What a different way of life.
Berkeley is unique in many ways. I had to deprogram myself and relax into a a slower and more reasonable pace of life while I lived there this summer and fall.
I learned that in Berkeley, pedestrians actually do have the right of way. What that means is that if a driver sees a pedestrian put one foot on the ground in an attempt to cross the street, they must stop driving and allow the passenger to cross the street. If not, they can get fined.
I saw many instances where people would just start walking out into the street and cars stopped cold. It wasn’t like they screeched to a halt, since no one drives too crazy. They just slowed down and let people pass in front of them.
There were times when I would get close to a corner and all traffic would stop. I would wave to have the vehicles move past me but they insisted I go across in front of them. As I crossed, I would wave my hand to gesture “thank you” like I do in the Big Apple, but they were just doing what they normally do and waited for me to cross the road patiently.
There were times when I felt frustrated with the pace of things. When the traffic was at a standstill at a few corners, I felt they would be better off with stoplights. But people just took turns and everything worked out the way it was supposed to.
it was sooooo laid back. People in Northern CA seem like they try to avoid stress as much as they can. I prefer that way of life.
When I got back to NYC, it seemed as if it’s the exact opposite.
I’m glad I found my new home- California! I love it there.