I went out on an adventure run of six miles yesterday, running through Tysons Corner from the Spring Hill Metro Station on the Silver Line back to my house in Falls Church. The Silver Line is the newest extension of the Metro system, pushing it out a dozen miles to the west, where it will eventually reach Dulles Airport, if the system doesn't totally fall apart and close down first due to forty years of serious maintenance neglect.
I have run home now from all of the new elevated subway stations on the Silver Line save one and each run has been memorial in its own way, primarily due to the bewildering series of new roadways and controlled-access highways out there, making it in places a nightmare for runners unfamiliar with the area. Pedestrian-friendly the area is not, and I immediately got seriously lost in an asphalt wasteland valley hemmed in by towering steel canyons within blocks of leaving the station twice, although I had studied the map long and hard each time plotting a course home.
Yesterday's adventure brought with it an encounter with road rage, where li'l ol' me running across an intersection on a circular green light (for my direction) but also contrary to a Don't Walk signal for me (the Walk signal doesn't ever come on without the pedestrian pushing it first, perhaps in the next cycle) so enraged an overweight male SUV driver coming up behind me at speed to make a sweeping right turn because he had to slow down a bit because I was there in the roadway running across (well ahead of him) that he almost ran me down in his quivering self righteous indignation. As mentioned, I had the steady green light (but also a Don't Walk signal) as I ran up, all crossway cars were stopped, no opposing cars were turning left into my way and I glanced backwards to ensure that no one was close behind me that was going to turn right, into me as I crossed. Nothing was amiss and I ran across the intersection on my steady green light (no green arrows) but in opposition to the non-functioning (unless you pushed it) Don't Walk signal.
I had passed these type intersections before on this very four lane highway in traffic-friendly, runner-unfriendly Fairfax County, where you get a walker advance signal only if you stop to push a cross-button and wait for it to take effect. Not busting across those intersections when it was safe to do so, after watching its elements as you ran up upon it, including glancing behind you for immediate danger as you entered the roadway, would make for a very long, chopped up run indeed.
When I was 4/5 of the way across the immediate crossway lanes, just about to cross the centerline and run past the stopped cars waiting upon their steady red light (my light was still steady green, I could have made it across easily even if my light had turned yellow at that point), I heard a long honk. Behind me the aforementioned SUV had come up at speed and made a sweeping right turn into the lane tat I was possessing and he had to break (hard) to avoid possibly running me down. I turned to see who was honking at me and this quivering mass of lazy, soft corpulence inside his steel and glass 2,000 pound beast was pointing in rage at the Don't Walk signal. He had almost ran me, a mere 185 pounds of flesh and bone, down from behind. I pointed out the steady green light which was also mine and told him in two words exactly what I thought of him and the situation he had created by his excessive speed, recklessness and lack of appreciation for anything outside of his steel cacoon (he was probably texting too).
He honked again, long and loud at me, and pointed even more emphatically, stabbing the air in the direction of the Don't Walk signal. I noticed he didn't roll down his window, the coward. I repeated my imprecation, in case he hadn't heard it the first time, turned and ran on.