Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Life...in general => Topic started by: SPuck on April 22, 2013, 01:36:19 PM

Title: Bowling for Pedestrians, is not my Fault (Update Post 46)
Post by: SPuck on April 22, 2013, 01:36:19 PM
So I live in Massachusetts, and I like to walk every day. I have discovered that the most dangerous time of the year to walk is on bright summer or spring days in the middle of a cross walk. I had three memorable incidents last year, and so far this year (after the melting at least 32 inch tall snow banks) one car's sudden stop resulted in a car behind it having the swerve into oncoming traffic, which at the time wasn't oncoming because the drivers stopped for me.

I practice basic road safety and etiquette, I stop before entering the side walk, look both way, wait for cars that are going to pass even though legally they have to stop. What I want to know are appropriate gesture that I can give after they have stopped suddenly or what I should yell as they are skidding to a stop (and assuming they car hear me because there windows are open because of the warmth)?
Title: Re: Bowling for Pedestrians
Post by: Camarynne on April 22, 2013, 01:38:59 PM
Nothing?
Title: Re: Bowling for Pedestrians
Post by: Ilovemygeek on April 22, 2013, 01:42:13 PM
I just smile and wave like a maniac. Somehow being super friendly disturbs people more.
Title: Re: Bowling for Pedestrians
Post by: EllenS on April 22, 2013, 01:43:54 PM
I think if you were to scream "Look out!" or "Oh, my Diety!" at fear of being run down, that would fall under "emergency" and not under "etiquette".

However, if the moment of danger has passed and you are just looking for a way to express yourself afterwards, there is nothing that can be politely shouted at people.

I would note, however, that standing in the crosswalk while writing down their license plate and ostentaiously calling 911 to report texting/cellphone use/other reckless driving is perfectly polite.  May not be SMART, but it is not rude.
Title: Re: Bowling for Pedestrians
Post by: SPuck on April 22, 2013, 01:52:00 PM
The incidents never happen because of distraction. As far as I can seen anyway. They always occur at a cross walk near the crest of a hill so I understand the sudden stops in that situation, but not the speeding up after I already started in the cross walk. The other incidents occur after some train tracks near my house. For some reason people feel the need to catch up for lost time after they have slowed down for the tracks.
Title: Re: Bowling for Pedestrians
Post by: menley on April 22, 2013, 01:52:21 PM
I usually raise my arms/shoulders, palms upraised, in a "What the heck?" kind of gesture... but I realize this is not etiquette-approved :)

If the windows are open, you could call out, "Please be careful!", I think, without being rude. But generally, at the point that someone has slammed on their brakes to avoid you, they know they've done something wrong (or they're obliviously thinking you jumped in front of their car). Saying or gesturing something to them will not change this.
Title: Re: Bowling for Pedestrians
Post by: magicdomino on April 22, 2013, 02:59:42 PM
The incidents never happen because of distraction. As far as I can seen anyway. They always occur at a cross walk near the crest of a hill so I understand the sudden stops in that situation, but not the speeding up after I already started in the cross walk. The other incidents occur after some train tracks near my house. For some reason people feel the need to catch up for lost time after they have slowed down for the tracks.

What is the time of day?  I go up a bit of a hill when I pull out of the office parking garage.  Depending on the time of year, the sun is in my eyes despite sunglasses, visor, and bobbing my head around trying to find something to block the sun.  While I can see well enough to pick out the traffic light at the top of the hill, I cannot see the pedestrians who sometimes jaywalk on their way to the subway stop.
Title: Re: Bowling for Pedestrians
Post by: SPuck on April 22, 2013, 03:09:00 PM
It's occurred at multiple times of day. Some times morning some times afternoon, and as I mentioned before I don't jay walk. All my hit and misses seem to be occurring in the cross walks.
Title: Re: Bowling for Pedestrians
Post by: jpcher on April 22, 2013, 04:42:41 PM
I practice basic road safety and etiquette, I stop before entering the side walk, look both way, wait for cars that are going to pass even though legally they have to stop.

Are there posted stop signs so that the cars have to stop anyway?

As far as I know cars do not have to stop at crosswalks if there isn't a stop sign/signal or yield to pedestrian type of sign.
Title: Re: Bowling for Pedestrians
Post by: EllenS on April 22, 2013, 04:48:15 PM
JPcher, in the US cars don't have to stop at unoccupied crosswalks without a stop sign, but they certainly have to yield for pedestrians whether there is a sign or not.
Title: Re: Bowling for Pedestrians
Post by: curly sue on April 22, 2013, 04:54:58 PM
I have this problem on my lunchtime walks. One of my favorite routes has an intersection that for some reason everyone loses their mind when they get to it. I have resorted to carrying a whistle and when I get the walk signal, if I don't trust that the car turning right is going to let me proceed, I just blow my whistle and give a little wave. I will admit to feeling pretty silly using the whistle but I'd rather feel silly and be able to enjoy my walks than not use the whistle and be a splat on the sidewalk.
Title: Re: Bowling for Pedestrians
Post by: Surianne on April 22, 2013, 05:17:52 PM
I usually raise my arms/shoulders, palms upraised, in a "What the heck?" kind of gesture... but I realize this is not etiquette-approved :)

This is my move exactly -- I figure it's still better than making a rude gesture!

I'm enjoying Ilovemygeek's suggestion of being super friendly, though.  I may have to try that one next time.  (Drivers in my city are insane too.  They love making super fast turns without slowing when I have a walk signal and am already halfway across the street.)
Title: Re: Bowling for Pedestrians
Post by: SPuck on April 22, 2013, 05:34:15 PM
For some reason the intersection on the busy route/highway near by house is also generally safer to cross. I also feel safer walking on the side of the road in winter (when the sidewalks are covered) because half of all cars slow down and at least all of them move towards the other side of the street when I am walking at them. It's stupid and makes me want to walk with a portable stop sign.
Title: Re: Bowling for Pedestrians
Post by: AngelicGamer on April 22, 2013, 05:38:09 PM
If anybody figures out to get people to pay more attention when people are walking in a legal crosswalk, well...

as Fry would say "Shut up and take my money already!".  Although, I might try the whistle idea.

*Grumbles about suburb drivers*
Title: Re: Bowling for Pedestrians
Post by: *inviteseller on April 22, 2013, 06:40:57 PM
Here in Pittsburgh, it is pedestrians vs cars all the time...and neither yields well.  I really try not to be like my fellow yinzers and jay walk or take on a bus speeding down the bus only lane , but even in the cross walk that I have the walk light sign on, right on red can be deadly for walkers because the drivers take that right seriously!  When I am almost smooshed by someone who feels that the stop sign is optional or that red light doesn't apply to them, I give the little wave and a smile then walk slowly past their bumper.  So far, no one has gunned the engine and attempted to kill me. 
Title: Re: Bowling for Pedestrians
Post by: jpcher on April 22, 2013, 07:26:54 PM
JPcher, in the US cars don't have to stop at unoccupied crosswalks without a stop sign, but they certainly have to yield for pedestrians whether there is a sign or not.

Oh! Most definitely! All drivers must yield for pedestrians -- so long as the pedestrians are following the safety rules . . . wait, that didn't sound right either. :-\

I think I'm digging myself into a hole . . . please bear with me.


I practice basic road safety and etiquette, I stop before entering the side walk, look both way, wait for cars that are going to pass even though legally they have to stop.

I apologize, SPuck, maybe I misunderstood. I was just asking for clarification, but my question probably shouldn't have been addressed specifically to your habits because you stated that you follow pedestrian etiquette. So, the following is a general statement, and the reason for my previous post.

There are so many times where I find pedestrians think that they own the road. Even on side streets where there is a clearly marked crossing and I don't have a stop sign, I've seen walkers/joggers look both ways as they approach the crossing and still step out into the intersection, barely giving me enough time to stop (and I'm traveling only 25 mph.) These people are not following proper pedestrian rules.

Another problem is at the local train station. There are clearly marked "Walk/Don't Walk" signs. Especially when a train unloads, people walk across the street, eyes glued to their cell phone, thinking "Cars must stop for me so why should I pay attention?"


Back to your OP, SPuck -- since you've had a few close calls on the same specific intersections (mainly the uphill one) I'm curious as to how visible you are to the drivers. I'm sure you're not the only walker that has experienced this. Maybe call your non-emergency number and explain the dangerous crossing for pedestrians. Ask if they could put up a stop sign or, at the very least, a ped-xing sign to warn drivers that they do need to slow down.



Title: Re: Bowling for Pedestrians
Post by: SPuck on April 22, 2013, 07:51:32 PM
I always pause and wait at the cross walk for people to slow down, but I had a near hit and miss last year because the person sped up after I had seen them slow down. The same thing happened today, at another cross walk.
Title: Re: Bowling for Pedestrians
Post by: Surianne on April 22, 2013, 09:02:37 PM
I practice basic road safety and etiquette, I stop before entering the side walk, look both way, wait for cars that are going to pass even though legally they have to stop.

I apologize, SPuck, maybe I misunderstood. I was just asking for clarification, but my question probably shouldn't have been addressed specifically to your habits because you stated that you follow pedestrian etiquette. So, the following is a general statement, and the reason for my previous post.

There are so many times where I find pedestrians think that they own the road. Even on side streets where there is a clearly marked crossing and I don't have a stop sign, I've seen walkers/joggers look both ways as they approach the crossing and still step out into the intersection, barely giving me enough time to stop (and I'm traveling only 25 mph.) These people are not following proper pedestrian rules.

I don't think that's what anyone is talking about in this thread, however.  Obviously, pedestrians who disobey the law are wrong and rude, and taking their lives into their own hands.  But I think the OP (and those of us pedestrians who replied) is asking about how to make it clear to drivers that they've mis-stepped when they're the ones at fault.

I know that it's frustrating to drivers that there are walkers sharing the road as well, crossing the streets on walk signals and preventing drivers from shaving a couple of seconds off their right turns.  But unfortunately, we have to get home or to work just as much as you do, and we're a lot more vulnerable.  In a car vs. walker dispute, the car will always win.  Even if the driver is the one liable, the walker is the one who ends up dead.  So I hope that people in cars will keep that in mind and look before turning.
Title: Re: Bowling for Pedestrians
Post by: LadyDyani on April 22, 2013, 09:27:46 PM
This happened to me 15 minutes ago.

I was driving my daughter's friend home after practice.  We live out in the county, which means narrow two lane streets, no shoulders or streetlights.  Also, lots of hills.  What, exactly, would make someone think that ten at night would be the perfect time to put on their black jogging suit and go for a run?  I did not see that woman until I was approximately six feet away from her.  I was going 55 mph in a no speed zone, and she was in the middle of my lane, and running in the same direction I was driving. If it hadn't been for a super tiny reflector on the back of her shoe, I wouldn't have seen her at all.

I swerved into the left lane, so if someone had been coming over the hill, I would have hit them head on.

Don't they suggest that when walking/running on a street with no sidewalks, you should face the traffic coming toward you? So you know to get out of the way?

I probably should have put this in the SS thread, but I'm still shaking a bit from the massive adrenaline surge.
Title: Re: Bowling for Pedestrians
Post by: jpcher on April 22, 2013, 09:30:11 PM
I always pause and wait at the cross walk for people to slow down, but I had a near hit and miss last year because the person sped up after I had seen them slow down. The same thing happened today, at another cross walk.

Okay, go ahead and slam me.

Just because there is a cross walk does not mean that traffic needs to slow down or stop for a pedestrian. (well, yes, if a pedestrian is in the crosswalk drivers do need to yield in order to avoid an accidental hitting of the pedestrian.)

Unless there is a clear signal (walk/don't walk) for pedestrians to cross, it is up to the pedestrian to yield to oncoming traffic in uncontrolled crossings.

Hence the "Look both way's" rule. Do not ever expect people to slow down or stop, especially if they have no prior notice of crossing pedestrians. As a pedestrian, you may have the right-of-way, but you also have the wherewithall to see on coming traffic before they see you.




Surianne -- you posted while I was typing.

Granted. People in cars should always be on the lookout for pedestrians. I hit a bicyclist once. The bicyclist was damaged (broken bones) and ticketed because he was in the wrong.

Just because you, as a pedestrian, having the right of way doesn't mean that you shouldn't be aware of and extremely careful of oncoming traffic.

(LadyDyani, you also posted while I was typing.)



I'll shut up now.
Title: Re: Bowling for Pedestrians
Post by: Figgie on April 22, 2013, 09:31:24 PM
One thing that my spouse has noticed is that if he pauses before crossing the street (in the crosswalk at traffic lights), it confuses the right turners.  He's found that it is better for him to use body language to make it look like he is just planning on crossing the street without any hesitation.

So, he will walk along the sidewalk and step off the curb without any pause and that seems to make it easier for right turners to understand that he is going to cross the street.  If he stops, they appear to think he isn't going to cross and accelerate through the intersection.  And it is a whole other topic about how often some of the right turners don't bother to come to a complete stop before turning right.

As he says...he can always stop right after he steps off the curb if it looks like the car isn't going to stop...it is just that hesitating before that first step seems to encourage right turners to ignore him.

And to be perfectly clear...I am talking about an intersection with traffic lights, cross walk and a countdown timer that gives walkers the right away.  He doesn't do this at intersections that don't have this, as that would be a good way to get himself killed.
Title: Re: Bowling for Pedestrians
Post by: Oh Joy on April 22, 2013, 09:33:23 PM
In your scenario, they see you, have stopped or are stopping, and realize they ideally would have stopped sooner.  What is it you desire to convey with your polite gesture or phrase?
Title: Re: Bowling for Pedestrians
Post by: SPuck on April 22, 2013, 09:41:48 PM
Here is the situation of two of my recent hit and misses. I am in the cross walk having already started crossing the street. I decided to cross the street because in both cases the cars have already stopped a quarter mile away behind the tracks. The tracks are crappy and people have to stop and slow down or your car will get wrecked. They notice the bad tracks, what they don't notice is that I have already started in the cross walk. I guess what I want to convey is that if you pay attention to the bad track why can't you pay attention to the cross walk. Of course there is no way portray that complex point in a gesture so the point is moot.
Title: Re: Bowling for Pedestrians
Post by: Surianne on April 22, 2013, 09:42:17 PM
Surianne -- you posted while I was typing.

Granted. People in cars should always be on the lookout for pedestrians. I hit a bicyclist once. The bicyclist was damaged (broken bones) and ticketed because he was in the wrong.

Just because you, as a pedestrian, having the right of way doesn't mean that you shouldn't be aware of and extremely careful of oncoming traffic.

I'll shut up now.

To the bolded: absolutely, I'm the one who can die from a driver's choice to ignore my right of way, so I pay as much attention as possible.  I think the OP feels the same way.  Is there something we've said that makes you think we contradict this statement?  I'm a little confused as to your point here. 
Title: Re: Bowling for Pedestrians
Post by: AngelicGamer on April 22, 2013, 10:26:57 PM
Wait wait wait.

<snip>
Granted. People in cars should always be on the lookout for pedestrians. I hit a bicyclist once. The bicyclist was damaged (broken bones) and ticketed because he was in the wrong.

Just because you, as a pedestrian, having the right of way doesn't mean that you shouldn't be aware of and extremely careful of oncoming traffic.
<snip>

I feel you need to explain this more.  My brain is hurting from the fact that you ran into someone on a bike, there were broken bones, and you weren't ticketed or (possibly) sued.  Also, in your post, it sounds like you don't really care like you hurt someone.  It could be the internet but that really shocks me. 

I've looked up some things about pedestrians in my state (IL).  At a legal crosswalk, pedestrians always have right of way as long as they are crossing legally.  So, if I'm going across the street, I trump you in the car making a right or left turn.  I actually trump a normal pedestrian by having a visible disability (woo red tipped cane) as I am supposed to be yielded to no matter what.  But drivers don't seem to care, considering how many times I've nearly been hit or had my cane nearly taken out of my hands due to someone having to turn right or left RIGHT.NOW.   ::)

However, if I'm jaywalking, then I do have to yield to the drivers.  And probably would be ticketed if a cop saw me or if I got hit.  It's why I don't jaywalk, but sometimes I wonder if it would be safer than a crosswalk.  Drivers seem to pay more attention to things that dart out from the side of the road than people crossing a crosswalk.
Title: Re: Bowling for Pedestrians
Post by: SPuck on April 22, 2013, 11:00:52 PM
I guess what my main question boils down to, is it rude to yell "hey" or "hello" if I end up in these near hit and miss situations. They mostly occur during bright, sunny weather when the windows will be open.
Title: Re: Bowling for Pedestrians
Post by: *inviteseller on April 22, 2013, 11:02:37 PM
I was always taught, that in a crosswalk the pedestrian has the right of way.  Now, in my city, all crosswalks are at red lights with walk signals or at stop signs.  If you are making a right on red, you are supposed to be looking out for the pedestrian who has the walk sign.  If you are at a stop sign, you are supposed to wait until the cross walk is clear of pedestrians before proceeding.  But because some people have the mentality of my car is bigger than your body so I am going to go, I still am careful.  When I was a teenager, I was crossing in a cross walk.  It was early evening, still light out, and I waited my turn.  I saw a truck coming up the hill to a stop sign so I started, my friends a few steps behind me.  The truck paused, then proceeded to go and I got hit.  He kept saying 'sorry, sorry I thought you would make it across before I started."  OK, but what about the 3 people behind me????  If someone is crossing in a cross walk and you (the driver) have a stop sign, the pedestrian has the right of way period, whether you are turning or going straight and it is the drivers responsibility to watch and maintain.  Yes, people dart out or walk/jog/bike in the road but as the driver, right or wrong, you bear the responsibility to watch for hazards.  It is not always the drivers fault, but, as the case tonight of an 8 yr old boy critically injured by an SUV, the driver saw the adults on their bikes but said due to the size of her vehicle she never saw the kid with them, the driver was in the wrong. 
Title: Re: Bowling for Pedestrians
Post by: TootsNYC on April 22, 2013, 11:40:28 PM
I have this problem on my lunchtime walks. One of my favorite routes has an intersection that for some reason everyone loses their mind when they get to it. I have resorted to carrying a whistle and when I get the walk signal, if I don't trust that the car turning right is going to let me proceed, I just blow my whistle and give a little wave. I will admit to feeling pretty silly using the whistle but I'd rather feel silly and be able to enjoy my walks than not use the whistle and be a splat on the sidewalk.

Brilliant!
Title: Re: Bowling for Pedestrians
Post by: TootsNYC on April 22, 2013, 11:44:07 PM
I guess what my main question boils down to, is it rude to yell "hey" or "hello" if I end up in these near hit and miss situations. They mostly occur during bright, sunny weather when the windows will be open.

Yes, I think it would be. Maybe yelling, "Careful!" in a cheery tone would be not rude.
Title: Re: Bowling for Pedestrians
Post by: snoopygirl on April 23, 2013, 06:36:31 AM
Here in Pittsburgh, it is pedestrians vs cars all the time...and neither yields well.  I really try not to be like my fellow yinzers and jay walk or take on a bus speeding down the bus only lane , but even in the cross walk that I have the walk light sign on, right on red can be deadly for walkers because the drivers take that right seriously!  When I am almost smooshed by someone who feels that the stop sign is optional or that red light doesn't apply to them, I give the little wave and a smile then walk slowly past their bumper.  So far, no one has gunned the engine and attempted to kill me.

This is so true. When I lived in Pittsburgh I walked to work. I had to cross a busy road (thank goodness it had a crosswalk). Even with that crosswalk and my light being green people thought that the red wasn't for them. One lady honked her horn at me and gave me annoyed gestures as I crossed on green. I just gave her a little smile and went on my way. It was green I had the right of way. I did feel though I had to run across that road green or not.

In Belfast where I live now its totally different. People just run across the road and most of the time cars will stop. My MIL does this all the time. She will run out into traffic without looking. She has expressed a desire to visit my family in Pittsburgh. I have told my husband and mom if she does this will somebody watch her cross the roads and don't let her go off by herself. I know that's treating her like a child but I do worry with Pittsburgh drivers she would get herself hurt.
Title: Re: Bowling for Pedestrians
Post by: wyliefool on April 23, 2013, 07:33:11 AM
I always pause and wait at the cross walk for people to slow down, but I had a near hit and miss last year because the person sped up after I had seen them slow down. The same thing happened today, at another cross walk.

Okay, go ahead and slam me.

Just because there is a cross walk does not mean that traffic needs to slow down or stop for a pedestrian. (well, yes, if a pedestrian is in the crosswalk drivers do need to yield in order to avoid an accidental hitting of the pedestrian.)

Unless there is a clear signal (walk/don't walk) for pedestrians to cross, it is up to the pedestrian to yield to oncoming traffic in uncontrolled crossings.

Hence the "Look both way's" rule. Do not ever expect people to slow down or stop, especially if they have no prior notice of crossing pedestrians. As a pedestrian, you may have the right-of-way, but you also have the wherewithall to see on coming traffic before they see you.




Surianne -- you posted while I was typing.

Granted. People in cars should always be on the lookout for pedestrians. I hit a bicyclist once. The bicyclist was damaged (broken bones) and ticketed because he was in the wrong.

Just because you, as a pedestrian, having the right of way doesn't mean that you shouldn't be aware of and extremely careful of oncoming traffic.

(LadyDyani, you also posted while I was typing.)



I'll shut up now.

Actually, here in PA at least, the law is that cars must stop for pedestrians standing at crosswalks, regardless of the absence of stop signs or red lights. I believe that's the law in some other states too. Some drivers stop for people who are obviously looking to cross the street even when they're not at a marked crosswalk; then there are those who speed thru the crosswalks, sending peds scattering.
Title: Re: Bowling for Pedestrians
Post by: msulinski on April 23, 2013, 09:33:22 AM
Wait wait wait.

<snip>
Granted. People in cars should always be on the lookout for pedestrians. I hit a bicyclist once. The bicyclist was damaged (broken bones) and ticketed because he was in the wrong.

Just because you, as a pedestrian, having the right of way doesn't mean that you shouldn't be aware of and extremely careful of oncoming traffic.
<snip>

I feel you need to explain this more.  My brain is hurting from the fact that you ran into someone on a bike, there were broken bones, and you weren't ticketed or (possibly) sued.  Also, in your post, it sounds like you don't really care like you hurt someone.  It could be the internet but that really shocks me. 

I've looked up some things about pedestrians in my state (IL).  At a legal crosswalk, pedestrians always have right of way as long as they are crossing legally.  So, if I'm going across the street, I trump you in the car making a right or left turn.  I actually trump a normal pedestrian by having a visible disability (woo red tipped cane) as I am supposed to be yielded to no matter what.  But drivers don't seem to care, considering how many times I've nearly been hit or had my cane nearly taken out of my hands due to someone having to turn right or left RIGHT.NOW.   ::)

However, if I'm jaywalking, then I do have to yield to the drivers.  And probably would be ticketed if a cop saw me or if I got hit.  It's why I don't jaywalk, but sometimes I wonder if it would be safer than a crosswalk.  Drivers seem to pay more attention to things that dart out from the side of the road than people crossing a crosswalk.

not sure why this hurts your brain. It sounds obvious from the post that the cyclist was in the wrong. So your solution would be to ticket the the driver of the car? Why, simply because the cyclist is injured? That makes no sense to me at all.
Title: Re: Bowling for Pedestrians
Post by: Twik on April 23, 2013, 10:21:23 AM
I always pause and wait at the cross walk for people to slow down, but I had a near hit and miss last year because the person sped up after I had seen them slow down. The same thing happened today, at another cross walk.

Okay, go ahead and slam me.

Just because there is a cross walk does not mean that traffic needs to slow down or stop for a pedestrian. (well, yes, if a pedestrian is in the crosswalk drivers do need to yield in order to avoid an accidental hitting of the pedestrian.)

Actually, here in PA at least, the law is that cars must stop for pedestrians standing at crosswalks, regardless of the absence of stop signs or red lights. I believe that's the law in some other states too. Some drivers stop for people who are obviously looking to cross the street even when they're not at a marked crosswalk; then there are those who speed thru the crosswalks, sending peds scattering.

This is one of those "regional differences" that can actually become life-threatening.

In my locality, a driver legally does have to stop for pedestrians in crosswalks. I learned that it doesn't apply everywhere when, in another region, I walked out onto a crosswalk figuring that the driver saw me in plenty of time to stop. He must have thought I had a death wish!
Title: Re: Bowling for Pedestrians
Post by: wyliefool on April 23, 2013, 11:08:45 AM
I always pause and wait at the cross walk for people to slow down, but I had a near hit and miss last year because the person sped up after I had seen them slow down. The same thing happened today, at another cross walk.

Okay, go ahead and slam me.

Just because there is a cross walk does not mean that traffic needs to slow down or stop for a pedestrian. (well, yes, if a pedestrian is in the crosswalk drivers do need to yield in order to avoid an accidental hitting of the pedestrian.)

Actually, here in PA at least, the law is that cars must stop for pedestrians standing at crosswalks, regardless of the absence of stop signs or red lights. I believe that's the law in some other states too. Some drivers stop for people who are obviously looking to cross the street even when they're not at a marked crosswalk; then there are those who speed thru the crosswalks, sending peds scattering.

This is one of those "regional differences" that can actually become life-threatening.

In my locality, a driver legally does have to stop for pedestrians in crosswalks. I learned that it doesn't apply everywhere when, in another region, I walked out onto a crosswalk figuring that the driver saw me in plenty of time to stop. He must have thought I had a death wish!

Well even tho it's the law here you still look and wait until you see them slowing down (as OP did) because it's not a given that they'll obey the law.

As a NYer, I much prefer jaywalking in the middle of a block. You can peek out from between parked vehicles, where you won't get run over, and there's no one screeching around the corner from the cross street. If there's traffic coming, you're protected from it by the parked vehicles, which no one wants to hit since it will damage thier cars. The times I've been almost hit are the times I've been crossing at the light when the 'walking man' sign is lit.
Title: Re: Bowling for Pedestrians
Post by: AngelicGamer on April 23, 2013, 01:50:19 PM
Wait wait wait.

<snip>
Granted. People in cars should always be on the lookout for pedestrians. I hit a bicyclist once. The bicyclist was damaged (broken bones) and ticketed because he was in the wrong.

Just because you, as a pedestrian, having the right of way doesn't mean that you shouldn't be aware of and extremely careful of oncoming traffic.
<snip>

I feel you need to explain this more.  My brain is hurting from the fact that you ran into someone on a bike, there were broken bones, and you weren't ticketed or (possibly) sued.  Also, in your post, it sounds like you don't really care like you hurt someone.  It could be the internet but that really shocks me. 

I've looked up some things about pedestrians in my state (IL).  At a legal crosswalk, pedestrians always have right of way as long as they are crossing legally.  So, if I'm going across the street, I trump you in the car making a right or left turn.  I actually trump a normal pedestrian by having a visible disability (woo red tipped cane) as I am supposed to be yielded to no matter what.  But drivers don't seem to care, considering how many times I've nearly been hit or had my cane nearly taken out of my hands due to someone having to turn right or left RIGHT.NOW.   ::)

However, if I'm jaywalking, then I do have to yield to the drivers.  And probably would be ticketed if a cop saw me or if I got hit.  It's why I don't jaywalk, but sometimes I wonder if it would be safer than a crosswalk.  Drivers seem to pay more attention to things that dart out from the side of the road than people crossing a crosswalk.

not sure why this hurts your brain. It sounds obvious from the post that the cyclist was in the wrong. So your solution would be to ticket the the driver of the car? Why, simply because the cyclist is injured? That makes no sense to me at all.

I think it is, as a PP said, a regional difference going on.  In my state, the person driving the car would be in the wrong, even if the bicyclist was doing something wrong.  It didn't even cross my mind that there would be such a difference in different states about what happens when someone hits a bicyclist.
Title: Re: Bowling for Pedestrians
Post by: ladyknight1 on April 23, 2013, 02:06:07 PM
I practice basic road safety and etiquette, I stop before entering the side walk, look both way, wait for cars that are going to pass even though legally they have to stop.

Are there posted stop signs so that the cars have to stop anyway?

As far as I know cars do not have to stop at crosswalks if there isn't a stop sign/signal or yield to pedestrian type of sign.

They do in my area, which is an unincorporated part of our county. Every year, there is a rash of ticket writing for drivers not yielding to the pedestrians.
Title: Re: Bowling for Pedestrians
Post by: ladyknight1 on April 23, 2013, 02:11:16 PM
I would also like to add, as a driver, a big thank you to those pedestrians who follow the rules! I have to drive on campus nearly every day, and just about every time there is a student walking down the middle of the lane on their phone or with headphones and they never look to see if there are cars around! I had to honk at one last week as she meandered directly into my vehicle's path.
Title: Re: Bowling for Pedestrians
Post by: jpcher on April 23, 2013, 04:59:26 PM
Wait wait wait.

<snip>
Granted. People in cars should always be on the lookout for pedestrians. I hit a bicyclist once. The bicyclist was damaged (broken bones) and ticketed because he was in the wrong.

Just because you, as a pedestrian, having the right of way doesn't mean that you shouldn't be aware of and extremely careful of oncoming traffic.
<snip>

I feel you need to explain this more.  My brain is hurting from the fact that you ran into someone on a bike, there were broken bones, and you weren't ticketed or (possibly) sued.  Also, in your post, it sounds like you don't really care like you hurt someone.  It could be the internet but that really shocks me. 

I've looked up some things about pedestrians in my state (IL).  At a legal crosswalk, pedestrians always have right of way as long as they are crossing legally.  So, if I'm going across the street, I trump you in the car making a right or left turn.  I actually trump a normal pedestrian by having a visible disability (woo red tipped cane) as I am supposed to be yielded to no matter what.  But drivers don't seem to care, considering how many times I've nearly been hit or had my cane nearly taken out of my hands due to someone having to turn right or left RIGHT.NOW.   ::)

However, if I'm jaywalking, then I do have to yield to the drivers.  And probably would be ticketed if a cop saw me or if I got hit.  It's why I don't jaywalk, but sometimes I wonder if it would be safer than a crosswalk.  Drivers seem to pay more attention to things that dart out from the side of the road than people crossing a crosswalk.

not sure why this hurts your brain. It sounds obvious from the post that the cyclist was in the wrong. So your solution would be to ticket the the driver of the car? Why, simply because the cyclist is injured? That makes no sense to me at all.

I think it is, as a PP said, a regional difference going on.  In my state, the person driving the car would be in the wrong, even if the bicyclist was doing something wrong.  It didn't even cross my mind that there would be such a difference in different states about what happens when someone hits a bicyclist.

Green above, yes it is an internet thing (probably the way I phrased it, too.) Trust me, I still have nightmares of a body rolling across the hood of my car. I know I posted this story in a different thread a while back and I didn't want to derail this thread any more than I already had.

To clarify -- At a stop light with 2 left turn lanes (off-ramp and left was the only way to turn.) I was in the far left lane and a full-sized van was next to me, causing a huge blind spot. Light turned green, I stepped on the gas and a second later I heard a shout, I slammed on my brakes and there was a body rolling across the hood of my car.

Bicyclist was ticked for 1. Failure to yield to traffic, 2. Running a red light, 3. Riding on the wrong side of the street (against the flow of traffic), 4. Riding a bicycle without a helmet, 5. Improperly equipped bicycle (no lights -- I think they just threw this one in there, it was broad daylight ::)) Bicyclist had a broken collar bone, slight concussion and a lot of road-rash.





Again, SPuck, I apologize for the derailment.

Now, back to your regularly scheduled thread . . .
Title: Re: Bowling for Pedestrians
Post by: *inviteseller on April 23, 2013, 10:08:33 PM
Actually Snoopygirl, she would be right at home in Oakland with the Pitt students who have a death wish on the bus lane !  And in jpcher's defense, we have messenger bicyclists who race between lanes of traffic going the wrong way, zigzag between lanes, go left on red and just generally make nuisances of themselves, but as the city goes more and more bike friendly, more and more people are being hit and killed and 9 out of 10 times, it is the motorists fault.   
Title: Re: Bowling for Pedestrians
Post by: AngelicGamer on April 23, 2013, 11:02:18 PM
Jpcher, that sounds scary!  Thank you for sharing the whole story - I can see now that the bicyclist is completely at fault.  I am so sorry you still have nightmares about that.  I also apologize for the threadjack, as I did ask for the whole story.

(((hugs jpcher)))
Title: Re: Bowling for Pedestrians
Post by: ladyknight1 on April 24, 2013, 09:55:06 AM
Jpcher, nearly experienced that this morning. I was in the inside left turn lane, we got the signal and began to move and some man on a bicycle comes flying in front of the cars with his hand outstretched, as if that would prevent him being injured by the car directly in front of him. The crossing signals are set up so that he had missed his turn to cross by 15-20 seconds.
Title: Re: Bowling for Pedestrians
Post by: Zilla on April 24, 2013, 09:58:33 AM
My latest pet peeve?  Running shoppers.  I drive slow through a parking lot and gauge shoppers that are walking that they won't "reach" me in time so I can keep going. 


Twice this week, I see shoppers and think okay I can make it just fine coasting through when all of a sudden there are running shoppers dashing in front of me causing me to slam on my brakes.  It's like where in the world did you come from.  And in the second incident, dd was facing me from the passenger seat and saw one just break into a jog right in front of me again causing me to brake.  Please don't do this.  Walk! (never mind that this isn't even in the crosswalk either, this is in random spots from the parking lot on my left and stores on my right)
Title: Re: Bowling for Pedestrians
Post by: Bijou on April 24, 2013, 04:55:57 PM
Nothing?
That was my second thought, too.   (Since my first one would never be considered appropriate.  >:D)
Title: Re: Bowling for Pedestrians
Post by: Gyburc on April 25, 2013, 06:16:30 AM
Jpcher, nearly experienced that this morning. I was in the inside left turn lane, we got the signal and began to move and some man on a bicycle comes flying in front of the cars with his hand outstretched, as if that would prevent him being injured by the car directly in front of him. The crossing signals are set up so that he had missed his turn to cross by 15-20 seconds.

I still remember a very close call I witnessed a few years ago. There's a crossroads in the centre of the city where I work, where the traffic lights alternately let traffic go east-west and west-east, then south only, then north only. It's a fairly busy crossroads, and very sadly, a young student cyclist was killed there recently by a rubbish lorry.

The incident that I saw involved another student cyclist, a young woman who was cycling west to east. As she came up to the crossroads, the lights changed to red for her, and to green for the traffic travelling south. There was plenty of time for her to stop, but she simply didn't bother. Instead, as the southbound traffic started off, she just cycled very slowly out across in front of them, causing all the cars to perform emergency stops, and the bikes to swerve to avoid hitting her.

She was wearing headphones, and never once even looked to see what was happening around her - I doubt she even noticed the cars. It really was a miracle that she wasn't hit. I hate driving in the centre of the city because of people who do stupid things like this.
Title: Re: Bowling for Pedestrians
Post by: AuntieA on April 25, 2013, 06:06:39 PM
In my province, drivers must stop for pedestrians both at crosswalks and at corners. Also, pedestrians are encouraged to indicate their intent to cross by sticking their arm out pointing across the street, so drivers can slow down/stop for them. There have been a huge number of pedestrian fatalities in the past 10 years, and the fine for breaking the pedestrian crossing law is in excess of CAD$500.00. Oh, and the drivers are supposed to stay stopped from the time the pedestrian steps off the curb, until they step on the opposing curb, or the curb of the median in a divided street.

In response to the question asked in the OP, I would probably smilingly and cheerfully call out, "Thank you for not killing me today!", but then I am a bit of a smart mouth.
Title: Re: Bowling for Pedestrians
Post by: mrs_deb on April 27, 2013, 08:40:47 AM
Last week in our area a girl was struck and killed in a(n uncontrolled) crosswalk.  The first car had stopped, and she and her friend were crossing the street, when a car came up behind the stopped car and decided not to stop - the driver swerved around the stopped car and struck the girls.

I've seen this sort of behaviour before, but luckily not resulting in injury.  Tragic. 
Title: Re: Bowling for Pedestrians, Is not my Fault (Update Post 46)
Post by: SPuck on June 11, 2013, 11:10:46 AM
So I was about to cross the street again today at the cross walk. On the opposite side of road a police officer stopped foe me. Two drives decided to blow past me. The cop turned around, pulled both over, and gave them both tickets.
Title: Re: Bowling for Pedestrians, is not my Fault (Update Post 46)
Post by: learningtofly on June 11, 2013, 11:51:36 AM
So I live in Massachusetts, and I like to walk every day. I have discovered that the most dangerous time of the year to walk is on bright summer or spring days in the middle of a cross walk. I had three memorable incidents last year, and so far this year (after the melting at least 32 inch tall snow banks) one car's sudden stop resulted in a car behind it having the swerve into oncoming traffic, which at the time wasn't oncoming because the drivers stopped for me.

I practice basic road safety and etiquette, I stop before entering the side walk, look both way, wait for cars that are going to pass even though legally they have to stop. What I want to know are appropriate gesture that I can give after they have stopped suddenly or what I should yell as they are skidding to a stop (and assuming they car hear me because there windows are open because of the warmth)?

Since this is regional I think it depends on where you are.  In Cambridge everyone slams on their brakes to top for people in crosswalks.  Not all crosswalks are near lights and it makes it impossible to get down some streets as you stop at the whim of every person who wants to use a crosswalk.  However, I know of no other town in MA that is as rigid as Cambridge.  Cars should stop, but honestly I don't always see people on the side of the road.  If you're at a light I assume you're going to wait for the light to change and walk with the signs as I do.  If it's in the middle of a road I'm looking at what is on the road, not the side of the road.

Driving a car is more complicated than people think and for some people it is all they can do to concentrate on other cars.  Please don't yell at cars.  You never know who is crazy.
Title: Re: Bowling for Pedestrians, is not my Fault (Update Post 46)
Post by: ladyknight1 on June 11, 2013, 11:54:10 AM
Excellent!  >:D

Teaching DS to drive, and I have been talking to him about why I wait for people to cross when they have the signal. My SUV makes a very good barrier between pedestrians and careless drivers.
Title: Re: Bowling for Pedestrians, Is not my Fault (Update Post 46)
Post by: DaDancingPsych on June 11, 2013, 11:55:19 AM
So I was about to cross the street again today at the cross walk. On the opposite side of road a police officer stopped foe me. Two drives decided to blow past me. The cop turned around, pulled both over, and gave them both tickets.

That will teach them some etiquette!   :P  I hope you did your happy dance... once you had crossed safely, of course!
Title: Re: Bowling for Pedestrians, Is not my Fault (Update Post 46)
Post by: Oh Joy on June 11, 2013, 12:42:10 PM
So I was about to cross the street again today at the cross walk. On the opposite side of road a police officer stopped foe me. Two drives decided to blow past me. The cop turned around, pulled both over, and gave them both tickets.

So glad to see safety laws being enforced!

But I have to ask: how do you know the outcome (tickets) of the traffic stops?
Title: Re: Bowling for Pedestrians, is not my Fault (Update Post 46)
Post by: SPuck on June 11, 2013, 12:42:59 PM
Cars should stop, but honestly I don't always see people on the side of the road.  If you're at a light I assume you're going to wait for the light to change and walk with the signs as I do.  If it's in the middle of a road I'm looking at what is on the road, not the side of the road.

All of my cases of near hit or misses have occurred while I am at cross walks, and driving a car may be complicated, but if my recent update indicates anything people need to learn to be less self absorbed. I mean these cars didn't stop while I was at a cross walk when a police officer stopped for me.

But I have to ask: how do you know the outcome (tickets) of the traffic stops?

Besides the cop turning around to chase the (which was easy for him because after blowing past me they had to stop at a light), he told me he gave them both tickets when he drove by again on his way to his original destination.

Now that I think about it I am surprised that people are speed demons on my street anyway, it is a street where the cops regularly wait too pull drivers over for going over the limit.
Title: Re: Bowling for Pedestrians
Post by: cwm on June 11, 2013, 12:43:17 PM
My latest pet peeve?  Running shoppers.  I drive slow through a parking lot and gauge shoppers that are walking that they won't "reach" me in time so I can keep going. 


Twice this week, I see shoppers and think okay I can make it just fine coasting through when all of a sudden there are running shoppers dashing in front of me causing me to slam on my brakes.  It's like where in the world did you come from.  And in the second incident, dd was facing me from the passenger seat and saw one just break into a jog right in front of me again causing me to brake.  Please don't do this.  Walk! (never mind that this isn't even in the crosswalk either, this is in random spots from the parking lot on my left and stores on my right)

I usually walk in parking lots. The only exception being if I'm crossing a large entrance crosswalk right in front of the store and cars have stopped for me. I mean, look me in the eyes, register that I'm there, STOP for me. Then I'll jog quickly into the store or over to the curb to cross quickly so they can go about their business more quickly. I tend to walk slowly in parking lots, so I try to stay as far out of the way as possible.

I've been nearly hit in a crosswalk before. I had a white walk signal telling me to cross the street. I was going and hurried my sister and friend along, as I was the biggest person in the group and I could see a car coming. I'll admit, what I did wasn't probably the most polite, but when the driver slammed on their brakes and the tires squealed as it came to a stop RIGHT in front of me, I turned my upper body and slammed my hands down on the car's hood. Not enough to damage it, but I didn't have to move one bit to reach it. That driver was absolutely pale faced, and all I did was glare as I finished crossing the street. I was terrified, I could have sworn I was going to die, but at that point I was healing from knee issues and absolutely COULD NOT have moved any faster. If I was going to be hurt, at least the driver who couldn't slow down for pedestrians was going to see my face.
Title: Re: Bowling for Pedestrians, is not my Fault (Update Post 46)
Post by: kherbert05 on June 11, 2013, 05:10:08 PM
My cousins live in a small town on PEI. There was a crosswalk by Nanna's house and they would just walk across the street without looking. Thing was not only was this the main street of the town - it was also the way to a large tourist destination a couple towns down (a premire golf course). I had repeated conversations with them that their being right wasn't going to be of help when they were dead.




I grew up in the Memorial Villages. When I was still in elementary school my parents and other concerned citizens had pipes put in the ditches and used the reclaimed land for a hike and bike trail. It is illegal to ride your bike on the road, where the hike and bike trail parallels the road, has been for over 30 years. Still I saw someone getting a ticket last week. Thing is the hike and bike trail is in BETTER condition than the very narrow road.


In San Angelo I saw what could have been a much worst accident. A girl on a bicycle blew through a stop sign. The teenage driver coming around the curve could not stop in time - she was already going below the speed limit and did slow down significantly. The girl on the bike was able to walk away - literally she tried to walk home. We made her sit down and wait for the fire and police.


The cop wrote the bike rider a ticket for failing to stop at a stop sign. Some of the neighbors were upset at him ticketing a 10 yo. He told me he did it to protect the 17 yo driver - so there would be a paper trail saying she did not break the law. It was a 35 MPH zone - he estimated she managed to slow down to 5mph after coming around the curve which was just a short distance from the intersection. She told me later that she had started sneezing and had taken her foot of the gas and was slowing down  because of that. A neighbor realized that a bush in her yard had blocked the view of the bike, so she transplanted that closer to the house and planted lower plants the other bed.
Title: Re: Bowling for Pedestrians, is not my Fault (Update Post 46)
Post by: camlan on June 11, 2013, 05:26:04 PM
So I live in Massachusetts, and I like to walk every day. I have discovered that the most dangerous time of the year to walk is on bright summer or spring days in the middle of a cross walk. I had three memorable incidents last year, and so far this year (after the melting at least 32 inch tall snow banks) one car's sudden stop resulted in a car behind it having the swerve into oncoming traffic, which at the time wasn't oncoming because the drivers stopped for me.

I practice basic road safety and etiquette, I stop before entering the side walk, look both way, wait for cars that are going to pass even though legally they have to stop. What I want to know are appropriate gesture that I can give after they have stopped suddenly or what I should yell as they are skidding to a stop (and assuming they car hear me because there windows are open because of the warmth)?

Since this is regional I think it depends on where you are.  In Cambridge everyone slams on their brakes to top for people in crosswalks.  Not all crosswalks are near lights and it makes it impossible to get down some streets as you stop at the whim of every person who wants to use a crosswalk.  However, I know of no other town in MA that is as rigid as Cambridge.  Cars should stop, but honestly I don't always see people on the side of the road.  If you're at a light I assume you're going to wait for the light to change and walk with the signs as I do.  If it's in the middle of a road I'm looking at what is on the road, not the side of the road.

Driving a car is more complicated than people think and for some people it is all they can do to concentrate on other cars.  Please don't yell at cars.  You never know who is crazy.

Next door to Cambridge, in Arlington, there is a popular bike path, that is used year-round by cyclists, joggers, walkers and parents taking babies out for an airing. At one point, it crosses a busy road. There is a crosswalk there. And a sign warning motorists that there is a crosswalk ahead.

It took me months after moving there to anticipate that someone might step into the crosswalk as I was driving down the street. They have very carefully landscaped the area so that you can't see there is a bikepath there, unless you are directly in line with it. There are bushes and other plantings, so it looks just like the front yards of the houses on either side of the path. I remember thinking at one point, "There should be a warning sign for drivers along here." The next time I took that street, I was looking very carefully and I noticed that, among the many street signs on that stretch of road, there was indeed a sign indicating a crosswalk was ahead.

But the combination of the landscaping hiding the entrance to the path and the sign being buried among all the other signs, and there was no real warning to drivers that there was a lot of foot/bike/stroller traffic right there. And it was nowhere near an intersection. In general, I'm a pretty careful driver and I pay attention to signs, so if I was missing the entrance of the bike path, I'm sure a lot of other drivers were as well. And I used the bike path, so I knew it was there.

So I'm wondering if part of the problem the OP is experiencing is that there aren't enough clues for drivers to indicate that they need to be more careful along that stretch of road. If they aren't expecting pedestrians, and the road itself isn't sending signals to them to expect them, maybe more or better signs or some different landscaping might help.
Title: Re: Bowling for Pedestrians, is not my Fault (Update Post 46)
Post by: SPuck on June 11, 2013, 06:27:57 PM
So I'm wondering if part of the problem the OP is experiencing is that there aren't enough clues for drivers to indicate that they need to be more careful along that stretch of road. If they aren't expecting pedestrians, and the road itself isn't sending signals to them to expect them, maybe more or better signs or some different landscaping might help.

An actual cross walk sign might help, but the road is pretty clear while you are on it. In this incident today if they had not seen me they should have seen the police car stopped coming towards them. I didn't enter the cross walk this time. I was waiting on the side walk for them to stop while they decided to pass me instead and they were both ticketed.
Title: Re: Bowling for Pedestrians, is not my Fault (Update Post 46)
Post by: Cami on June 11, 2013, 09:24:03 PM
My husband encounters this 4 out of 5 days a week on his way to work. MAJOR intersection with OBVIOUS crosswalks and signals. There are vehicle--pedestrian accidents there regularly. In fact a city bus struck and killed a pedestrian in that crosswalk last year. I have begged my dh to use another intersection to cross the street.
Title: Re: Bowling for Pedestrians, is not my Fault (Update Post 46)
Post by: Pen^2 on June 11, 2013, 09:35:52 PM
I used to live in an area where drivers would actively break road laws to try to hit me. I'm talking, running a red light and driving over a traffic island while yelling obscenities. This used to happen about once a day. Although, truth be told, it was worse when I had a bike with me (even if I was walking it beside me--and no, I never rode on the road, always in shared pedestrian/bike paths).

There is nothing you can do in this situation except walk away. I am not about to thank someone for deciding at the last moment to act responsibly enough not to kill me through either recklessness or actual intent. I will not acknowledge their action as good, because frankly, it is very much not good enough. You don't get a prize for being substandard.

I know that with the drivers who would try to hit me, any reaction at all (disbelief, shock, fear, etc.) would encourage them. I'd just walk briskly away and ignore their shouted accusations ("can't you see where I'm driving, you stupid b****!??")

Also, good on the police to nab the two drivers.
Title: Re: Bowling for Pedestrians, is not my Fault (Update Post 46)
Post by: Raintree on June 11, 2013, 10:55:44 PM
If a driver has to skid to a sudden stop to let you cross, either they were speeding, not paying attention, or you walked out too suddenly into the crosswalk. I'm not saying this is what the OP did, but I nearly hit someone in a crosswalk the other day when they strode out purposefully without warning and I was going a normal speed, but I was so close I had to slam on the brakes. Safe pedestrian behaviour is to stop at the curb, stick a foot out tentatively and make it obvious you intend to cross. And don't do it until you can see that a driver intend to slow down. People can't always just stop on a dime.
Title: Re: Bowling for Pedestrians, Is not my Fault (Update Post 46)
Post by: Raintree on June 11, 2013, 10:57:13 PM
So I was about to cross the street again today at the cross walk. On the opposite side of road a police officer stopped foe me. Two drives decided to blow past me. The cop turned around, pulled both over, and gave them both tickets.

I like it! This happened to me once. I was crossing and already through the nearest lane when someone decided to just keep going through the middle lane. Unluckily for him, a cop was behind him.