I don’t know when I’m leaving Pittsburgh or how. But I’m almost certainly leaving.

Update: I am seeing reports on social media that Israel has attacked several Iranian cities. I have not confirmed these reports.


Traffic non-enforcement

Fig. 1. Obviously, nowhere near Pittsburgh: “A Pennsylvania state trooper checks motorists’ speed using a radar gun.” Unattributed photograph credited only to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.[1]

My patience with the driving in Pittsburgh is growing very, very short.

Today, I was on unfamiliar ground in a rural area either of Allegheny County or Washington County, looking for a street. I guess I took too long. Some asshole in a pickup truck honked at me as I finally found the street and made the turn. I mean, come on, none of these people have ever had to look for an unfamiliar address before?

I decided to make that the last ride of the night as it was apparent there was a Penguins game, and I was in no mood to be sucked into everybody wanting to get me stuck in traffic trying to get to PPG Arena. Even as I dropped that ride off in the Strip District (I’m guessing it’s named for its geographic shape but there’s only one “strip club” there, at least that I know of), I was deluged with ride requests for small amounts, like I’m gonna take under five bucks to go get stuck for a half hour in PPG Arena traffic.

So I headed home along my usual routine, stopping for a car wash, adding a stop at Whole Foods Market (pretty much indispensable for vegans), and then finally stopping for gas. But as I was walking out of the Whole Foods, you know, where people are supposed to be nice, I noticed one lady backing out of a parking space. There was a guy, who had backed into his space, in a monster pickup truck on the other side of the lane, pulling out forward. He couldn’t even wait for her to finish pulling out to start encroaching her from behind. Of course, she saw him edging out and turned more sharply to leave some room, but she had cars on both sides, so this would have (I didn’t actually see this) slowed her down considerably. No matter, he just couldn’t wait to get moving, even when there was no way he was getting there faster for being an asshole.

It’s this senseless aggression that really gets to me. Because if these people are that aggressive, they’re guaranteed to get into a collision. Possibly with me.

I like my car. I want to keep it. I don’t want Pittsburgh roads destroying it. I don’t want Pittsburgh drivers destroying it.

But oh yeah, in one of their stupid driver surveys, Uber wanted to know if I feel safe driving for them today. They don’t ask why I feel threatened, though it’s a combination of asshole drivers, a complete lack of traffic enforcement,[2] and, of course, an awful lot of people fucking shooting at each other because they can’t tell their guns apart from their penises, which is to say that Uber is really just wondering if it’s time to gaslight us on safety again.[3]

And yeah, it would be real nice if my car didn’t get shot at.

  1. [1]Associated Press, “Senate OKs local police using radar for speed enforcement,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, June 23, 2021, https://triblive.com/news/pennsylvania/senate-oks-local-police-using-radar-for-speed-enforcement/
  2. [2]David Benfell, “Reckless driving as routine,” Not Housebroken, January 27, 2023, https://disunitedstates.org/2023/01/25/reckless-driving-as-routine/
  3. [3]David Benfell, “Gaslighting Uber drivers on safety,” Not Housebroken, January 6, 2023, https://disunitedstates.org/2022/04/28/gaslighting-uber-drivers-on-safety/

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