Watch for Pedestrians

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This topic contains 24 replies, has 21 voices, and was last updated by  Jules 6 years, 10 months ago.

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    Mrs. Whatsit

    We live in Ballard so we can walk to the grocery/library/bars, etc.
    We have been doing this since we moved here, when both Ivar Haglund & Emmett Watson were still alive. But lately, it has gotten much more dangerous. Cars cannot wait for you to walk across, and Mr Whatsit was crossing 14th & Market ( in the crosswalk, with the light)while cars swerved around him.
    Last night, he was trying to help a gentleman with a walker cross 8th, and while the cars did stop, two bicyclists didn’t and narrowly missed the both of them.
    He has suggested carrying a sidearm to shoot out their tires.
    Not sure if he is kidding.



    Anytime anyone stops for me on the road I always make a point to look at them and say thanks and wave. I figure that small gesture will encourage them to do it again the next time.


    Avocado Head

    I do the same JJ!

    And I always stop for people if I see them waiting for a chance to cross. Unless it is 4:30 PM in Winter and they are dressed in standard issue Ballard all-black ninja outfits and I can’t see them… But those are the ones that usually dart into traffic confident that they are immortal anyways…




    I like Mr. Whatsit’s style!
    On AH’s point, maybe we can sway hipster style toward bright reflective white and black striped pants.


    Avocado Head

    Now we’re talking. Safety Hipsters.



    drivers are impatient or something. I have no clue. You still get about 50% stopping outside QFC with flashing lights and a cross-walk.


    robert clancy

    It really isn’t so cut and dry. People walk out at cross streets without crosswalks causing cars to suddenly slam on their brakes, and perhaps get rear-ended from the car behind them. Some pedestrians don’t even look before “trusting” their cross walk and don’t give cars much of a chance to slow down in time. Other times they will push the stop light button, only to cross when they want, leaving the rest of us to sit at a red light waiting while no one is crossing the street.

    Lastly, I’ll wager every one of these folks who are complaining about this drive and/or ride in a car. Similar to uptight bicyclists, the scent of hypocrisy permeates the intersection.



    Those flashing lights by the QFC are very troublesome. The first time they went off when my friend was driving at night, he was so distracted by the lights that I had to shout “watch out for the person” (of course dressed in all black) crossing the street. Why are they on the sides of the street and not *on* the street itself like up on Cap Hill by Seattle U. Or why not put in an actual traffic light. That intersection is scary on both foot and behind the wheel and with all the new buildings going in, its not going to get any better.



    If u r walking/crossing assume u r invisible until u r not. Same goes for bicycles and that’s (typically) how i ride my motorcycle.

    My pet peeve is anybody assuming they’ve got the right-of-way just because they got feet! (and clothes)


    Mrs. Whatsit

    When pedestrians have a walk light & are in a crosswalk or at a marked intersection, they have the right of way. Mr Whatsit has a light colored jacket, but I may get him a led beanie.
    Since the cars & bikes swerved around him, rather than waiting, ( or hitting him)it sounds like he was seen.



    I’ve been walking to work for several years now. I sport very bright colored coats and follow the rules of the road. Guess what? It is bicycles that nearly run me over, not cars!


    Nora Bell

    New forum, old topic.

    1. Wearing black doesn’t make me invisible. Especially with the well lit city streets.
    2. Driver’s in Ballard used to be good about stopping to let a patient pedestrian cross. I’ve noticed a trend to the otherwise this past year or so.
    3. Though I never jaywalk, ever, I still get almost run over by both cars and bicycles.



    Legally, pedestrians can cross at any intersection whether it’s marked as a crosswalk or not, and they always have the right of way. I knew a guy who used to intentionally walk in front of cars at unmarked intersections, he got in a heated argument with one motorist who called the police. The police confirmed it’s legal, but told the pedestrian to knock it off anyway.



    Legally, pedestrians can cross at any intersection whether it’s marked as a crosswalk or not, and they always have the right of way.

    Not so!
    WAC 132E-16-040 -2
    No pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impossible for the driver to stop.
    part 5
    Every pedestrian crossing a roadway at any point other than in a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection shall yield the right of way to all vehicles upon the roadway.

    WAC 504-14-940 -1
    When traffic control signals are in place at intersections, pedestrians shall be subject to them.
    (3) No pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impossible for the driver to yield.

    (4) Pedestrians who are between adjacent intersections at which traffic control signals are in operation must not cross at any place except in a marked crosswalk.



    Richy, there is some contradiction here. According to your quote of WAC 132…
    As long as pedestrian is in a crosswalk marked or otherwise they DO have the right of way. I had to take a permit test (& driving test) when I moved here and had that question. I always remember the exact terminology which was “marked or otherwise”.

    WAC 132 is making the distinction that the ped must be at the intersection, not outside of it



    That flashing crosswalk at 58th & 24th is just plain idiotic. Cars park right up to the 58th St sidewalk with impunity and it is impossible to see anyone waiting to cross. I have to walk and drive in that area. A traffic light is needed needed to make that intersection safe for everyone. It seems like the planners just do something without considering if it will work well.



    It’s not always about pedestrians wearing dark clothes just like it’s not always about drivers being a**holes.
    I’m typically on the driving side of the story but I do see both sides.
    I see people in drab attire (go Seattle!) being so forthright about their “right of way” in dark wet weather, and those fashionistas in their less-than-black attire boldly crossing streets without so much as a glance left or right as well.
    I see cars that haven’t warmed up completely with fogged/frosted windows. I see drivers so completely focused on getting to point B, nothing else matters.
    I think it really boils down to everyone taking responsibility for their portion. I know it’s a tired hippy idea…but it’s the only thing that really makes things work.
    So pedestrians, heads up! Pay attention!
    Drivers…slow down! Look!
    Bikes…not even touching that!
    I know, TLDR



    @smartsyartsy, I was just pointing out that the pedestrian does NOT always have the right of way, as stated by law. Part 1 says

    “Stopping for pedestrian. The operator of an approaching vehicle shall stop and remain stopped to allow a pedestrian to cross the roadway within a crosswalk unmarked or marked when the pedestrian is upon or within one lane of the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling or onto which it is turning.

    @curtis , As asked in the HHGTTG “how much damage do you think my bulldozer will sustain if I let it run over you? (paraphrase)
    We have a great deal of responsibility for our own safety, especially when we are the most vulnerable



    Right on, Mrs. Whatsit. Hope Mr. Whatsit wasn’t too shaken up. (I know I would be!)

    Have to agree with everyone here. I have seen quite a few terrifyingly close calls involving reckless, careless drivers and also involving clueless pedestrians.

    Halloween, corner of Market and Leary, saw a young girl driver almost plow into a HUGE group of trick-or-treaters & guardians stepping into the crosswalk, in total daylight, whilst they had the walk sign. I’m talking like 25+ people and she didn’t even slow down. Talk about your Halloween frights!

    The aforementioned pedestrians & Mr. Whatsit were faultless, but it does show that when not wreathed in a hulking mound of metal, you have GOT to be the one on constant alert. In my walks, I have noticed that an alarming amount of pedestrians here can be a bit lax in their alertness. (Dude, must you stare at your Iphone while walking through acrosswalk? Methinks NO). My theory is that Seattle’s respect for pedestrians and bikers breeds a sense of false security, (maybe?). (Where I come from on the east coast, it is a more hostile environment, especially for bikers).

    With all of the development slated for Ballard, sadly, it doesn’t seem like this is going to get any better.



    I bow my head in shame that I keep running the new stop signs at 58th. My brain, when faced with the contradiction of a stop sign and a traffic circle, defaults to traffic circle rules and before I know it I’m running a stop sign. Am I the only one that finds that combination odd?




    A hexagon trumps a circle legman


    Bean Dogger

    My worst experiences with near misses while crossing streets is with drivers on cell phones.
    Generally, I have found Seattle drivers to be much more courteous than most large cities. Try walking in Phoenix! They drive on the sidewalks.


    Nora Bell

    My first lesson in how drivers in other cities act was when I went to Dublin in my early 20’s. You have to be very brave to cross a street there.
    Those flashing lights by the QFC are ridiculous. I just treat it like I did before the flashing lights were installed. Look carefully before crossing.



    richy +2

    My current favorite is runners who seem to think the bike lane markers on the pavement are meant as urban running trails. Not so, Ninja jogger.

    I couldn’t count the number of times someone has just stepped out in front of my moving car. Interestingly, after I’ve slammed to a halt, almost always a quick peak in the rear vier mirror shows NO one behind me. I’m also not a fan of people jaywalking across Market…like you are just too exhausted to walk the 20 feet to the corner?

    My all time favorite was last May 1. Yes, Mayday, when there was a big “anarchist rally.” Waiting for the light (westbound) on 20th and market I noticed a young man in dreads, and what can only be described as “anarchist chic” waiting pariently at the corner, seemingly oblivius to the walk light. He waited through the entire walk light (his) and the red light (mine)…and the nanosecond that traffic light turned green (mine) he stepped off the curb in front of my car. Too bad, anarchist, I anticipated your move and didn’t hit the gas. Way to “stick it to the man”, anarchist! I even resisted the urge to roll down the window and yell “Move it, hippie!” (no slur on actual hippies intended.) instead, I rolled down the window, shouted :”Have a great day!” and waved. He looked infuriated.

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