September 22, 2005

Strollers And The City: Get Out Of My Way

Like Democrats meekly questioning John Roberts, a bunch of self-justifying child-free people take a break from contemplating their loserdom to whine to the NYT about our inalienable right as procreating Bugaboo owners to drive where and how we want (which, thanks to the air-filled nubby tires and the excellent suspension, is any-damn-where.)

As ModernDayDad puts it, "If you've got a problem, then you've got issues beyond my stroller."

Well played, Mr. Ford, well played.

One thing's for sure, there certainly is a lot of interpretation and projecting of intentions and feelings going on here. Maybe those child-free stroller hataz need a time out.

Supersize Strollers Ignite Sidewalk Drama [nyt]


I couldn't read much past the whiner who found his precious books at Barnes and Nobles blocked by a stroller and apparently hadn't learned the phrase "excuse me" yet...

If they think bugaboos are too big (like they've never seen those horrible super gracos) what do they think about people in wheelchairs? that's just askin fer trouble

... not to mention the thousands of people in New York who ride their Segways to work! *rolls eyes*

After reading the whole article I come out with this:

Journalist finds day boring. Journalist has nothing to write about so let's write about the thing that journalists at NYT has been complaining about now for a long long time: Bugaboo strollers. But how to angle it this time? Ah, let's call them "bulldozers" and find a large bunch of people who complain, and one or too who are reasonable.
Day goes on and the resulting article comes through. Editor is still on vacation so article is published...

For the content I can only say like mr Ford. However, I think there are a lot of idiots among the stroller pushers as well. Yes, it is a pain with people being rude and walking like they don't see you, but one has always be apprehensive, what if one of them falls over your kid and cause injury due to either your or the offender's negligence in proper attention? This is what irritates me most about stroller pushers.
What irritates me most about ordinary pedestrians is that they often think it is easier for the stroller to roll out of the way than for them to take a simple step to the side. And then it is of course the stroller's fault when they cut you off and stop and then get hit. If it was cars they would be roadkill already.

With hopes people show more understanding for eachother,

Also in the article:

"Yet size is no guarantee of a stroller's safety, said E. Marla Felcher, an adjunct lecturer at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard and the author of "It's No Accident: How Corporations Sell Dangerous Baby Products." "There are no mandatory safety standards for strollers," she said. "There is no way for any parent to know if one stroller is safer than another.""

I thought basic fact checking was kind of, you know, expected when you write a shrill, fear mongering book. The vast majority of popular strollers are JPMA certified, which requires passing a rigorous ASTM testing regimen administered by a third party. It seems like that would be a good way for a parent to know if one stroller was safer than another.

I find, like in most things, there are two kinds of people: Those who with strollers and those who are Stroller People˘.

Stroller People˘ are also known by another name. Rude.

I've got a gigantic jogging stroller. The only person I've ever run into with it is my wife. And that was an accident I swear.

I can't get over that they consider the bugaboo big. I mean, sure it's not a tiny umbrella stroller, but it's far from huge graco's and peg pergos and other cheaper and bulkier monstrocities out there.

I mean why are they really harping so much about the damn bugaboo. What's the reason for the gripe. YEESH.

These people have bigger issues. I just posted this article on my site as well:

Obviously Liv Tyler is quite the Sex and the City addict. She has the stroller (Bugaboo) and the dog (Cavalier King Charles Spaniel).

For the uninitiated, shopping at the W74th St Fairway on a Saturday afternoon is a full-contact sport. I saw a father with his kid in a backpack aggressively pick a fight with another customer who had accidentally backed into his child, who was sticking out into the aisle while he was picking mushrooms.
Point is, many parents do expect the sea to part for them and their precious offspring. These are also probably the people who weave through traffic hoping to save 2 minutes.

I have to agree with ModernDad about the source of the issues:
Traci Anderson, 36, of Groton, Conn., who is married and said she has decided not to have children, agrees that the issue runs deeper than taste. Often, while trying to pass someone with a large stroller, she has seen the parent acknowledge her presence but make no attempt to move. And that, she said, begs the question of whether they believe people with children have a special claim to sidewalk space.

"My choices and what's important to me shouldn't be seen as any less important in the grand scheme of things," Ms. Anderson said.

I'm pretty sure that the woman with the stroller did not believe she had a special claim to sidewalk space, or that Ms. Anderson had a made a "less important" choice. How could the woman with the stroller even know that Ms.Anderson did NOT have children? I go lots of places without my kids . . . .When I see people who do not have children with them, I give no thought to whether or not they even have children, much less whether they are "childless by choice." Who cares? Simple right-of-way should govern. Jeepers.
Oh, and p.s. - my kid IS more important than your cat (actually, my dog is more important than your cat, heehee). This "pet mom" thing strikes me as ridiculous in the extreme. I love our dog, and she is a member of our family, but I will take kids and hubby over her any day (and probably, she knows it.)


Got a newborn (3 weeks) and it's not even close, if the helicopter pulling me from the roof can only handle me and the dog or the kid. The dog is coming with me.

Did I miss the NYTimes article about people in cars who rush yellow lights and then get stuck in the cross walk, forcing pedestrians to either squeeze between 2 tightly packed cars, or try their luck crossing into a lane of rushing traffic? Me thinks that happens much more often, is far more dangerous, and drives many more people nuts.

I like the guy who's in B&N to "read". Maybe the stroller hugger is there to "buy" and has just as much right to be browsing as he does.

I've gotta believe that parents who are running around slamming into others with their strollers are probably just rude in general, and their life choices about children have little to do with it. And those who are willing to just smile and move out of the way of a (questionably) intrusive stroller and get on with their day are just more laid back than those who get their panties in a twist about it.

I too shook my head when the 36 year old turned an innocent happening with a stroller into a 'lifestyle choice'. Methinks she has some deep rooted anxiety that maybe her choice wasn't exactly what she wanted? If she WAS comfortable with her choice, I have to imagine she would have just side stepped the stroller, thanked the powers that be that it wasn't her pushing it, and never have given it another thought.

Wow, all it took was the invention of strollers attractive to yuppy parents and all the childless yuppies get all jealous! I could have called that.

I agree with what everyone's said here.

But I'm the process of looking at the Double Mtn. Buggy for my twins, and while it certainly has it's advantages, it IS a huge stroller. Should I feel guilty about this? People will naturally have to get out of my way, but I certainly won't be an ass about it.

Plus, I don't live in NYC -- people are a lot more laid back in Boston. Ha! right.

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