a bike for .4 miles is almost as lazy as driving.

    To be fair that's been changing this summer, and I do see a few people biking up to the boxes now. I take advocacy credit for that, just by being a visible reminder
    Last edited by wphamilton; 08-19-14 at 01:15 PM.

  18. #18
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RPK79 View Post
    Thanks for the play-by-play.
    You are welcome. Just calling 'em like I see 'em.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
    Maybe. Many jurisdictions do not allow people to park their cars facing the wrong way, so the folks who are driving across the roadway to access their mail boxes while facing into oncoming traffic may well be violating the law.
    My wife got two parking tickets for this a few weeks ago when she parked facing the wrong way on a back street for a week away.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by joeyduck View Post
    My wife got two parking tickets for this a few weeks ago when she parked facing the wrong way on a back street for a week away.
    The only reason I know that parking facing the wrong way can be illegal was because I borrowed a car for a week thirty-five years ago while in college and got a ticket for parking that way in front of my house near the end of a cul-de-sac. I was amazed a cop had actually been on my street, let alone took the time to give me a low-cost education in the parking regulations.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
    The only reason I know that parking facing the wrong way can be illegal was because I borrowed a car for a week thirty-five years ago while in college and got a ticket for parking that way in front of my house near the end of a cul-de-sac. I was amazed a cop had actually been on my street, let alone took the time to give me a low-cost education in the parking regulations.
    I knew from my law abiding side. It cost $70 total.

  22. #22
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    One morning while dropping my daughter off at school, I watched a woman who lived directly across from the school get in her car with her son and drive to the end of her drive. The bus came, the boy got on and the bus drove to the back of the school to drop him off. She then walked to her mailbox, got her newspaper, picked up some litter in her yard, backed up her driveway and went in the house. It was a sunny fall day. The driveway was probably 100' long with another 100' walk to the school. While I can understand she didn't want to walk her son across the street (busy school zone but lots of stop and go with cars turning), she seemed to have no obvious physical limitations. I suppose there could have been some issue not easily noticeable, but she was able to walk up a short flight of stairs to get into her house.
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