UPDATE: We have been informed by the editor of the website that the article was intended to be satire and “warn” “naive” out-of-towners about Miami’s dangerous roads. Satirical or not, it’s clear that road conditions in South Florida are pretty screwed up. Seems to us, it’s drivers who should be warned.
At first we were sure this was a joke. But our friends in Miami assure us it isn’t.
A Miami travel blog called Miami Beach 411 earlier this week published a hateful, almost unbelievable (we’re still not 100 percent sure it’s not a joke) treatise against pedestrians, filled with not-too-subtle threats and dehumanizing stereotypes.
In a nutshell, reporter Matt Meltzer says if pedestrians don’t get out of the way of drivers in Miami, they deserve what they get (which is, I guess, getting killed):
If you came to Miami with the idea that people were going to yield to you in crosswalks, guess again.
Pedestrians in America seem to have a sort of sense of entitlement on the road. Like for some reason because they’re on foot, cars have to stop for them. Various pedestrian-friendly traffic laws are probably to blame for this, but whatever the cause it’s a pervasive attitude among walkers in this country. But like most things, in Miami we don’t do it like the rest of the country.
Turning right on a red? As long as there’s no cars go for it. Doesn’t matter if a family of five is trying to cross. If they live in Miami, they know to stop. Crosswalk without a stop sign? That’s what we in Miami call a colossal waste of street paint. Nobody’s slowing down, and cars are a lot bigger and faster than you. Chance it if you like, because you think you have some sort of “right of way.” But the consequences if you’re wrong aren’t worth trying us.
This thing continues that way for several more paragraphs, and is packaged as some sort of aggressive warning for tourists.
Now, if you dig around long enough on the Internet, you’re going to find some bizarre and hateful trash. And fortunately, the commenters on this site are quick to admonish the writer, restoring our faith in human decency.
The thing is, there’s plenty of evidence that this writer’s perspective too closely reflects the actual attitudes of many drivers. And it serves as yet another a sad commentary on the harrowing circumstances for pedestrians in Florida, which Transportation for America rated the most dangerous state for those who travel by foot.
Check out this video from Transit Miami and see if you don’t agree that Matt Meltzer does accurately reflect the attitudes of many Miami drivers with respect to the lowly status of pedestrians.