While I never have and never plan to view the Miami roads from the driver’s seat, I would consider myself quite the expert at navigating the treacherous Miami highways as I partake in my daily trek across South Dixie Highway walking back and forth from my apartment to campus.
Every student is certainly aware of the special Miami drivers after spending a mere five minutes on the roads, or even while meandering along the twists and turns of campus.
There is nothing new about the fact that pedestrians seem invisible to those racing by in their huge SUVs complete with ear shattering music. And don’t even let the thought cross your mind that pedestrians have the right of way, or you will soon be a dead man walking.
The only law for driving in Miami is that there is no law when it comes to driving in Miami. Anything goes. But as a daring and apparently reckless pedestrian, I have found some techniques for staying alive in a place where a walk becomes a run for your life.
First, never underestimate the power of a stare-down. While the driver may have more power in the car, unrelenting eye contact with the driver can surely convey plenty of sentiments. I usually imagine my stare to mean, “You better stop that car because I will throw something at you if you don’t.” Usually it gets the message across, and drivers even go so far as to stop an entire five feet away from me instead of the usual one foot.
Never underestimate the power of a workout — workout clothes that is. I find when I am wearing my exercise attire, more cars are willing to let me cross (shockingly enough even when I dare to go without a pedestrian walk sign) because they assume I am fit enough that I will walk more quickly across rather than lollygagging along taking my sweet time.
Another important factor to consider, or not consider, is that police directing traffic does not mean that any rules apply. Frankly enough, even police don’t care about pedestrians and seem to forget they exist just like the drivers. Even the walk signs ignore pedestrians by never appearing.
There is no right-of-way for pedestrians — more like a wrong-of-way based on the sole fact that you are a pedestrian. So the answer to the lifelong riddle of why the chicken crossed the road: He wasn’t in Miami.
Alyssa Jacobson is a sophomore majoring in advertising and political science.