I live on a side street off of Main St. in Fitchburg. My segment of the street isn't busy, but the first part of it serves as a cut-through for many motorists headed to the police station, the Y, the Fitchburg Art Museum, etc. etc.
You also have pedestrians walking to shops, the Post Office, and Market Basket.
I've been on both sides of this conflict. I've been crossing my street and a car comes barrelling in from Main Street and nearly runs me over. I've also been driving and taking the right turn onto my street and someone's crossing. And crossing. And taking their sweet time, as if they're the only person in the world who's out and about in the world.
The other night, things came to a head. A car in front of me wanted to bang a right on my street, and a group of 5 folks headed for a bar were taking their sweet time crossing.
The car in front of me beeped.
The pedestrians glared and gestured with their hands.
The car in front of me rolled down the passengers'-side window, and all of a sudden I saw spit coming out, aimed at the pedestrians, and then the car resumed its right turn.
The pedestrians began to throw f-bombs and trot after the car in an attempt to ramp up the violence.
I can be a salty-hot-tempered guy. But I've noticed the past couple of years I've started to realize some things aren't worth sweating. I'd be annoyed of it was me waiting for the group of pedestrians to primp and strut across the street. I'd also be annoyed if someone spit at me because they didn't appreciate the pace. But it's not worth vehicular (or other) homicide.
After the car-pedestrian war, I bypassed my street in favor of the next set of lights, where I can also turn and cut through a few streets and get home. I don't want to be an innocent bystander and take a fist that wasn't intended for me -- or worse.