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Thread: When is Jaywalking Jaywalking?

  1. #1
    plastic vice Phil.Pastel's Avatar
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    When is Jaywalking Jaywalking?

    Sorry to rant a bit, but the city of allentown is one big jaywalk. Every 30 feet, somebody walks out in front of you. I'm very stressed out right now after dealing with this for 5 days a week over a 6 month period.

    I am doing some research right now on pedestrian safety and jaywalking in this state, and the rules are never clearly explained.

    For my part, I can't understand why people are allowed to cross hectic 4-way intersections on foot or on bike. It's bad enough as it is, throw in pedestrians and that's an x-factor that really makes for a dangerous situation. To make matters worse, pedestrians are not normally in "driver" mode because they aren't driving. They often aren't even paying any attention to traffic at all.

    I am trying to drive safely, but the population is exploding and it's becoming almost impossible. And these rules seem to vary from one location to the next. Someone is allowed to cross at a wild intersection and 500 yards away, they aren't allowed to cross at the previous stoplight. What!?
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  2. #2
    Heroic Warrior rankinman's Avatar
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    Mainly jaywalking is now used as a reason to stop and individual, it's an offense, but soooooooo many people do it. A police officer could spend an entire shift writing citations. People are supposed to used crosswalks. What people don't understand is if they get hit outside if the crosswalk and the driver of the vehicle wasn't doing anything wrong, ie speeding, dwi etc.... Then the accident and hospital bills are on the pedestrian. At least in the city of Dallas.
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  3. #3
    plastic vice Phil.Pastel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rankinman View Post
    Mainly jaywalking is now used as a reason to stop and individual, it's an offense, but soooooooo many people do it. A police officer could spend an entire shift writing citations. People are supposed to used crosswalks. What people don't understand is if they get hit outside if the crosswalk and the driver of the vehicle wasn't doing anything wrong, ie speeding, dwi etc.... Then the accident and hospital bills are on the pedestrian. At least in the city of Dallas.

    This is where I have a problem. The crosswalks should not be at intersections. An intersection is the worst possible place to cross. I never, ever cross at a busy 4 way intersection. I walk up about a hundred feet and cross there. I guess, that's technically jaywalking but it's safer because I only have to worry about the traffic moving left to right. For the state to be telling people to cross at busy intersections is absurd.
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  4. #4
    Awesome Warrior Alexx's Avatar
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    Yeah, the whole system is just terrible. Heck, I got smacked by a car once just crossing side street opening; mostly because the guy had those dang blackened windows and I couldn't make eye contact with 'em to make sure he saw me. It was one of those situations where he's paying attention to car traffic only because he's waiting for an opening to turn. I KNEW he was, and waited awkwardly, but...well, it still somehow lined up that we both moved at the same time.

    But yeah, the problems come in with people in or out o "driving mode", like you said. I don't blame folks for not crossing at crosswalks, even though it's annoying. Like you said, at a busy intersection you're in danger no matter what, 'cause so many people are waiting for that light to change so they can turn, but not seeing that someone is ALSO waiting for it to change so they can cross RIGHT when you're supposed to be turning. The pedestrians have the right of way, but I always feel like everyone is just WATCHING you 'cause they could be turning right now if you weren't walking! BUT...that's mostly my brain talking and always feeling like I'm in the way.

    Anyway, I've never seen anyone get taken aside for jaywalking. Just standard practice around here, though it's not really dangerous in our downtown area no matter where you cross. The problems I have - and I should really look up the laws or something - is people running by the curb in the road. You're out for your morning jog...and the safest place you can think to run is in the road? What, you think you're helping out people walking on the sidewalk by keeping out of thier way? WHAT people? I don't see anyone....GET OUT OF THE ROAD. I know you're running by the curb, but for pete's sake use your brain and don't run in the little streets where there's barely enough room for two cars to pass each other.
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  5. #5
    plastic vice Phil.Pastel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alexx View Post
    Yeah, the whole system is just terrible. Heck, I got smacked by a car once just crossing side street opening; mostly because the guy had those dang blackened windows and I couldn't make eye contact with 'em to make sure he saw me. It was one of those situations where he's paying attention to car traffic only because he's waiting for an opening to turn. I KNEW he was, and waited awkwardly, but...well, it still somehow lined up that we both moved at the same time.

    But yeah, the problems come in with people in or out o "driving mode", like you said. I don't blame folks for not crossing at crosswalks, even though it's annoying. Like you said, at a busy intersection you're in danger no matter what, 'cause so many people are waiting for that light to change so they can turn, but not seeing that someone is ALSO waiting for it to change so they can cross RIGHT when you're supposed to be turning. The pedestrians have the right of way, but I always feel like everyone is just WATCHING you 'cause they could be turning right now if you weren't walking! BUT...that's mostly my brain talking and always feeling like I'm in the way.

    Anyway, I've never seen anyone get taken aside for jaywalking. Just standard practice around here, though it's not really dangerous in our downtown area no matter where you cross. The problems I have - and I should really look up the laws or something - is people running by the curb in the road. You're out for your morning jog...and the safest place you can think to run is in the road? What, you think you're helping out people walking on the sidewalk by keeping out of thier way? WHAT people? I don't see anyone....GET OUT OF THE ROAD. I know you're running by the curb, but for pete's sake use your brain and don't run in the little streets where there's barely enough room for two cars to pass each other.

    The problem is that drivers use an incredibly primitive method of determining "whose turn it is" at intersections. It's based on anticipation and a cooperative spirit that may or may not be present. It barely works at all. A pedestrian blows the whole thing up. A lot of drivers do not yield to pedestrians, so you're seen as breaking rank if you let people go across. I am seriously ready to go and buy a baseball bat. I will keep it in my car until needed.....
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  6. #6
    Heroic Warrior wyldman11's Avatar
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    The reason they are at intersections is protected light for them. We do for school zones have some in the middle of a road way with flashing lights and signs that warn the driver. Citations for jaywalking are often more done to people like teens who are probably 'misbehaving' in the first place but the cop doesn't have anything really to cite them on.
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  7. #7
    Melaktha For MotUC!! adol's Avatar
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    Every corner has a crosswalk, painted or not, and pedestrians always have the right of way, no matter what.
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  8. #8
    plastic vice Phil.Pastel's Avatar
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    I am hoping I can use this information to drive more safely. I have always lived in very rural areas; there aren't any pedestrians to worry about.

    Nevertheless, I would like to see the rules changed. I think bikes should be banned. This isn't 1940 anymore. There is way too much traffic -- the roads are going freaking bonkers where I live -- to have the occasional jackass come riding through on a bike. I used to enjoy driving a bike but would not be willing to risk it now given the negative changes that have taken place since I was a teenager.

    None of these roads were designed to handle the traffic we are currently seeing. They are all 1 lane
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  9. #9
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    I live in Lawrence, Kansas, which is mostly a college town. College students are the most egocentric people on this planet. Well, at least the ones in my town. Each one thinks that the very universe itself revolves around him/herself. In the downtown area, they pay ZERO attention to cars and cross wherever they please. The downtown area is lined with cars parked along the road. These cars can potentially block a drivers view from seeing a person who is about to step out into the road. You'll be driving along and a person just jaywalks right out in front of you. Then they have the nerve to flip you off because they were jaywalking (with a crosswalk just a hundred feet away) and didn't even check to see if cars were coming. And the absolute worst part is that the city will side on behalf of these brain dead college students who think it's a good idea to just walk out in front of cars. Yep, it's illegal to cross the street anywhere except for a crosswalk yet if one of them does apparently it is the law abiding driver who gets into trouble.
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  10. #10
    plastic vice Phil.Pastel's Avatar
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    LOL. Sounds like you're as frustrated as I am.

    Something that is bugging me is people who blast their car stereos really loud during rush hour -- and let's face it, rush hour is now 3pm to 7pm.

    There's a time and a place for that. At 3:30 PM in the middle of a frenetic and bustling city is not the place for that. Turn it off. Concentrate on driving. I hate to point this out, but it always seems to be latinos.
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  11. #11
    Wise Old Trollan Uncle Montork's Avatar
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    Here in Philly, the intersections are the BEST places to cross. Crossing up from them from in-between cars is the BEST way to get hit. What a lot of people do here that tick us off is cross on the red light. Bikers ignore the lights, too. As for bikes, we do have bike lanes on most streets. I ride a bike myself and do obey traffic lights, and I don't appreciate you wanting to take that right away from me because bikers around you get in your way, Phil.
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  12. #12
    plastic vice Phil.Pastel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Montork View Post
    Here in Philly, the intersections are the BEST places to cross. Crossing up from them from in-between cars is the BEST way to get hit. What a lot of people do here that tick us off is cross on the red light. Bikers ignore the lights, too. As for bikes, we do have bike lanes on most streets. I ride a bike myself and do obey traffic lights, and I don't appreciate you wanting to take that right away from me because bikers around you get in your way, Phil.
    It isn't that simple UM. I am trying to do drive safely. I'm less likely to kill somebody if everybody is in a vehicle.
    We are fined if we don't wear our seat belt. But people are allowed to ride bikes that don't even have seat belts? What?!
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  13. #13
    Wise Old Trollan Uncle Montork's Avatar
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    I understand that, but you can't stop people from biking just so it'll make driving easier for you. If you hit somebody who's obeying all traffic laws and signs who's riding their bike in the specifically marked bike lane, then you're SOL. I live in one of the biggest and most densely populated cities in the US. There is NEVER a shortage of traffic here, except maybe from around 2-5 in the morning, and even then it's not desolate. Rows of cars parked bumper to bumper line EVERY street, some on one side, some on both sides. Some streets are VERY narrow. People are constantly coming out from between parked cars and crossing on red lights, most bikers ignore lights and signs altogether, and most drivers don't stop for stop signs, don't use their turn signals, and a good number of them go through red lights, too. The cameras that go off when they do don't seem to be much of a deterrent, if at all.

    Do I think it should be this way? No, not for the bikers, the pedestrians, or the drivers.
    Do I think everyone should be more responsible and get in trouble for breaking traffic laws, regardless of mode of travel? Yes. Definitely.

    Do I think bikes should be banned to make it easier on drivers? Hell no. Not at all, and not because I ride a bike either. I've only started riding a bike in the last couple years. I've lived here for 33 and a half. I've had everything I've described above going on for as long as I can remember, which is about 30 years. I simply believe the good bikers shouldn't have to pay for the sins of the bad ones or should give up their right to bike because a few drivers want less to worry about.
    Last edited by Uncle Montork; April 28, 2013 at 11:07pm.
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  14. #14
    plastic vice Phil.Pastel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Montork View Post
    I understand that, but you can't stop people from biking just so it'll make driving is easier for you. If you hit somebody who's obeying all traffic laws and signs who's riding their bike in the specifically marked bike lane, then you're SOL. I live in one of the biggest and most densely populated cities in the US. There is NEVER a shortage of traffic here, except maybe from around 2-5 in the morning, and even then it's not desolate. Rows of cars parked bumper to bumper line EVERY street, some on one side, some on both sides. Some streets are VERY narrow. People are constantly coming out from between parked cars and crossing on red lights, most bikers ignore lights and signs altogether, and most drivers don't stop for stop signs, don't use their turn signals, and a good number of them go through red lights, too. The cameras that go off when they do don't seem to be much of a deterrent, if at all.

    Do I think it should be this way? No, not for the bikers, the pedestrians, or the drivers.
    Do I think everyone should be more responsible and get in trouble for breaking traffic laws, regardless of mode of travel? Yes. Definitely.

    Do I think bikes should be banned to make it easier on drivers? Hell no. Not at all, and not because I ride a bike either. I've only started riding a bike in the last couple years. I've lived here for 33 and a half. I've had everything I've described above going on for as long as I can remember, which is about 30 years. I simply believe the good bikers shouldn't have to pay for the sins of the bad ones or should give up their right to bike because a few drivers want less to worry about.

    I get what you're saying and I'm not implying that bikers are often the cause of tragedies. Bad driving is bad driving, regardless of the mode.

    I am looking it at this from the simple perspective that biking is something I'm not willing to do anymore given the increase in traffic. When I was a teenager, my bike and I were inseparable. That was a freaking long time ago and the traffic in this area then wasn't what it is now.

    My prognosis is very simple. I now consider bike riding to be too dangerous and won't do it. And if it's something I don't consider safe enough for me to do, then it's probably a good idea to question whether it should even be legal. Was I more courageous or reckless when I was younger? Am I becoming an old fogey who's too concerned about safety and needs to loosen up? That's a fair question that I can't really answer in an unbiased manner. Others will have to make that call.
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  15. #15
    Wise Old Trollan Uncle Montork's Avatar
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    And that's where it differs for me. I grew up in this city all my life. I was always used to the tons of traffic and tight, car-lined streets. I grew up with people crossing on reds and drivers not using turn signals. It quickly became much more instinct than instruction for me and everyone else I grew up with about how to handle traffic flow when walking or riding your bike. Due to balance issues, I didn't ride a bike as a kid but I did ride a scooter, and I rode it everywhere, sometimes in the streets alongside cars. We didn't even have bike lanes back then, those came about in the last 8-10 years or so, and slowly at that. I believe us bikers (and scooterers, lol) are the reason they did come about. We have a lot of skateboarders here as well.

    My bike and I are now pretty much the way you and yours were then. I take my bike almost everywhere I go when I head out on my own, and that won't be changing anytime soon. I guess it's like I said, I grew up with all this heavy traffic and whatnot, it's almost a second nature or basic instinct in me and most other South Philadelphians on how to deal with all this traffic in every which direction. To me it's not more risky riding a bike than any other mode of transportation here. I do see where you're coming from. When I lived with my wife (then girlfriend) in the middle of the sticks in Wisconsin it was VERY different for me on all fronts and I had a difficult time adapting at first. It was almost as if I was MORE comfortable here in the traffic-laden city. That was over a decade ago and now I'm used to both environments, but then it was very uncomfortable. I'd rather be in the city surrounded by traffic all the way than on a totally empty stretch and then a car or truck comes flying out of nowhere, but to each their own.
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  16. #16
    plastic vice Phil.Pastel's Avatar
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    That is how it is here. A lot of the roads are one lane. There really isn't room for a bike. It becomes problematic when you encounter a bicyclist. It's comparable to getting behind a tractor, heh.

    My sense is that people here are trying to drive at the same speeds they used to drive at. Why not? It's the same roads! Not really. The layout of the roads may be the same, but there is an ever-increasing number of stoplights and long lines of motorists at many of 'em.

    The road directly in front of my house is a prime example of a dangerous biking road. It's one lane each way. It's winding like a snake. You take it around 35-40. I've never had a problem with the road since 1989, but accidents are common right behind my house. People go too fast and then spin out -- especially if the roads are slick. I was standing outside smoking a cigarette last month and saw someone lose control and spin out. Fortunately, no one was coming in the opposite direction. But there have been head on collisions that have occurred here. We've had rescue people load stretchered individuals into ambulances not 20 feet from my garage. There's no reason for it mind you, it's just not a safe road to bike on now. I used to bike on this road when I was younger -- albeit cautiously.
    Last edited by Phil.Pastel; April 29, 2013 at 12:22am.
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  17. #17
    Heroic Warrior wyldman11's Avatar
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    I have heard the explanation while the law will side with the jaywalker in events of an accident is because drivers are licensed and should have had training. Of course this made much more sense when those laws were originally made. Now that people tend to be face sucked into their cell phone, or tablet and not even paying attention to what is going on around them and there are far more cars on the streets and on the sides of the streets might be time to adjust that thinking.
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  18. #18
    Awesome Warrior Alexx's Avatar
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    On the bike issue: It bothers the heck outta me. Now I'm not saying they should be banned, but I honestly think police should be able to pull over folks on bikes for not obeying the traffic laws. If you're gona ride in the street, THEN STOP AT THE STOP SIGN.

    Now granted, this is an argument that changes depending on the area you're in. Uncle Montork - it's AWESOME to hear you obey the traffic laws while on a bike! I didn't know people did that, honestly. Everyone around here just acts like a bike is a free ride to pop out from anywhere and surprise you. They'll follow the big lights, of course ('cause that's just crazy not to) but in the side streets bikers feel like it's a free-for-all and they can mess with the cars all they want.

    I mean...I don't want to be driving a car. They're horrible beasts. I hate it. I loved riding my bike, but I feel like I was somehow an idiot for riding up on the sidewalk when NO ONE does. We have no bike lanes. It's just not safe to ride in the street! I'm pretty sure we don't have any laws against riding on the sidewalk either (what with the no bike lanes). I just don't understand why someone would want to risk thier lives riding in the street - and it IS in the street, 'cause you can't ride on the curb with cars parked along the side. I mean...isn't that nerve wracking to be riding SO close to cars?

    Now there are exceptions, of course. There are speed bikers that shouldn't be on the sidewalk - they're riding way too fast and the sidewalk I'm talking about has more foot traffic than others, so they would have to jump outta the way. Better to have those bikers on the street...but the question still remains: Why THAT street? You can't ride on any other parallel street? You have to ride on the one with all the packed-in traffic? You have a bike! You have way more versatility - choose somewhere less dangerous, ya know?

    I honestly would switch to a bike if I could, but my work is too far away and I don't wana show up all sweaty. I am totally not begrudging biking in general. I just don't understand why the bikers around here act like it's the car driver's job to be looking out for them while they don't have to do any of the work themselves. It's gotta go both ways. I'ma look out for bikers - 'cause I'm driving a death machine - but I just wish the bikers didn't act like a bike = invincibility.
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