Pet Peeve No. 1: Cars not stopping for pedestrians in crosswalk, especially when I’m one of said pedestrians

As our cat rests on my left arm as I begin to type this, I am feeling pressed (almost literally) to write about a few of my own personal pet peeves for the next three days this week (and who knows maybe for some other weeks also: to be determined).

Pet Peeve

I walk to many places in our town, for example, the library where I work and the senior center where I volunteer (yep, la de freaking da: do you volunteer? No, well, then you should feel like poop right now for not volunteering, because you’re a very bad person), to name a couple of them. In the process of my perambulating to one of those places yesterday, I had to cross the streets of our town using this amazing new technology called crosswalks.

According to two of my favorite online friends Merriam and Webster, this is what a crosswalk is, notice the part about “pedestrians.” Chapter 35, Section 3542(a) of Title 75 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes states:

“When traffic-control signals are not in place or not in operation, the driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection.”

However, in our town, which is in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, I feel like this man in California:

The only difference is that I can’t blame drivers not stopping because I am black (mainly because, hmmm, I’m not black, and, in fact, in our whole town, you’ll find less than a handful of black folks, not including these in lawns:

). I also can’t blame drivers not stopping because I don’t give them enough time as under the law, Chapter 35, Section 3542(b) of Title 75 (see previous link, just one subsection underneath previous subsection):

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 as to constitute a hazard.”

I give the pricks plenty of time, but they still don’t stop.

One of these days, I will make sure they stop.

Matthias92 (Wikipedia) Shooting a Uzi on the Eshel HaShomron Hotel Shooting Range in Ariel in Israel.

Qu’est-ce que c’est?
fa fa fa fa fa fa fa fa fa fa better
Run run run run run run away

Methinks, they’ll know what it is and will drive, drive, drive, drive, drive, drive away, OH OH OH, in the other direction.

15 responses to “Pet Peeve No. 1: Cars not stopping for pedestrians in crosswalk, especially when I’m one of said pedestrians

  1. Today I was almost run over by a vehicle crossing the crosswalk with my son. This has to be the worst town for pedestrians! (Auburn,Ca)
    About 3 months ago, a blind man was hit and run over just a few blocks from our house.

  2. @unfinishedrambler
    I’m getting famous :p Anything to save the pedestrians! Thanks for your reply 🙂

  3. LOL, what is my picture doing on this site XD Not that I mind, it is CC/GFDL, just wondering. Nice article btw 😉

    • unfinishedrambler

      Matthias: I Googled “Uzi” under Google images with a Creative Commons license and your photo came up. I couldn’t resist using it, especially with such an important topic on which I was writing. 😉

  4. Pingback: Pet Peeve No. (#) 3: Food/drink that establishments say they never had even though either a.) they should have or b.) they did, because I had at their establishments « an unfinished person (in this unfinished universe)

  5. I respect crosswalks. What I DON’T appreciate here are the peds who cross either by just leaping off the sidewalk right in front of your car– these people usually have headphones on and are one step from leaving accidents steaming in their wake like a Mr. Magoo…

    Or the ones that feel they can make their own crosswalk wherever and everyone still needs to stop for them the moment they leap between cars in the middle of a four lane highway.

    A little personal responsibility whether a ped or a driver, I say! It’s like that old “look both ways before crossing” thing we learned as kids is totally Old School now.

    • unfinishedrambler

      While I empathize with you, I also have been on the other end (not with headphones, though, there I agree, those people are nimrods) as a pedestrian, where you still give plenty of time and get glares when you’re crossing on a marked crosswalk. It’s the law, folks. Obey it.

      As for making your own crosswalk in the middle of a four-lane highway, that to me is like making your own grave in the middle of said four-lane highway. D’oh.

  6. I gotta say, I’d be one of those people who wouldn’t stop at that crosswalk in California. That’s because there is no indication, other than the white stripes on the road, that someone could even cross there. If I did stop, I couldn’t count the number of cars that would plow into my trunk. As a pedestrian, I wouldn’t even try at that point in the road. Unsafe for everyone. I’d go to an intersection that had a stop light.

    As for volunteering, I used to volunteer for Meals on Wheels. Loved it, but you had to do it during work hours, right before lunch time, so it became prohibitive. But when I retire, that’s what I’ll be doing a couple days a week. It was fun and I got to chat with some of the nicest people who never saw a soul during the day except me, to deliver their meals.

    • unfinishedrambler

      Oops. Forget to respond to your comment.

      The white stripes? Um, that is a crosswalk. 🙂 We don’t have signs in our town here but some, the very few, do follow the law.

      Well, I can volunteer at the senior center since I work part-time jobs, mostly in the afternoons and evenings. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be able to do it either.

  7. Here in my tourist town in Maine, there are approx. 21 crosswalks in less than a mile in the “village”. We all stop for the pedestrians, but come tourist season, well, that’s different. They put one foot in the crosswalk, look up, point at the pretty mountain, stopping traffic because you think they are truly going to cross. They then proceed a few steps, turn, point at the pretty schooners in the harbor, take a digital photo, show their friends the photo who have joined them 1/4 of the way in the crosswalk. Eventually, one will look up, see the stopped traffic, then run back to the safety of the sidewalk pulling the others with them.

    • We live in a tourist town too here in Pa., but I don’t think it’s quite that money. The problem right now is the gas trucks (this area is booming with natural gas). Of course, I’m not stepping in front of those vehicles. Nyuh.

      Luckily, we have no pretty schooners in our harbor…mainly because we have no harbor but also because we have no schooners, pretty or otherwise.

  8. I work at a university and they’ve resorted to lights that are embedded IN the ground. They go off as soon as somoene steps into the crosswalk but drivers won’t stop even with that.

    I have to say though, this guy was not aggressive enough. You have to look like you have a purpose and to me, he just looks like the type that would stand on the corner all day waiting for the right opportunity.

    Me? I am uptight and easily agitated so people tend to stop because they expect me to run out into traffic.

    You? Perhaps it was your “unfinished” status and because of it they could not see you.


    Ok, I like the button for this post though.

  9. There ought to be a stop sign or better yet one of those overhead beacons that can be used to stop cars when needed.

    Same thing up here – if there is no stop sign or any other sign to make cars and trucks stop – drivers will just zoom by !

    • unfinishedrambler

      Well, the borough could get pedestrian signs, but they choose not to do that because they think it takes away from the beauty of the town. I think what takes away from the town is impolite drivers. 🙂