My Rant for the Day: Crossing the Street

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Image by Ryan McGuire (http://www.gratisography.com)

For those who don’t know, I am currently attending university — a fairly large university that is. I am also a commuter, which means I don’t live directly on campus in a dorm, for me, I live about thirty minutes away roughly depending on traffic. As fellow driver and a pedestrian, I can understand both sides of the argument. However, today I’m going to show my side of being a driver on campus.  In this post I would love to fiercely address the proper etiquette of crossing the street.

The Issue: 

You’re probably thinking: “Joslyn, I’m old enough to know how to cross the street”, or “Please, I’m not a child anymore.” But that’s the thing, sometimes people just do whatever because they can, and this has been an everyday occurrence for the past week and a half.

So, because I am a commuter, I do have to take care of my car on campus as well as drive through campus to get to specific parking spaces, or to go to a store on campus, etc. Driving doesn’t bother me that much, it’s the fact that people just walk across the street out of no where.

Ever since I’ve started university, I’ve noticed that “monkey see, monkey do” is a popular theme amongst  the general pedestrian population. Just because someone or a group of people are walking across the street together, doesn’t mean you can just toddle behind them because they are already on the street. You have to keep the driver’s thoughts and feelings in perspective.

Here are a couple of scenarios that I’ve been exposed to while driving on campus (all scenarios have occurred at a four way. four lane stop sign): 

  • The Wall: When I have to wait at a stop sign for more than five minutes because people won’t stop walking, thus creating a wall of living beings, it’s highly frustrating and irritating because it’s more than likely that I also have somewhere to be.
  • The Plus One: If you see one wave of pedestrians about to reach the other side of a four lane road, that does not mean you can just walk out onto the street and attempt to cross just because the other’s are technically still on the road.
  • The Straggler: To those who take their sweet time moseying across the street, walk faster. Nothing is more aggravating than having to wait on a group, or that one kid, to cross the street, and they are literally taking two minutes to cross the street.
  •  The Oblivious Walker: When you cross the street, please look up from your phone, or book, or just pay attention when you cross. The least you can do is look and stop before you cross the street. Don’t just walk continuously. Please and thank you.
  • The All-In-One: If you are practicing all of these types at once, just stop. Don’t even cross.

Why This is NOT Smart:

Yes, it’s true that regardless of the situation, if a driver hits a pedestrian, then it’s the driver’s fault almost all of the time. Regardless of this fact, it’s still not smart to just walk out onto the street, especially without looking, or realizing where you are entering the street. You could seriously get hurt by being reckless from crossing the street. Even though my campus’s speed limit is 2o mph, that doesn’t guarantee that every driver will abide by that speed limit.

Just because you have the-right-of-way to cross, doesn’t mean you should just jump onto the street acting like you know that a car can’t hit you. 

How to Properly Cross: 

  1. Stop at edge of sidewalk
  2. Look left and right before proceeding
  3. Look at the closest driver to you, generally the one you are going to intersect
  4. Wait for them to signal you to cross
  5. Cross briskly, but with caution, and regard the other car you are potentially intersecting as well.

By doing so, and avoiding the scenarios listed above, there will be a general sense of respect for both drivers and pedestrians, as well as the reduction of ignorant pedestrians.

I’m not saying all pedestrians are ignorant, but that’s how it is perceived to some drivers.

**Note: Sometimes, if you are in no rush to be anywhere, and you know that a couple of cars have been waiting at a four way stop sign for a while, just stop and signal them to go. They’ll be very appreciative of that**

Until Next Time xoxo

Joslyn

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