I’m back at work and doing one of my job functions, which is to observe and record driver, bicyclist and pedestrian behavior at intersections. I have noticed, at the same locations and the same time of day, that drivers are much more belligerent this year than previous years. Belligerent toward other drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians, particularly pedestrians. I observed hundreds of incidents of drivers accelerating towards occupied crosswalks, and then stopping at the last moment. The only explanation that fits what I see is that drivers are trying to intimidate walkers out of using the crosswalks, because it causes a tiny delay in driving time. This behavior is not technically illegal, as the law just requires that a driver not enter the crosswalk while it is occupied, but the behavior is immoral, the kind of thing a scummy driver who sees themselves as the center of the universe would do.
So what has changed since a year ago that has created this belligerent driver behavior? I can think of only one thing. Donald Trump. This is typical of the bullying, self-centered, sociopathic behavior that Donald Trump revels in. The safety and climate of the public realm has declined, and it is showing up in driver behavior as in so many other places in our society.