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OT- Pedestrian Crossing

Does anyone else get really frustrated by drivers who absolutely refuse to let pedestrians cross the street, even at a cross walk, unless they have a red light and therefore can't go forward? I have been taking a lot of walks recently and I get so mad when the cars just keep zipping by when I'm standing at a cross walk clealry waiting to get to the other side.

Thu. Oct 19, 10:09am

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The worst is when it is raining and they won't even stop for you then. They have a roof over their head and you are soaking!

Thursday, October 19, 2006, 11:36 AM

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I ride my bike, walk and run and never expect traffic to STOP for me. It's dangerous to stop traffice like that! I wait my turn and go when it is clear.

Thursday, October 19, 2006, 11:40 AM

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In many states it is a law that traffic must yield to pedestrians in a cross walk. If there is no cross walk, then it is a different story....

Thursday, October 19, 2006, 12:12 PM

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i stop for people to cross ONLY when they are in a cross walk. there is a law in my state to do so. but i never stop for people who are crossing in the middle of traffic. i just cannot encourage that kind of thing. it is not only dangerous for the pedestrians, it is dangerous for the drivers.

Thursday, October 19, 2006, 12:58 PM

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I have lots of issues with this since I have low vision (well past the point of being legally blind) and must do a lot of traveling on foot.
When I wait for a chance to cross at a traffic signal, what do I do? Take the two to three seconds that it takes me to look for cars in each threat direction before I step off the curb? I can't consistently figure out if there's a car, or if it's moving or stopped, with a quick glance. It takes a while - and during that time new threats can come from other directions.
Or should I step off right away when the signal changes, without taking that time to try to ideitify threats?
Yes, I've been hit. My approach to crossing was lawful, well thought out, and carefully done, but that's not enough. I expect to be hit again in the future.
It's true that in most places it is a crime to "impede a pedestrian" or the like, but it is a misdemeanor and in most places, certainly here, police cannot issue a misdemeanor warrant unless they witness the act. You can go to the courthouse and swear out a warrant yourself, but you don't have sovereign immunity like the police and may have a civil suit filed against you by the driver, etc.
I've also been on a jury in an auto accident civil suit (no pedestrian involved) and one thing that was pretty clear is that lots of people do not believe that motorists should have to suffer just because they did something unlawful (or tortious). Judgment in favor of the defendant.
On balance, unless you have serious injuries the pedestrian is better off staying away from the legal process.
Now I'm not saying it's absolutely lawless everywhere and always - for example, the case a few years ago in Ocean City, MD where a pedestrian was struck, killed and dismembered, with detached body parts landing over 100 yards away from the place he was struck. The police and court were distinctly not amused, and a felony conviction was obtained.
Where I live, pedestrian signals are not "deconflicted", meaning that when you get the Walk light, there is still vehicle traffic that can lawfully cross your path. Doing this enables the roads to support more vehicle traffic.
This is my everyday life, and yes, I do resent it, but try not to talk about it much. I don't fear death when I walk, but I fear some non-fatal but hellish maiming.
I've written a lot here and don't feel like I should go on to explain the limitations of white canes, guide dogs, transit, paratransit, ADA compliance, the Complete Streets initiative, etc., here and now (but if someone has a specific question I'm willing to try to answer it). All these things are somewhat helpful, but maybe not as much as you thought.

Thursday, October 19, 2006, 1:28 PM

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to 11:40 am poster

OP here,

I just wanted to say that maybe you do not live in a busy area. I live on a street where there are times of day I could wait literally for hours without it being clear for me to cross. I only cross at cross walks where it is the LAW for a car to stop for pedestrians. As a responsible driver you should always be on the lookout for people/cars/animals/etc that may be in your path, and if you drive the speed limit then your visibility would be such that if you are paying attention you should have more than enough time to stop after you see the pedestrian. I am a driver as well as someone who walks and it makes me so angry when cars think I should have to wait to cross a street with no stop light just because they want to get where they are going a measly 15 seconds earlier than they would get there if they just waited for me to cross the street.

Thursday, October 19, 2006, 3:11 PM

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11:40 here

I do live in a busy city area and yes, I stop when a pedestian has a walk signal.

However, if someone is standing on the side of the road obviously wanting to cross (without a signal in the middle of a street) and wanting cars to stop in the middle of the street, no I don't stop. Walk the rest of the 1/2 block to the light, the exercise won't kill them. In fact they probably need it.

Thursday, October 19, 2006, 3:42 PM

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In MA, the pedestrian has to be at least 3 feet into the cross walk before the car has to, by law, stop for them. Makes it a double-edged sword though...cause who wants to step out that far into the street and then find out the car isn't going to stop?

Friday, October 27, 2006, 6:28 PM

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Oh godness! In my area you could cause a major traffic pile-up by just looking like you might want to cross the street - LOL! I've tried to sneakily jaywalk before only to have traffic in all directions come to a screeching halt for me. Now I always go to intersections just to keep drivers from stopping in the middle of the road. It is the law here that you must stop for all painted and implied crosswalks (implied crosswalks are at all intersections even if there is no painted crosswalk there) and it in reinforced strictly and local drivers are very concientious - almost to the point of absurdity :-). However I far prefer that to what you describe...

Friday, October 27, 2006, 6:39 PM

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It's a tough situation...I live in the Boston area and we are well, known for our bad driving! We call it organized chaos. But it's challenging being a pedestrian. One practical thing that you can do is to call your police department and request some enforcement in the location that you are having trouble with. Most will do it and issue warnings/tickets to drivers. Also you can call your city's traffic department and explain the situation. Ask if they can do something. Signage is notoriously ineffective but I have had some luck getting the timing of certain lights changed to make it easier for pedestrian crossing!

Since it's a city responsibility, it's best to go direct to the city if you want anything to be done! Hope this helps!

Monday, October 30, 2006, 10:34 AM

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I live on a street right next to a 4 pt intersection but it is staggered so it is nearly a rotary. We have a crosswalk right next to our home. I have been in the middle of the street/crosswalk crossing nearly to the other side and have people speed up to cross in front of me... I do wait for a break, but as other posters have said, if you stand there, it is a long time before someone is compassionate enough to stop.

Monday, October 30, 2006, 6:40 PM

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