Jekyll Island Beach 2012

Jekyll Island Beach 2012
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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Hanging Out On The Corner Of Walk And Don't Walk

The Rogue Speaks:

Loading...loading...loading! That is what my brain is telling me these days, while my muses are on vacation. The post below is one from back in the day when no one on earth was reading my blog.
I was driving to the mall today to spend my birthday money at Dillard's and I realized I had to make a very critical decision. When I came to the corner of Walk and Don't Walk, I started to get a little tense and sweaty. It was at the infamous corner where I got caught unfairly by the traffic camera and I received my first ever traffic ticket in December of 2008. Yeah, I know this is a very busy intersection, but there is more to it than that. The city fathers chose this intersection for a reason, and I know what it is. You see, on the corner there is a gas station, and the entrance to the station is VERY near the intersection, so if you suddenly realize that you are almost out of gas, you have to turn to get into the station. Of course, you are not the ONLY PERSON who is almost out of gas, so there is a line to get into the station and you have to STOP in the middle of the intersection and wait your turn. While you are waiting, the light turns red and you are CAUGHT by the camera. You had NO IDEA that those people were going to stop, trapping you in the intersection. But the city fathers knew--and they need that $180 that you have to pay for "running a red light." They need it so badly that they also shortened the light! They will claim that they did not, but all of us who were trapped there KNOW they did.
There was such an outrage at this obvious attempt to TRICK people at this intersection, that literally hundreds of people picketed the intersection one weekend. This is no joke. The city is using this intersection to make money. They say that is not true, that the intersection is dangerous. Well it isn't half as dangerous as an angry mob waving signs at passing motorists.
I was very cautious today at the corner of Walk and Don't Walk. I needed to turn to get to my favorite cocktail napkin store, and I decided to face my fear and turn. Just as I was about to turn, I remembered to check the entrance to the gas station to see if there was a line. There was. I stopped. Even though the light hadn't changed to yellow, I stopped--behind the "wait line." Immediately some jerk behind me blew his horn. I wanted to jump out of the car and go beat on his window and scream at him that unless he had $180 to throw away, he'd better SHUT UP.
They got me once--they're not getting me again!


askcherlock said...

I think all cities use a ploy of one sort or another to trick us into paying more money. Cameras, cameras everywhere, and not a cop to think!

askcherlock said...

BTW, I love these new paintings, Judie. "The Flower Woman" is very touching and the pastels are gorgeous. You have extraordinary talent, my sister.

Joann Mannix said...


We have gotten our very first camera light in our town recently and it is controversial for the very same reason you speak of. It's a money maker. Everyone knows this. And to top it all off, if you go to make a right turn on red which is totally fine since there is a turning lane and if you go over the white stop line, the camera takes a picture and you get a ticket. This is so bogus because you cannot see if there are any cars coming unless you go over the white line. So far, the newspaper reported, no one who's gotten caught by the camera has won their case in court.

There's got to be a better way for the state to finance itself.

Judie said...

Hey, sister! Yep, in this case, however, the city came right out and said they needed money so this is how they planned to make it. It was not about public safety AT ALL!

Noelle said...

I just decided that you and Joann look like sisters...for real. :)

Would you believe that once upon a time in college I wrote a paper - a really great paper - all about a lady who lived on the corner of 'Walk, Don't Walk' ... I got an A.

Those were the days -

Every time I come to your blog I look at your painting The Flower Woman: it gives my soul great peace.

Happy Thursday!

Jenny said...

I love this post. And I actually think it might be a good analogy for my life at the moment!

ChrisJ said...

Interesting to get a ticket for running a red light while sitting still. Is that "sitting a red light"?

Judie said...

Has ANYONE ever heard of a "wait line?"

I didn't think so! The line was so faint that they had to actually DRAW IT IN on the photo! There are only four of those silly lines in the entire metropolitan area of Tucson, and no one knows just where they are!

Jenny, you can't have this analogy! It is the story of my life for the past 6 months. You will just have to get your own. I know you can do it, because I have been reading your blog for a while now! Cher, Joann, tell her!

Noelle, thanks for the kind words. It is an actual person whose son would bring her into Atlanta from Dalton Georgia to sit outside Union Station and sell her flowers while he was working for the railroad.

ChrisJ, there are no lengths to which the city will go to take our money. "Sitting a red light" is exactly what I was doing!!

dianesartnow said...

Oh and what about the "fake" cameras in the cars on I-10 on the way to Phoenix---Let's get the police to catch the criminals and vandals not us poor stuck in the middle drivers.....Oh, and my hubby went to traffic school and guess what? The police officer was over an hour late...shouldn't he be fined for that?

Judie said...

Diane, I went to traffic school and it was a blast! The instructor was a former highway patrolman and he regaled us with stories about crazy criminals he caught when he was on duty.

I still get a little paranoid when I come to the corner of River and Oracle.

Angelia Sims said...

I despise those red light cameras. We have them everywhere here. They make me speed, panic, and dang near rear end the car in front of me - who won't get the hell out of my way -grrrr. They are evil I say!

Story Collector said...

And I thought my city was sneaky!
Btw, I love your Flower Woman painting! It's so haunting- the image followed me around the whole day!

Judie said...

Angelia, I will go out of my way to stay away from that intersection! Your new post is so touching that it made me cry!

To Story Collector: Hey, you! Are you going to start posting on a regular basis? Thanks for stopping by. Glad you like my painting.

Juliana Matthews said...

I have been driving for over 30 years and only been caught by a camera once.
It was on an arterial roundabout - I didn't even notice the traffic lighte, let alone the camera. If it had a zoom lens, it would have identified the reason I didn't see it was I had the road map stretched out across the dashboard trying to work out which exit to take off this monstrous road system! I think I was on my fourth circuit before it snapped me!

Judie said...

Juliana, two roundabouts have been put in our area of Tucson in the last few months. One is in the middle of nowhere, and at night, there are no lights! My friend and I went around several times in the dark trying to figure out how to get back on the road to my house!

I seriously thought about throwing a Halloween mask in my car to put on if the need arose. Someone actually did that and deliberately let the camera catch him. After a few times, the city got REALLY mad and tracked him down and gave him a BIG fine.

What is the cost of running a red light in England?

Sarah said...

The did that to parking fees to raise money here, and the stores protested, so they had to change it. Sometimes it helps to scream!

Judie said...

More than 100 people protested and carried signs at the intersection one weekend. I have seen three people caught by the camera since then. The city is still making money! Just not off me!

nothingprofound said...

Fortunately, I live in a little backwater and the technology hasn't caught up to us yet. If it does, there will be riots in the street, because my little backwater is the home of ten thousand radicals who burn their underwear every time a Wal-mart or Toys For Us opens a new store here.

The Guy's Perspective said...

I'm a conspiracy theorist myself. I totally believe the city is out to make money any way they can. What this money is used for is another story in itself.
Just like I believe the automatic message on cell phones is just long enough to make calls 2 minutes, instead of 1 minute, a huge difference in profit

Judie said...

When I buy Jarlsburg swiss at the deli, I don't want that paper in between the slices--it may seem weightless, but eventually...

Barbsgarden said...

WEll, Judie I think you did just fine and much better that I would have done.

Judie said...

Thanks, Barb!