I'm with you poster. I don't see this as a rant....it is information that do-gooders, like many of those that read TS, need to hear, understand and comprehend. I cycle and sometimes think some of the do-gooders are trying to get me killed. There are traffic laws....just follow them and we will mostly be OK. Offer a deviation once and move on when it isn't accepted. Turning your back to cars on a bike is dangerous @1.
Legit complaint. But I've also come to the conclusions of @1/@3 re: alternate tactics. Before reaching the crossing area, I've already assessed whether I'll need to pre-emptively thwart nice (sometimes unobservant) drivers so that miscommunications are avoided entirely in the first place, which usually involves stopping and pretending to do some other activity which clearly indicates I'm not crossing at that time. I then cross the way once things are clear to my satisfaction.
I can totally relate to this. Miscommunications and indecisiveness can lead to accidents.
The worst ones are the people who stop at a GREEN LIGHT (this has happened more than once) to wave cross-traffic across the street, and the cross-traffic takes them up on the offer. All of those people need to be coated with honey and tied up next to a den of fire ants.
God, this is such a Seattle thing.
If you have the right of way, take it. That's what everyone else is expecting. Don't even start the "you go--no, you go" back and forth.
@4 - I've had drivers stop for my while my dog was taking a dump, they're not paying enough attention to realize the stationary individual by the corner might not even want to cross the street.
And, @7, in my experience most of the people doing the "oh I'll be nice and let the pedestrian cross" are doing it when they absolutely have the right of way, which is why I'm not attempting to cross in that moment. I've had cars stop for me when they have a green light and I'm waiting for the light to change. Drivers here are terrible.
Ugh yes, if I start to cross shortly before you cross my path it is because I have calculated the perfect opportunity to cross without impeding and impediment. You suddenly stop to wave me thru? You have completely disrupted the rhythm and because of that I will not cross.
It's so maddening. I just walk around behind the car.
Did I write this? Or is this a rerun?
Car drivers will say pedestrians are always darting out in front of them so they have to be on the safe side and have them all go first. Which is just silly.
On numerous occasions I'll be near a curb, but not at it, and I'll be standing still, and a car will stop in the middle of the intersection and wave me to go. No. Stop blocking traffic. Go.
At times I'll take a step back or, like another suggested here, turn my back.
In any case, at the very last don't stop in the intersection while you're trying to wave me to cross. You're not helping anyone.
@8: Oh, I don't doubt it one bit. No strategy will have a 100% success rate (because some people are just that dumb) so it's all about improving the odds the best you can. Either way, if there is any level of ambiguity about crossing safely, I don't cross. Velocity is not ambiguous and I'm not taking a hit even from a slow-moving car, thank you very much.
@7 Trust me, it's a West Coast thing, not just a Seattle thing. One time in Portland the driver of a monster pickup truck YELLED angrily at me for declining to cross in front of his behemoth ("THE LAW REQUIRES ME TO STOP FOR YOU!") even though I was standing on the sidewalk well back of the intersection, had given no indication that I even wanted to cross, and the stop signs gave him the clear right-of-way. That beats anything I've experienced in Seattle (though I have had the green light treatment @6 describes).
@9 nails why drivers who habitually stop for anyone they see on the sidewalk are not just unhelpful but mildly infuriating. Rule of thumb for drivers: If someone is standing in the roadway (i.e. off the curb), looking back and forth repeatedly for an opening, they probably would appreciate you stopping for them. If they're standing on the sidewalk looking straight ahead or gazing steadily in the opposite direction from you, ignore them. They've likely already seen you and are waiting for traffic to clear in both directions. If you stop, you're delaying this from happening.
Driving down Roosevelt one evening, two people crossed in front of me from a non-crossing corner. The street corner was not a through street, had no light, no sign, and no pedestrian crossing marking. I had the right-of-way but was being challenged by these two pedestrians, who stepped into my lane, and of course I didn’t want to hit them. I stopped just in time, one person banged my hood as they passed, and they immediately stepped in front of a car going by which did not know why I had stopped and could not see the jaywalkers.
For reference, Roosevelt is one-way, two- lane. I
was in the right lane. FYI I walk everywhere and I jaywalk when safe, and I knew their actions were very risky.
Seeing people get hit and fly is the most horrible thing I’ve seen. I’m sure there’s a lesson here for drivers and pedestrians. Three people’s lives were changed that day.
Hey--OP here. Thanks for the "turn my back" and "look at my phone" suggestions. I'll use them in the future.
16: Love it!
If you have the right-of-way, including if you're a pedestrian, seize it. If you don't have the right-of-way, yield it. Anything else confuses everyone else. You the pedestrian are the one trying to be nice. If you don't want to cross, don't start, don't stand at the ready position, and turn away so others see that.
@15 all intersections are crosswalks, unless explicitly signed otherwise. Based on what you described the pedestrians had right of way. Regardless of the law peds need to realize as vulnerable users they are responsible for their own lives, but it sounds like if you hit them you would have been liable unless by “non- crossing corner” means there was signage that detailed the intersection was one of the rare ones that said not to cross there.
15 Here. I did not hit the jaywalkers. I yielded. The car in the other lane plowed into them the instant they passed in front of me. A horrible sight.
They weren't jaywalkers though. As @19 said, all intersections are crosswalks, whether marked or not. That's the law. They should of course watch out for cars that aren't slowing down, don't see them, etc., but it doesn't make them jaywalkers.
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