Pedestrians are becoming bold, and they should be. They are boldly speaking out at council meetings and planning board sessions, demanding more and safer pedestrian crossings. They are, in some cases, joining forces with bicyclists and advocating for bike lanes that will give cyclists a safe alternative to sidewalks.
Bold is good. But there is one place where being bold is not good for pedestrians. That’s inside those zebra-striped walkways that mark designated pedestrian crossings. Inside those crossings, the ones often marked by signs proclaiming that motorists must yield to pedestrians, bold is not good. As they approach and enter those crossings pedestrians should be tentative, defensive, and wary. The law says motorists must yield, but it doesn’t say they will yield.
On July 30 that point was demonstrated once again in Princeton, NJ. A 68-year-old man was in the marked crosswalk leading from the Princeton University campus across Washington Road to Prospect Avenue. Traffic in either direction on Washington was stopped by a red light. But a Ford F350 pickup truck on Prospect Avenue facing Washington had a green light, and the truck was turning left onto Washington Road, a path that led directly across that crosswalk. For whatever reason (I’ve made inquiries to both town and county officials for more information) the truck hit the pedestrian. He went flying, hit his head on the pavement, and died of his injuries on August 1.
The phrase “once again” deserves some context. > Read More …