Monday, December 05, 2005

Some of the things I'd like to ban

The City Council has to spend time changing the law books today just because people lack common decency. The city is creating a new fine for the misuse of placards meant for people with disabilities. It will be unlawful "to display a stolen, expired or otherwise invalid" parking decal or device earmarked for drivers with disabilities.

How many times have you seen some perfectly healthy bozo park in a handicapped spot? He's got a little wheelchair-sign hanging from the rearview mirror, so you can't really say anything, but you want to, right? I actually went through a phase when I would make it a point to say something to the idiot as he or she was walking away from the car. "Sir, I can't help but notice that you don't exactly look handicapped." Or "Ma'am, I'm not sure if you noticed, but that parking spot is actually for people with disabilities." I learned to shut my mouth after I was threatened to be beaten with a set of crutches. Now, whenever I see someone park illegally and dash into the store, I resort to spitting on the car's windshield. Well, what can I say, at least spitting isn't illegal. Or is it?

Anyway, the city is cracking down, which is a good thing. The suburbs are cracking down, too. A couple of weekends ago, police spent some time ticketing people parking in handicapped spots at two suburban malls. Personally, I'm glad because, as you may have guessed, this is one of my pet peeves. It shows how completely lazy some people are. Hunting for a parking spot at the mall around the holidays can actually be fun. It's like a game, a challenge, the only kind of wildlife hunt we city folk get to engage in. But mostly it's just utterly disrespectful to the elderly and handicapped.

I have many more pet peeves that I wish the city would get around to addressing. Since aldermen can't agree on what kind of smoking ban we should have in the city, perhaps they could consider banning (or at least severely punishing) people caught doing any of these activities:

* Taking an elevator to the second floor of any building. Same with standing on escalators. As punishment, lazy people like this should be forced to use their legs. I know, we can steal their remote controls.

* Parking in the middle of a fairly large spot, thereby preventing anyone else from fitting in. This should lead to an automatic, on-the-spot keying of the offender's car, especially if the offense takes place in Wrigleyville.

* Logging onto a semi-interesting blog and not posting a comment and not passing on a link to said blog to one's family and friends. These kinds of people will forever be considered not true friends.

* Placing your bags on the seat next to you on a fairly crowded bus or train and then turning up your iPod and shutting your eyes in order to not realize that others might want to sit down. (There's a pretty cool rule in some European cities: If your bag is going to take up extra space, you have to pay a half-fare for it. I say charge 'em a full-fare--that's two extra dollars per ride, no transfers, in the coming year on the CTA.)

* Honking at a cyclist riding legally or a pedestrian crossing the street, especially in inclement weather. Or aggressively pulling up to an intersection to scare people from even thinking of crossing when there are cars around. Or turning in front of people crossing the street. These drivers should have their car privileges taken away for at least a week (in February), just to see what it's like.

There are more, many many more, things that I think should be banned. But I have to abide by one of the rules of blogging, K.I.S.S. (keep it short stupid), because I realize the penalty for writing long posts is having people completely ignore them.

If you have any pet peeves that you'd like to add to this incomplete list, please do so. Don't make me think of some sort of punishment for you if you don't.


Anonymous Kevin said...

You left out the Chicago tradition of claiming parking spaces in the snow with lawn chairs, milk crates and other assorted junk. Is it justified to lay temporary claim to a spot after digging it out or is this a nuisance?

8:29 AM  
Blogger ap said...

Well, since I have my own spot in a parking lot, I don't give a shit. But this is a question that has no easy answer. It IS a lot of work to dig a car out of a spot. And even Mayor Daley a couple of years back said it's OK to save that spot. But you've made me think about something else I can't stand: permit parking. We've all paid for a city sticker, so why can't I park wherever I want when I go to a show at Metro?

8:45 AM  
Anonymous jenska said...

A city that has taken this long to consider renovating it's L stations to accommodate people with disabilities obviously only cares about ticketing non-handicapped parkers for violations because of the added revenue.

And speaking of pet peeves/chicago about the asses that try to pass on the right at stop lights and even worse, stop signs. Ugh! My #1 irritance in the city.

9:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a pet peeve with people who don't use their turn signals while driving......

10:57 AM  
Anonymous art attack said...

my pet peeve is those people that use their turn signals too much. Ooh, I am going to be turning (in three blocks) so I better signal. -or- Uhh, it's three in the morning and nobody's out, better make sure to have the signal going, and going. But what do I know, I rarely signal unless necessary, and sometimes not even then.

11:27 AM  
Anonymous Kevin said...

"And speaking of pet peeves/chicago about the asses that try to pass on the right at stop lights and even worse, stop signs. Ugh! My #1 irritance in the city."

This used to be a huge issue for me that would routinely incite road rage in me. If some asshole thought they would pass me on the right I would often gun it a second or two before the light would turn green. One time when I did that these guys actually followed me all the way home and threatened to kick my ass as a result. Nowadays I try not to let such things get to me.

12:17 PM  
Blogger ap said...

Wait, so those guys that threatened you ... you did beat them off the line fair and square, right? Did you flip them off out the sun roof or something to piss them off so much?

12:21 PM  
Anonymous Kevin said...

They were just upset because the crummy little Ford Escort (sans sun roof) that I was driving at the time smoked their Guido sports car across the Irving/Lincoln/Damen intersection.

1:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about banning smoking?

3:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since this is an antiSUV and Pro bike site I'd be curious to know who knows the answer to one of my pet peeves. I can't stand when people ride their bikes on the sidewalk. What does the Chicago Law state on this? What's the fine? There's also an age restriction where I believe children can ride but not adults. With all the talk about cracking down late this summer this peeve was never discussed.

5:11 PM  
Blogger ap said...

Calling this a pro- or anti-anything site right now is giving me way too much credit. There just aren't enough readers/responders to say that. I admit I'm anti-driving in general; SUVs and their drivers are just easier to make fun of. Now, as for your pet peeve, I totally agree. I can't stand when adults ride on the sidewalks. It's beyond ridiculous, and it makes all cyclists look bad. On the other hand, I also hate when I'm riding and someone shouts out their car window, "Hey! Get off the road! Use the sidewalk!" This has happened to me a few times, but each has been somewhere near downtown, so I'll just say they were dumb out-of-towners.

Anyway, here's the Chicago Municipal code regarding cycling on sidewalks:

9-52-020. Riding bicycles on sidewalks and certain roadways.

(a) No person shall ride a bicycle upon a sidewalk within a business district.

(b) No person 12 or more years of age shall ride a bicycle upon any sidewalk in any district, unless such sidewalk has been officially designated and marked as a bicycle route.

(c) Bicycles shall not be operated on Lake Shore Drive or on any roadway where the operation of bicycles has been prohibited and signs have been erected indicating such prohibition.

(d) Whenever a usable path for bicycles has been provided adjacent to a roadway, bicycle riders shall use such path and shall not use the roadway.

Not sure how often these are enforced, and I'm not sure how much the fines are. The only part of Chicago I know for sure that police have cracked down is on Sheridan Road north of Hollywood, where Lake Shore Drive ends. There are a lot of little old people living in the high rises there, so Ald. Smith has really pushed for tickets and fines. As far as I know, they've done a couple of things: fine the cyclist, lock up the bike, give written warnings, so I think they're still trying to figure out exactly what they want the penalty to be.

5:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the bike law is typical of how the city deals with things. Wait until a tragedy and then jump on the enforcement bandwagon (ala deck porch inspections)

5:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Again Selective Law enforcement. Alderman Smith can start enforcing the law on the books in his area but no where else is it brought up. Why do I have to complain to my alderman to get something done that is supposed to be enforced already?

6:01 PM  
Anonymous The mom said...

How about schools that don't have elevators?? What about disabled students attending? Or, for that matter, teachers? How about a freight elevator so that equipment can easily get from floor to floor? It's especially noticeable when teachers are forced to change their rooms yearly.

9:54 AM  
Blogger ap said...

Mom, Please don't forget that NOBODY cares about teachers. Especially on this blog.

4:14 PM  

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