March is the time of
year when many people think about . cleaning. This spring,
how about cleaning up your walking and driving habits?
I'm human, too, I used to run late for meetings and
appointments. Pressed to arrive at my destination on time,
I'd aggressively push that red light, speed around slower
traffic, and elbow my way across the street and into a
crowded elevator. I'd make the meeting on time, but was
anxious, aggravated, and too exhausted to take on the task
at hand. I realized I preferred to arrive at appointments
alive, calm, and ready to be creative. I cleaned up my
act and poor transportation habits and happily share these
tips for you to do the same. Remember, the road rage you
prevent may be your own!
| BEFORE YOU LEAVE
- Be realistic about how much time your
trip will take. When traveling to an
unfamiliar place, check one of the on-line mapping
programs- maps.yahoo.com or mapquest.com-to gauge the
distance and time required. Allow extra time
for high-traffic periods and poor weather and
- Cheat on your departure time. Set
your clock or computer to ring 15 minutes ahead
of when you absolutely need to leave the office.
When that alarm rings, cease whatever you are doing.
If you aren't finished with your work, it
certainly will be there when you return. Close
down your tasks and leave, no matter what.
Think about it, had you suddenly realized you were
supposed to be someplace, wouldn't you have dropped
everything and left anyway? What's the difference?
The difference is by closing down 15 minutes before
you need to leave and allowing yourself the proper
time to get to your destination, you save yourself
anxiety and worry.
- Organize your belongings. Establish
a place near your office or home door
to place items you need to take with
you, including the
telephone number to the location or person you are
meeting---just in case. Knowing exactly
where to find
your keys, your cell phone, and the file you need for
the meeting will save you anxious minutes
- Watch your step and wait
your turn. Wait and do not step off the sidewalk
until it is your turn to cross the intersection. In
addition to being dangerous, when you wait in the
street you block the right-of-way of drivers who want
to make turns. By law, if a driver sees a pedestrian
on the street, the driver must stop and allow the
pedestrian to cross. Even if a pedestrian waives the
driver through, if the driver does not stop, he or
is subject to a moving violation. On many high-traffic
streets the lights are configured to allow all
pedestrians to walk at the same time, separate from
the vehicles. Be patient and wait for the proper light
for pedestrians to cross the street.
- Share the
strolling down the street, stay to one side of the
space and allow others to pass. If you're walking
with others, some of the group may need to walk behind
the others, allowing other pedestrians to pass in
| WHEN YOU’RE
- Please stop at red lights. Running
red lights is my biggest rage about drivers on
city streets. Unless you are already in the
intersection, when you see a yellow light, consider
it a red light and stop. Especially when you are
than one car's length away from the intersection, do
not step on the gas pedal thinking you will make it
across. Sure you may make it this time, but as time
goes on, inch by inch your perception of that car length
will become longer and longer, to the point you will
find yourself going through red lights more and more
often. Ultimately you may cause an accident, hurt someone
or get a ticket. Simply don't do it. Relax. Take a
deep breath and allow yourself to do the right thing
- Weaving is for rugs, not traffic. Changing
lanes without signaling, making turns from the
incorrect lanes, and weaving
around slower vehicles without regard to other drivers
are illegal, and dangerous.
- Passing lanes
are for passing. When driving on highways,
the far left lane is properly a passing lane. Do not
stay in that lane
indefinitely; use it for passing only. Don't be oblivious
to the cars behind you. Go with the flow of traffic.
is a party, not a driving style. Driving too
close to another car is rude. What purpose does this
serve? Tailgating only
causes fear to the person in front of you and
frustration to you. Please leave at least one car
length between you and the car ahead.
your hankering to honk. The automobile
horn was created to warn other cars in emergency
situations. Honking a horn, especially at a
crowded intersection, serves no purpose. Your car horn
is not an all-purpose frustration vent to get other
people to move out of your way.
a few minutes today to consider your behavior and
attitude about getting places on time. I believe
that springing into good pedestrian and driver habits
will make you a better citizen and a happier person.
Less worry and aggressive behavior may even make
you healthier. I know from experience that you will
make appointments on time and have a greater feeling
of inner peace, confidence, and authority when you
plan ahead and travel with courtesy. Behind the wheel
or walking the streets, keep in mind to "do unto
others as you would have them do unto you."
If you have any questions, email
us or call us as indicated below. We'd enjoy hearing
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