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24 comments for “Open letter to all pedestrians

  1. avatar
    September 5, 2014 at 3:48 pm

    Are they already crossing, or waiting? If they are already crossing, they should know in that sense that they have right of way. But if they are not, and you let them go, they should also have the sense to take the free chance… Oh well…

  2. avatar
    September 5, 2014 at 3:48 pm

    By the way, if we’re both stopped at a stop sign, and I’m on a bike, and it’s probably your turn, just go. I know you want to be nice by waving me through, but it’s going to take me a good second to get rolling and two more to get through the intersection, and half the time you’ll just have to pass me later.

  3. avatar
    September 5, 2014 at 4:29 pm

    I wave cars on all the time, usually when pedestrians jump out in front of them and force them to stop (which happens ALL THE TIME in Oakland.)

  4. avatar
    September 5, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    In California, peds always have the right of way, no questions. Bikes are different, I agree; they’re vehicles, after all.

  5. avatar
    September 5, 2014 at 4:44 pm

    Addendum: If I am two blocks away in my car, don’t stand on the curb until I actually come to the stop sign, and then, when I stop, dither about whether it’s safe to cross. I swear some people wait at curbs all day until a car comes and stops for them.

  6. avatar
    September 5, 2014 at 4:51 pm

    @Katherine, speaking as a pedestrian, when you don’t do that the car runs the stop sign and hits you or nearly hits you. Just over the past 3 – 4 years this has happened easily into the double digits. We’ve had people stop at a sign, we walk out in front of them, and then they nearly run us over after stopping as if they’re running on auto-pilot and not even watching the road.

  7. avatar
    September 5, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    More than anything, if a car allows you to cross, DON’T take your time. I don’t expect you to sprint like a track star, but at least show respect for other people’s time by _not_ moseying like you don’t care if you never get there.

  8. avatar
    September 5, 2014 at 5:13 pm

    @Brandon, I’m going to say various factors such as speed of cars, length of blocks, density of pedestrian and car traffic, and pedestrians’ knowledge of their own walking speed and depth perception abilities are going to make this a highly variable situation. I’m just stunned by the number of people who apparently do not expect me to stop during the day at intersections that always have traffic coming from all 4 directions. But I’m stunned by a lot of people’s driving and walking behavior, and I wish I could better predict what people are going to do, which would reduce the likelihood of anyone getting injured. I mean, we have laws about what people are supposed to do. It would be nice if people followed them.

  9. avatar
    September 5, 2014 at 7:05 pm

    Sometimes I wave the car, because I’m not in a hurry and would rather conserve a drop of their gas than reach my destination 10 seconds sooner. But if I have my son with me, we’ll usually run across.

  10. avatar
    September 5, 2014 at 7:36 pm

    If you stop and wave me on at an intersection with a crosswalk light I am NOT going to cross against my red light. The corner in front of my house has a button and I always push it and then wait. People occasionally stop their cars at the green light and try to wave me out into the street, especially as I usually have the kiddo in his stroller with me (his day care is a short walk across the street from us)… But I know people are coming around a bend from the opposite direction (often speeding to try and beat the light). Amusingly, once there was a guy on a motorcycle at my corner who hit the timing just wrong and then swore loudly at the light when the crosswalk went for me instead of his green light. I yelled back at him to wait his damn turn and he looked totally shocked that I could actually hear him.

  11. avatar
    September 5, 2014 at 7:40 pm

    So for the record, as this is relevant to Mickey’s response in particular. This was at a stop sign, not a light. In a parking lot, no less. There was no other traffic. The two people were walking without paying attention, walked out in front of me. So I stopped (again), and waved them on. They shook their heads and beckoned for me… and I gave them a mean stare and waved them again with a gesture that clearly meant “will you two shitheads hurry the fuck up and cross!” and they got the message.

  12. avatar
    September 5, 2014 at 8:06 pm

    Certainly if they are already in the street they need to finish crossing, be done with their foolishness, and don’t bother anyone else.

  13. avatar
    September 5, 2014 at 8:09 pm

    I have to say that I’m a little surprised to learn that you drive an SUV.

  14. avatar
    September 5, 2014 at 8:28 pm

    sorry, katherine, if i don’t get a clear signal you’re on pace to stop well before the crosswalk, i’m going to wait and try to make eye contact. there are too many one hand on cellphone people who obliviously feel entitled to rolling stop through the crosswalk into the crossing street or right on red.

    it turns out there are annoying people on all modes of transport who ruin other people’s flow.

  15. avatar
    September 5, 2014 at 8:30 pm

    Keith: Why?

  16. avatar
    September 5, 2014 at 8:42 pm

    I do still cross streets like a New Yorker, and dare people to stop. 🙂

  17. avatar
    September 5, 2014 at 9:05 pm

    I couldn’t tell you exactly. Somehow it just doesn’t fit with my mental image of you. I always more imagined you driving a muscle car or maybe something older and sporty.

  18. avatar
    September 5, 2014 at 9:08 pm

    Keith: Nope, I drive a Ford Escape Hybrid. I love it. 4WD, lots of room for carrying stuff and just sporty enough for my tastes.

  19. avatar
    September 5, 2014 at 9:45 pm

    Bill, I hate it when I’m approaching a four way stop and a car going the other direction is already stopped long before I arrive at the intersection but they wait until I’m totally stopped before they start going and then they totally drag their ass.

  20. avatar
    September 5, 2014 at 10:51 pm

    I insist on eye contact with drivers when crossing on foot. If it is at night, I want a clear flash of the lights or I will wait until you go.

  21. avatar
    September 5, 2014 at 10:53 pm

    this was like 2pm… broad daylight, and as I said, they were already in the middle of the crossing before they noticed me.

  22. avatar
    September 5, 2014 at 11:46 pm

    I just want people to FLIPPING LOOK BOTH WAYS!!!! Then do it again!!!! UGH! In the same week I almost hit a guy at the edge of St C Kroger parking lot. I was crossing through a 4 way intersection from WalMart to Kroger and this guy came into the line of traffic from the wall of bushes! I wasn’t going fast, but I hit my breaks and was still halfway in the intersection because of it and I heard the van on my right rev it’s engine to go, then slammed on his brakes! I was looking trough my open passenger window and mostly saw a grill! I pointed to the guy to explain to them what happened. I was so scared! What a close call!
    Later I saw the guy in Kroger and I SOOOOO wanted to go up to him and tell him he almost got hit, or my car almost got totaled because of him! But I didn’t.

  23. avatar
    September 6, 2014 at 9:02 am

    Pedestrians have the right of way in PA, but that won’t magically stop a car.

  24. avatar
    September 6, 2014 at 9:12 am

    Here in VA, if a pedestrian enters a crosswalk, you must stop and allow them to cross. I just wish they’d actually use the crosswalks.

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