To the woman who greeted me with an obscene finger gesture last week and the gentleman shaving in his rearview mirror who refused to pull forward to allow me to complete my journey across Forest Avenue on Monday morning: For the record, I had a green light. I’m sure you didn’t see it. You were parked directly underneath it … in the middle of the intersection … directly across the end of my street.

But I did have a green light, and had you not been obstructing the intersection, I could have driven from Saunders to Vannah, or from Vannah across to Saunders without incident, certainly without feeling intimidated and endangered, barred from entering the intersection in one case, trapped midway across it in another.

To you, Finger Lady and Shaving Man, and your compatriots, Cellphone Woman and Coffee Drinking Guy: I get it, really. You’re just trying to get to work. Maybe you got a late start, maybe traffic was terrible. And maybe this is the only yellow (or slightly red) light you blew through the whole way.

But here’s the thing: This is my street. I live here. And every time I need to take my kids to school, or watch one of them ride their bike away down the road, I know that one of you is there blocking the intersection, making it unsafe for all of us, and often swearing at us, just for wanting to go on a green light. Every. Single. Day.

Please be kind – stop blocking the intersection. If you end up there by mistake, I forgive you. It happens. Smile apologetically, and I’ll wave. Try to pull forward a little and make room. I’ll appreciate the effort. But please stop doing it willfully, belligerently, threateningly. You’re better than that. We all are.

Tara Connor

Portland


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