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Can't we all just get along? The car, bicycle, skateboard, pedestrian et al debate

PinkLucy

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I see lots of people jaywalking and talking on phones. And people biking and texting with their heads down and no hands on the handlebars, and skateboarding and texting. Stupidity is rampant. Like the girl walking down the middle line of the Martin Goodman trail, deliberately ignoring the multiple cyclists waving at her to move over, ringing their bells, other pedestrians telling her to move. She thought it was funny.
 

nfitz

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I see lots of people jaywalking and talking on phones.
Really? Are you sure we're talking the same thing? Jaywalking would be crossing where there isn't an intersection, and with disregard for traffic. If it's at a traffic light or crossing, or if there's no cars around, it isn't, by definition, jaywalking. Doesn't mean it's not stupid ... but it isn't jaywalking talking on phones.

Stupidity is rampant. Like the girl walking down the middle line of the Martin Goodman trail, deliberately ignoring the multiple cyclists waving at her to move over, ringing their bells, other pedestrians telling her to move. She thought it was funny.
I've had cyclists give me shit for walking down the right-hand side of the Martin Goodman trail. Don't understand that one ... hard to say where you should walk after you've been sworn at and nearly hit when you seem to be in the right place.
 

James

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Some more food for thought: If pedestrians have right-of-way and a pedestrian decides to walk across the street where there isn't an intersection and subsequently gets hit by a cyclist or driver, whose fault is it? I believe in most cases, people would assume it's the cyclist or the driver, but what if the pedestrian dashed out too quickly or without adequate notice? If a pedestrian jaywalks, do they still have right-of-way? Naturally, any cyclist or driver would instinctively try to avoid the pedestrian, regardless if the pedestrian is in the right or wrong, but where is the line drawn?
 

doug

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If pedestrians have right-of-way and a pedestrian decides to walk across the street where there isn't an intersection
It's called jaywalking, it's not legal.
 

ShonTron

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There are many misconceptions of 'jaywalking'

What jaywalking is:
- crossing very close to, but not at a designated crossing or intersection
- crossing when explictly prohibited by a local by-law or HTA regulation (such as at a sign that says "no pedestrian crossing" or a 400-series highway)
- crossing against a red light or a solid 'don't walk' signal
- crossing mid-block in such a way that you are interfering with traffic - if a car or cyclist, moving at a reasonable speed has to brake, stop and/or swerve, that's jaywalking

What jaywalking is not:
- crossing mid-block in a way that does not interfere with traffic
- crossing within a crosswalk on a walk or flashing don't walk signal
- crossing at a pedestrian crossover regardless of whether the flashing amber signals are activated or not. Pedestrians have absolute right of way with reasonable signal of intent to cross (such as activating those lights)
 

BurlOak

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Some more food for thought: If pedestrians have right-of-way and a pedestrian decides to walk across the street where there isn't an intersection and subsequently gets hit by a cyclist or driver, whose fault is it? I believe in most cases, people would assume it's the cyclist or the driver, but what if the pedestrian dashed out too quickly or without adequate notice? If a pedestrian jaywalks, do they still have right-of-way? Naturally, any cyclist or driver would instinctively try to avoid the pedestrian, regardless if the pedestrian is in the right or wrong, but where is the line drawn?
If the pedestrian crosses mid-block, they do not have the right-of-way and it is their responsibility to not interfere with traffic (car or bike).
 

PinkLucy

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Really? Are you sure we're talking the same thing? Jaywalking would be crossing where there isn't an intersection, and with disregard for traffic. If it's at a traffic light or crossing, or if there's no cars around, it isn't, by definition, jaywalking. Doesn't mean it's not stupid ... but it isn't jaywalking talking on phones.

I've had cyclists give me shit for walking down the right-hand side of the Martin Goodman trail. Don't understand that one ... hard to say where you should walk after you've been sworn at and nearly hit when you seem to be in the right place.
Yep, actual jaywalking.

I agree re the trail. I use it regularly as both a pedestrian and a cyclist. When I walk, I stay to the right but have been hollered at regardless. On the other hand, I've had people thank me for waiting to cross til they have passed. I understand why they appreciate it -- it amazes me how often people just step out into a busy trail without looking.
 

CDL.TO

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I agree re the trail. I use it regularly as both a pedestrian and a cyclist. When I walk, I stay to the right but have been hollered at regardless. On the other hand, I've had people thank me for waiting to cross til they have passed. I understand why they appreciate it -- it amazes me how often people just step out into a busy trail without looking.
Definitely. It should be obvious that "all trail users keep right except to pass" is the safest policy (I've considered making t-shirts with this on the back). Also, everyone should treat a trail like a street; don't cross without looking both ways.
 

the lemur

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Some more food for thought: If pedestrians have right-of-way and a pedestrian decides to walk across the street where there isn't an intersection and subsequently gets hit by a cyclist or driver, whose fault is it? I believe in most cases, people would assume it's the cyclist or the driver, but what if the pedestrian dashed out too quickly or without adequate notice? If a pedestrian jaywalks, do they still have right-of-way? Naturally, any cyclist or driver would instinctively try to avoid the pedestrian, regardless if the pedestrian is in the right or wrong, but where is the line drawn?
My understanding of it is that for any road user (or sidewalk user), having the right of way is contingent on using that right of way responsibly and at the appropriate time and in the right place. A pedestrian has the right of way when crossing at a designated crossing place where crossing is permitted by means of a signal or according to the rules in effect at that location (such as a sign indicating that vehicles must yield to pedestrians who are crossing, notwithstanding a green light for vehicles). Crossing mid-block without interfering with traffic means it is the pedestrian's responsibility not to create a hazard - it is not a question of being able to rely on having the right of way.

As a regular cyclist, I have no problem with people crossing where they see fit (within reason), but it is startling how many pedestrians are oblivious, distracted and/or undisciplined when they do.
 

James

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Sadly enough, it is pedestrians who I see mostly who "abuse" the right-of-way understanding and it has certainly affected me as a cyclist and driver moreso than other cyclists or other drivers. There've been numerous times as a cyclist and countless times as a driver where a pedestrian will come darting out onto the street expecting me to stop on a dime for them to continue on their merry way. To me, this is one of the most dangerous (for all parties involved) yet most easily avoidable scenarios that is all too common.
 

typezed

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You want to license cyclists, and now you're faulting pedestrians for not staying within their lines. Is this the way we all just get along? Automobiles, due to their size and speed, bring danger* to other users of public spaces. Bicycles, moving with greater force than pedestrians, can injure people in a collision. It is the primary responsibility of those who are operating the dangerous agent to ensure that they don't conflict with other users. Too often we look at it in the opposite way - I'm powerful and dangerous so it is up to you to stay well out of my way. Pedestrians, and cyclists, have a greater grasp of the immediate environment, because they're travelling in a way that is human scale. Drivers are hurtling along in an enclosed machine with blind spots, only seeing a small fraction of what is happening around them, especially when they're covertly operating a cellphone, or fiddling with the radio, or arguing with their kids in the backseat, or chatting with their passenger, or racing to pass the car in front of them or catch a yellow light. Pedestrians may seem to step out of nowhere, but the automobile is the party that has just arrived at 60kph.

Earlier in this thread you suggested that licensing cyclists is somehow a return to basics. To me, back to basics would mean acknowledging that one person in a car is of no greater importance than one person on a bike who is of no greater importance than someone on foot. No one gets preference because their choice of travel costs more money or moves faster or wins the fight in an accident. In it's most basic form this is represented in the chaotic streets of the third world, where automobiles need to pick their way past foot travelers, cyclists, rickshaws and donkeys. No one really wants that, but any kind of equitable share of the street would mean a big change from what we have now, where the car speaks loudest and everyone else is expected to scurry out of the way.

*and noise and pollution and congestion, but that's another matter
 
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James

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...
Earlier in this thread you suggested that licensing cyclists is somehow a return to basics. To me, back to basics would mean acknowledging that one person in a car is of no greater importance than one person on a bike who is of no greater importance than someone on foot. No one gets preference because their choice of travel costs more money or moves faster or wins the fight in an accident.
...
I have already indicated in my very first post that this is the root of the matter. So now, how do we get people to change their attitudes, irrespective of what mode of transportation they are using? Licensing might help, but it is certainly not going to solve the problem at its heart. How about education? Educating pedestrians. Driver re-testing. How do we get people to start understanding that we have the privilege to share the road, not a right to use it in any which way we please at the expense of others.
 

spider

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Saw a Darwin Award candidate yesterday. Woman crossing a downtown street in mid block with her umbrella tilted to shelter her from the rain blowing from one direction that allowed her to see the traffic in the direction she crossed initially but she didn't bother to peek around the umbrella as she crossed into the traffic moving in the opposite direction and was very nearly flattened by a car moving up an inside lane beside me.

I didn't notice whether she was on a cell phone as well.
 

Woodbridge_Heights

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You want to license cyclists, and now you're faulting pedestrians for not staying within their lines. Is this the way we all just get along? Automobiles, due to their size and speed, bring danger* to other users of public spaces. Bicycles, moving with greater force than pedestrians, can injure people in a collision. It is the primary responsibility of those who are operating the dangerous agent to ensure that they don't conflict with other users. Too often we look at it in the opposite way - I'm powerful and dangerous so it is up to you to stay well out of my way. Pedestrians, and cyclists, have a greater grasp of the immediate environment, because they're travelling in a way that is human scale. Drivers are hurtling along in an enclosed machine with blind spots, only seeing a small fraction of what is happening around them, especially when they're covertly operating a cellphone, or fiddling with the radio, or arguing with their kids in the backseat, or chatting with their passenger, or racing to pass the car in front of them or catch a yellow light. Pedestrians may seem to step out of nowhere, but the automobile is the party that has just arrived at 60kph.

Earlier in this thread you suggested that licensing cyclists is somehow a return to basics. To me, back to basics would mean acknowledging that one person in a car is of no greater importance than one person on a bike who is of no greater importance than someone on foot. No one gets preference because their choice of travel costs more money or moves faster or wins the fight in an accident. In it's most basic form this is represented in the chaotic streets of the third world, where automobiles need to pick their way past foot travelers, cyclists, rickshaws and donkeys. No one really wants that, but any kind of equitable share of the street would mean a big change from what we have now, where the car speaks loudest and everyone else is expected to scurry out of the way.

*and noise and pollution and congestion, but that's another matter
This is so absurd! So a pedestrian, by nature of being the smallest user of the street network, is permitted to break the most traffic laws possible???
 

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