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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Another Roadside Adventure

Once again, I was walking in the road, this time against the traffic on a suburban one-way street with no sidewalk. Coming toward me were a kid on the same side and some cars. He reached me first, and stepped up the curb into the grassy border. Subservience? I thought; seemly regard for our obvious age difference? But then I realized that his behavior might well be entirely rational. In various-vehicle-versus-elapsed-time space, my Zone of Death embraced his: he was sheltering in my shadow.

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    I used the "zone of death" concept as a Manhattan pedestrian. I'd make sure I wasn't the one closest to traffic while waiting to cross streets. There was always a fool willing to take on some of my traffic death risk to gain an extra fraction of a second. But as I knew the more time I spent on the street, the higher would be the probability I would be struck by a car, I would usually be the first one to other side, notwithstanding my "poor" starting position.

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