Jaywalking Is Not a Crime

Comments

1
Care to provide the citation for those studies?
2
I agree Dan and what better way to think out the population in the CD and Rainier Valley than to allow folks to bolt across busy 4 lane roads. Seriously, every time I drive down there it's like playing Frogger.
3
I agree Dan and what better way to THIN out the population in the CD and Rainier Valley than to allow folks to bolt across busy 4 lane roads.
4
What the hell have you been smoking this morning?
5
"is that yesterday's unpleasantness could have been avoided if the cops hadn't have stopped those girls in the first place"

I agree Dan, all unpleasantness with certain members of the community could be avoided if no laws were applied to them.
6
As a pedestrian, I've been hit by a car once: in a crosswalk on a green light. Intersections are the most dangerous location at which to cross a street. I jaywalk all the time and that will be my defense if I'm ever cited.
7
Is it me or is it just Asshole Day on teh internets?

I have an idea, Seattle: if you don't want to be hassled by police when you're breaking one of those 'stupid' laws, STOP BREAKING LAWS IN FRONT OF COPS.
8
@1:

Uh, he cited the book, which mentioned the studies. I suppose your demand for citations from the citation would then be followed up by an infinite recursion for citations for those citations, and for citations for those citations, etc.
9
@1: The citation for those studies is probably included in the referenced book. Once you cite your source, you don't also have to cite their sources, because interested people can read for themselves.

Dan: there's a difference between busy downtown traffic and a divided arterial road like the one in question.
10
This would be a great idea downtown. The danger would be in saying, "ok, citizens, you may now cross 1st Ave without a crosswalk," because people will then feel more comfortable crossing Aurora. You may not be that stupid, but there are lots of people who are -- we've all seen meth addicts and moms pushing strollers across Highway 99. If a law could be written in such a way that it limits it to certain downtown areas and still punishes those who cross foolishly and create dangerous situations, then I'm all for it. But at a time when cities are relying on revenue streams outside of normal taxes, I wouldn't hold my breath.
11
YAY FOR JAYWOKING I JAYWOK ALL THE TIME AND IT IS THE FUNNER!
12
It's defenders of these girls who have down so much to destroy the community: keep telling people that they are victims, that normal rules don't apply to to them and bingo, this is what you get: Load mouthed, violent, ghetto trash who think it's ok to swing at a cop.
13
I've read that jaywalkers are less likely to die than people who are using crosswalks. The reason is obvious: When people get the "Walk Hand" they assume that it is safe to cross without checking for themselves. People in cars often turn right right against the red without stopping or checking for pedestrians, since they're cranking their necks over looking for car traffic.

Signalizing is in fact an extremely dangerous way to operate intersections -- roundabouts are usually better and much, much, much safer.

I'm not citing any sources because it's 8:30am and this is an internet blog and not an academic paper.

Of course, crossing on of the deadliest streets in Seattle is dangerous no matter how you do it -- in that case, it's probably easier and safer to use a controlled intersection.
14
@8, 9

If you haven't read the studies, why use them to defend your point? e.g., bold-face their conclusions?
15
By the way -- anyone here ever get attention from a cop for jaywalking across, say, Broadway? I sure haven't, ever, and it's not like people aren't doing it.
16
@12: People who use terms like "ghetto trash" to refer to a teenage girl are shining beacons unto our community, right?
17
"I've read that jaywalkers are less likely to die than people who are using crosswalks. "

You obviously haven't seen how black people jay walk....when I first lived in the CD I was warned that people just walk out across the street without looking....it was described to me as a 'cultural thing'.
18
Sorry, Dan, but you are full of shit on this one.
19
Oh for God's sake, Dan. You don't even drive, you probably get down to the corner of MLK and Rainier once every five years. It IS a problem down there, so stop trying to make this into some sort of after-school special.

Now, the better solution would be to put up big barricades so people can't cross the street and would be forced to use the overpass, but that would take money.
20
The punch to the face was harsh, but it was appropriate given the circumstances.

I agree that downtown jaywalking laws are maddening, but yesterday's jaywalking incident took place directly underneath a pedestrian overpass at very busy intersection of two arterials with poor sight lines.

Also - jaywalking is not a criminal offense in Seattle - it is an infraction (Unless it rises to the undefined level of "egregious jaywalking.").
21
Pit bulls are the worst jaywalkers.
22
everyone knows that Sodom was destroyed because of all the homo sex, but very few people are aware that the reason God took out Gomorrah was that they had just recently repealed their jaywalking laws.
23
"Signalizing is in fact an extremely dangerous way to operate intersections -- roundabouts are usually better and much, much, much safer."

I lived for a few years in an unspecified latin american capital that used roundabouts for all the major intersections. It could take 5-10 minutes to get through them during rush hour. Pedestrians could get across quicker - as long as they were fleet of foot. Since there was no light cycle, there was no end to the flow of cars ready to mow down foot-people.

The city is much easier to navigate now that the roundabouts have been replaced with signals. Cars and pedestrians get through quicker and safer.
24
Car drivers should get one day a year of amnesty from running over idiots who are too stupid to cross the street safely. They should not tell pedestrians when that day is.
As a driver, I see so much arrogance and plain stupidity when it comes to pedestrians crossing the road from between parked cars, while someone is trying to parallel park, against red lights, ...
25
Dan is 100% right - thank you.
26
@17: Fuck you, you racist sack of shit. (That goes for Lovely Linda too.) Jaywalking is a cultural thing, yes, but it has nothing to do with ethnicity. As a Chicago boy, jaywalking is a finely honed art; not because of who I am, but because of where I grew up. Also, before anyone condemns jaywalking, try crossing the Midway Plaisance on foot next time you're in Chicago.
27
I agree with Dan. We do far too much criminalising in this society. Just because we are a nation of laws doesn't mean we need a law against EVERYTHING! I'm an adult and I know how to cross the street.
28
@6 Thats not a defense.

I live in NYC, here jaywalking is vital, and all the cars are used to it. You walk so much in this city you really can't be bothered with the traffic of tourists and inconsiderate people. No cop here would ever give you a ticket (Unless they are trying to win Top-Dick).

I used to be from Seattle, where I drove all the time. I CAN NOT DRIVE IN NYC, its totally different and I would probably hit someone. Seattle drivers are easily distracted, people shouldn't be crossing them without help.

The only place in Seattle where I ever saw people get stopped for jaywalking was Northgate, the traffic there is so constant that the quick cross of the street can seriously cause problems or accidents.
29
So get the laws off the books. Until that time, expect to be stopped when breaking them. It's just like every other law that someone feels shouldn't be enforced (smoking pot, seat belts, whatever); just because you don't want them to be enforced doesn't mean they won't be. If you want to practice civil disobedience, you should still expect consequences.

If you are stopped, don't get in the cop's face, because that's a problem unrelated to the first and no matter what you're guilty or not guilty of doing that got you into that situation, you're going to be in trouble.

And jumping on a cop precipitates a violent reaction.

30
Why do ghetto blacks walk s-l-o-w-l-y across the street and get in the way of traffic while they stare and glower with their ape-like faces?
31
"Jaywalking is a cultural thing, yes, but it has nothing to do with ethnicity."

@26 Really? Spend a day driving around Wallingford and Fremont, then a day driving around the CD and Rainier Valley and get back to me.

I'm a Chicago boy too...but I actually lived on the South Side...it was Frogger there too.
32
" I'm an adult and I know how to cross the street."

So do I but unfortunately certain members of the community don't.

It's like guns, booze, all kinds of things. Sure, some of us can use them fine, but certain folks simply can't be trusted to take care of themselves as responsible adults so we have laws.
33
The real problem is that the section of street in question is not safe for pedestrians. There's a raised pedestrian crossing nearby but that just underscores the point that the road is too dangerous to cross otherwise. The road should be redesigned with pedestrian uses in mind.
34
the question people aren't asking is why do people risk their lives and break the laws to jaywalk? as someone who felt forced to do it many, many times as a pedestrian in seattle and now as a pedestrian in LA, I can tell you the root cause is car-centric planning. on streets like rainier there simply aren't enough lights or crossings for pedestrians. if you want to catch a bus or go to a store that's on the other side of the street, what are you supposed to walk like an extra 1/4 mile or even 1/2 mile just to get someplace right across the fucking street? the problem is poor pedestrian access. we're treated like second class citizens so cars can have right of way. but if anyone needed to slow down, stop and wait, or go a little out of their way to help reduce traffic hold ups, it should be cars. who can recover that lost time faster to get where they need to go - a person who walks 8 miles an hour or a car that goes 20-40? the other annoyance is when there actually is an intersection signal for peds but we have to wait through 2 light cycles to get it. not fair. no wonder americans are obese - there is no incentive to walk or bike because drivers get it easy.
35
Jaywalking doesn't get anyone anywhere any faster. Take a long walk and watch yourself catch up to the same jaywalker over and over. It's pointless. All it really does is make the jaywalker feel important, so why not just relax at the stoplight and enjoy the scenery?
36
@26 I cross Midway Plaisance on foot virtually every day. There are plenty of crosswalks. There are plenty of breaks in traffic. There is thus little reason to jaywalk.
37
Those hones were too fat to use the bridge......I'm amazed Dan didn't point that out.

@34 Can u see the fucking pedestrian bridge in the photo? Put there, no doubt, to prevent certain members of the community from killing themselves.
38
It's really too much of a catch-22 to take the jaywalking laws off the books. While I agree with your premise (try to cross a street in Ho Chi Minh City and tell me that the number of pedestrians crossing willy-nilly doesn't have the EXACT effects described in Dan's post), taking the jaywalking laws off the books would result in massive lawsuits against drivers by those who cross irresponsibly or, worse, intentionally cause a driver to hit them. If there's no law against just crossing the street at random, then expect your car insurance premiums to skyrocket. Barnes dances are a far better way of protecting pedestrians at intersections, and mid-block, marked, lighted, enforced crosswalks can also calm traffic and move pedestrians efficiently.
39
I have to fully agree with 19 and 20 in this case. Jaywalking is not necessarily the root of all evil, but there are times and places where it's not a wise thing to be doing....like Rainier, or MLK, or Northgate Way, or Aurora, or downtown Bellevue...

In the particular incident that inspired this post, the video happens right beneath a pedestrian overpass. Come on, that's just plain taunting and daring an officer to confront them. Choose your battles, really.

And tangentially on the pedestrian topic, what's with the lolly-gagging pedestrians who just walk whenever they want, however slow they want no matter if there is a car, bike, bus or whatever bearing down.
40
That cop has got to arrest jaywalkers. Jesus, he could barely cuff that little girl. You can't expect him to arrest a real criminal or a guy or something. He would get his ass kicked. Let him keep arresting little girls.
41
Gttim, you're an ignorant cop hater. Stop commenting on these threads because your irrational prejudice is keeping you from contributing anything meaningful to the discussion.

Who is it upthread that said something about jaywalking not getting you anywhere faster? That's a load. The only reason anyone jaywalks is because it DOES get you there faster.
42
BTW you know why that pedestrian bridge is there? In 2005 a young kid got hit jay walking while delivering crack.
43
In response to those who think they should be allowed to run down pedestrians as they please, may I be allowed to savagely beat car drivers who speed recklessly at every opportunity? Or is that law an okay one to break, since, like, you get home five minutes quicker, and like, it's fun?

Excessive speed is the actual problem on our streets - one of the biggest factors in fatal crashes of all kinds, but it's easier to blame pedestrians.

I would like to see huge fines for exceeding the speed limit. Something like Northern Europe, where the rich get $20,000 speeding tickets. But here in America we just can't get serious about making our streets safer.
44
I've gotten one jay walking ticket in Seattle. I like to think of it as a crosswalk tax of some sort.

If I could change one thing about Seattle, it'd be the hordes of people who just stand forever on the edge of an empty street patiently waiting for walking orders from the magical light box.
45
@41 I am not a cop hater. Some cops are great people who do a great job. That cop is not one of them. That cop is a Barney Fife who should be busing tables or anything.

And why would I quit commenting? It is a meaningful comment to point out an incompetent cop. They guy did nothing right.
46
@40:
Who said he was arresting jaywalkers; before the confrontation, he only asked them to stand by the car, probably for a lecture or a ticket. What these morons were arrested for is more likely along the lines of interfering, resisting, assault, etc.

If they'd have just kept their mouths shut, they'd probably had gone on their way after 10 minutes and a warning. Again, just because you don't think a law should be enforced doesn't mean you don't have to follow it.
47
"Something like Northern Europe, where the rich get $20,000 speeding tickets"

really? Care to site that whopper?

"That cop is a Barney Fife who should be busing tables or anything. "

So what you are saying is he wasn't aggressive enough because that's what I see. He let these girls, squirm, fight, push, and swing at him and near his gun and still managed not to body slam them to the pavement. This cop showed AMAZING restraint.

But keep on telling black people the same rules the rest of us must follow don't apply to them, it's done an amazing job on spawning crime.
48
Just one more person who's been hit by a car, in a crosswalk, with the 'Walk' sign. Made $5G off the event from minor injuries, and was able to take a long vacation between college and career as a result.

Jaywalking saves lives.
49
In the extended version you can hear someone in the crowd saying “need to ride on that ni**a cuz”, referring to shooting the cop.

Seriously, what the fuck is wrong with these kids.
50
he's got a point. the only time I've *ever* nearly been hit by a car, whether on a car or on a bike, was when it was *my* right-of-way.
The only thing is, a lot of people *still* use their cell phones while driving, even though its illegal. If they can't be bothered to stop at an actual intersection because they're too busy txting someone, what makes you think they'll see/stop for someone walking in the middle of the road?
51
@ 45, bullshit. He didn't do anything wrong, given that he was surrounded. He didn't manhandle the girl (which you seem to imply he should have done, with your cutesy "he couldn't handcuff a girl" asides). He kept control of the situation (and no, that doesn't mean keeping everyone happy and cooperative). Still, you feel like you can assess the situation better. If it's not cop-hate, then something else is impairing your judgment.
52
Just use the damned crosswalk and cross with the light already. What are you, twelve? Is it not cool to follow the rules of the road now?
53
@51 How the hell did he keep control of the situation. He was surrounded by folks laughing at him, had girls jumping on his back and grabbing his arm. He took over 2 minutes to handcuff a little girl. If he had done something right, he would have handcuffed the girl and had her in the car before it got out of control, without appearing to hurt her. If he had done anything right, it would not have progressed to that. That video is textbook how to fuck up a situation.
54
@ 53, see? You don't know anything about how the police are supposed to do their jobs. All your points have already been answered, by myself and others in the other thread. Read and learn.
55
Having lived and driven in Manhattan and Boston, I approve of ticketing jaywalkers. Pedestrians turn into assholes really quickly when they're allowed to just cross wherever and whenever they want. They'll step off the curb right as the light turns green and saunter slowly across giving you a dirty look for barely moving your car forward and thinking (foolishly) that the green light meant it was your turn to go.

We sit dutifully in our cars at red lights when it's 4AM and there is no one around. How is waiting for the crosswalk any different?
56
Regarding Dan's actual point about jaywalking... Different cities have different cultures regarding this. NYC is a place where everyone gets in everyone else's face about everything. Seattle is not. Seattle is a place where everyone knows it's against the law to jaywalk and that they'll give you a ticket when they catch you doing it. So you have to be a smart jaywalker (that is, cross only when you've looked around to make sure that it's clear, and that there are no cops of any kind nearby) if you're going to do it. I jaywalked all the time in Seattle and never had a close call because I was smart about it.

Seattle will NEVER repeal the jaywalking law unless people start to jaywalk wholesale. Someone mentioned how everyone stands on the corner waiting for the walk sign when they could safely cross. That's how conditioned against jaywalking Seattleites are. Some blowhard from Chicago (or some miscreant from Denver) isn't going to change that.
57
Two ways to handle this situation. if you live on the Northside:

"Yes officer, I'll come to your location with my hands visible and see what you have to say. Jaywalking? Seriously? I didn't know that was illegal. There were no cars and I crossed the street safely, so I don't know what the problem is. You want my identification? OK. You're writting me a ticket? I think that's a bunch of BS, but I guess I'll have to go to court to have it dismissed. Thank you officer, have a nice day."

Or the southside:

"#%*& you, mo$*#@ #$*@er. I'm not going to #&@ing do anything you say. You racist mo$*#@ #$*@er. I'm going to push you and slap at you and scream at you. I'm going to #&@ing cross the #&@ing street any #&@ing way I want. I'm not going to show you my #&@ing ID. I don't have to because you're a racist #&@ing cop. Now I'll have my friends come over and surround you and have them scream at you too. You're going to arrest me for jaywalking? You #&@ing pig, I'm going to sue your #&@ing @ss. You're going to handcuff me? I don't think so. Get your #&@ing hands off me. I'm going to continue to pull away and resist and make the 10 o'clock news."
58
"You're writing me a ticket"

Sticky 't' on the keyboard
59
Dan and most of the "pro-jaywalking" commenters must be totally ignorant of this particular intersection, there is no safe way to cross it on foot besides the overpass. There are two major arterials crossing with each lane has a straight and a right or left turn light, 16 directions of traffic in every light cycle. Any European city, praised so often on the Slog, puts major barriers around these types of intersections to keep people off the road.

Worse are the many drivers who will flash guns and gang signs if you stop or slow down to avoid hitting a pedestrian. I drive around it most of the time, I don't want to find out what the driver behind me will do if we had a fender bender avoiding a pedestrian. The city is irresponsible in it's failure to put up barriers to keep pedestrians off this road and Franklin HS does nothing to keep their kids from crossing.
60
He took over 2 minutes to handcuff a little girl.


Fuck you. She was 17 years old. Would you call 17-year-old male a "little boy"?
61
"Dan and most of the "pro-jaywalking" commenters must be totally ignorant of this particular intersection,"

No, Dan thinks crossing this section of road is like skipping across Broadway @ Denny in a pair of capri jeans.....
62
"Franklin HS does nothing to keep their kids from crossing."

Are u kidding? Jaywalking while black is a graduation requirement for Franklin for getting ready for life in the ghetto.
63
I don't necessarily disagree...well I do sort of, I think that jaywalking should remain illegal but only be selectively enforced (i.e. in situations where it genuinely presents a danger, which are not non-existent). I've seen people walk out into the middle of the street right in front of oncomming traffic without even looking and that kind of stupidity absolutely should be illegal. If, however, you want to look both ways, make sure it's safe to cross and then do it even though you happen to not be at a crosswalk or are but the light is against you that should be fine. If trafic is at a stand still and you want to walk between the cars that should also be fine.

But even if I (mostly) agree, I don't think NYC is the best example to use to illustrate the argument. The most severe pedestrian/cyclist accident I've ever heard of happened in NYC. The drivers in NYC are insane and will drive as fast as they can (and not yeild to pedestrians even when they are crossing the street legally). What makes NYC a better pedestrian city is definitely not that it is safer for pedestrians there, or that pedestrians are not ticketed for jaywalking there, it's because it is more convenient for pedestrians there (i.e. density and public transportation)

Density equals more ammenities within walking distance because there is enough population to support them and public transportation means that even if what you're looking for isn't within walking distance you can still get to it without a car. Also, denisty means fewer parking spaces per capita which is incentive to walk/take public trans.

64
I got a jaywalking ticket when I first moved here.

I was walking up 2nd avenue shortly before 7am on my way to the Vashon PO ferry. I came to Cherry street, there was not a single car on the road. I crossed and went right on the far side of cherry. Half way down the block a motor cycle cop pulls up going to wrong way on a one-way; at this point I had no inkling in my mind that he was coming after me. But then he proceeded to give me a $46 citation for 'crossing against the signal'.

I agree that random jaywalking in traffic or on busy roads should be dangerous and illegal. However, I really think the cops should use some discretion with this law. If someone safely waits for a large break in traffic and crosses swiftly or in my case crosses and empty intersection I do not think that's a good opportunity to exercise the jaywalking law.

@44 Consequently, I am not one of those people who waits at empty intersections for a stupid box to tell me when to go. At least when I'm down town.
65
holy typos,
to=the
should be = is dangerous and should be illegal
not=now
66


You people are pussies. Pedestrians jaywalk CONSTANTLY on the east coast and are fine. Buck up.
67
Dan Savage got a jaywalking ticket and had an epiphany.

"Everything I personally enjoy doing should be legal. Whatever I don't like should be illegal." Nice philosophy you got there.
68
Jaywalking tickets should only be issued when it is reckless. Anyone crossing at this section of road is being reckless. End of story.
69
I was stopped and harassed by a cop for jaywalking on Capitol Hill last year. It was about 11:00 at night, with about a foot of snow on the ground. There were no cars anywhere around. I didn't get a ticket, but still, what a waste of time and energy. If I get hit by a car while crossing against the light, I'll take full responsibility for my mistake. And I'm smart enough to wait my turn when there is traffic.
70
"...it also keeps drivers on their guard, forcing them to slow down..."

If you belive this you have never walked in NYC.
71
This begs another question about the cop stopping those jaywalkers yesterday. Were they interfering with traffic at the time they jaywalked?

I would say that jaywalking should be enforced on a basis of "no harm no foul". If they were neither hindering traffic nor endangering themselves, they should not have been stopped. If they interfered with the right of way of others, yes they should have been stopped.

Given the ugliness that erupted, I have another question about how the police conduct their business. All the cop shows I (and many of the rest of us) always showed cops working in teams, yet when I look in a police cruiser, I see one cop. Should that officer had had to deal with that situation alone for as long as he did? Isn't every routine stop just one nutjob away from getting out of control.

For the record, after seeing the video of that stop, as wrong as the cop was to punch her, bitch had it coming.
72
"If I get hit by a car while crossing against the light, I'll take full responsibility for my mistake."

@69 Yeah, right....and who'll pay your hospital bills?
73
@67,

And if he ever starts driving on his own or if his boyfriend one day hits a pedestrian who carelessly stepped into a busy street, jaywalking will suddenly become a crime against humanity.
74
Good lord, Dan. Love your writing, but seriously?

I don't understand this notion of entitlement that we, as pedestrians, think we have over the streets. I'm a driver and a foot pedestrian both, and I realize that there are rules in place on both ends to keep everyone safe...this isn't some "don't question authority" rant, this is "Uh, everyone is accountable in some way for keeping some order in all of this".

Seriously, if you think that Jack Drunko has the right to slog (no pun intended) his way across some pitch black street at 3am, you're insane. This city has enough problems for drivers with bicyclists who don't obey traffic laws; the last thing we need is for a flood of pedestrians with God's right of way jetting out whenever they want to. Walk the extra 25/50/100/200 yards to the crosswalk and wait your turn. It's not that hard.

This officially ends my old man rant.
75
I foresee the perfect storm on the horizon….

Jaywalker steps into path of cyclist on fixie tearing down Denny with no helmet on.

Blood everywhere!

Stranger’s collective head explodes.
76
Yes, Yes, Yes. As a driver, pedestrian and bicyclist, I MUCH prefer moving around cities with jaywalking cultures. Everyone is looking out for each other, and everyone is safer as a result.

Boston used to be a very unpleasant place to drive, walk or bike. In fact, it had a reputation for the least respectful drivers in New England. But now that there's a culture of jaywalking, it's reclaimed its position as one of the most walkable cities in the U.S.

Plus people who insist on waiting for the traffic light to change are scary. Such meek submission to a mindless authority is alien to me.
77
"Stranger’s collective head explodes. "

@75 The Stranger will side with whomever is wearing the capri jeans.
78
Crossing the street in Hanoi: nothing like it!
http://www.thirteenmonths.com/picturepag…
79
@19: On Dan, that was a victory. FTV. :)

As to everything else being lobbed, it seems reasonable that everyone staking a comment in this should read up on the history of modern American streets and the history of "jaywalking" before delving into any kind of commentary. Also, let's talk about the first impetus for cities to pave their streets with asphalt and concrete.

Once you're all done with that, pull out the peer-reviewed field studies of pedestrian-vehicle collisions (where in these studies, for now, cyclists are still classified as "pedestrians"). Then pull out the history of crossing safely between intersections versus crossing at the intersection.

We'll start out lightly here: what's a "jay"?

a) A visible minority
b) a country bumpkin
c) a city slicker

And, uh, in which city and in what year was the word "jaywalker" first applied with by-law enforcement and prohibition notice via street signage?

a) New York, 1925
b) Chicago, 1919
c) Los Angeles, 1930

And last (for now), why were dirt streets replaced with hard surfaces — first cedar planks and later pavement? Choose the best answer.

a) To accommodate pedestrians
b) For public health improvement from "road dust"
c) For safety bicycles
d) For automobiles and horseless carriages.

Once you've all passed this 101, let's actually speak knowledgeably about the evolution and present situation of urban roadways. Thanks.
80
The difference between the jaywalking in NYC and Seattle is that in NYC people have the sense to not walk directly into traffic in the dark in the rain. This sort of brilliance is fairly common here which I attribute partially to the dippy anti-car attitude that is quite prevalent amongst the excruciatingly political correct and also the dippy assumption that most dippy Seattle drivers will brake in the middle of a four lane street just because they see someone on the sidewalk who looks like he might like to jaywalk.
81
I grew up near Eugene, where jaywalking is legal so long as you are not obstructing traffic by doing so. Seems to work just fine there. Most pedestrians in Eugene are hit by drivers running red lights and stop signs, or failing to yield to pedestrians (who have right of way) while turning.

Jaywalking right in front of moving cars is stupid, but jaywalking when traffic is at a stand-still, or when there IS no traffic, is perfectly reasonable. There's no reason to ticket people for it.
82
80: Wow; stretching a jaywalking issue to an "overly-PC-hippie-liberal-seattle" issue. Something tells me that you're one of those people who finds a way to relate every issue under the sun to overly-PC hippies.

The people who jaywalk right in front of my car, in the dark, in the rain (according to my experience) tend to be doing so because they're on METHAMPHETAMINE. Not because of some liberal PC anti-car conspiracy culture clash.
83
@37 I was talking about rainier in general, not that intersection. obviously there are places where ceosswalks should be used, and to be safe as a pedestrian, I would use them. but there are plenty more examples on rainier where confining yourself to the few and inaccessible crosswalks is like a penalty. I don't blame people for weighing the consequences and sprinting across the street.
84
@78: The key to crossing the street in Vietnam is to just keep walking at a steady pace. The motor traffic figures out how to move around you. It is truly terrifying at first, but you get used to it.
85
Telsa @79:

1. (b)
2. Who cares? The difference between those three choices is, at this point, trivial.
3. None of the above. (b) and (c) were important factors, but durability was probably the key consideration: roads used to wash away a lot.
86
@72 - Since I don't mindlessly walk out in front of moving cars, it isn't really an issue, is it?
87
@54 Nobody has said anything that defends or explains his incompetence. The guy took a stupid situation involving a ticketable offense and turned it into a clusterfuck with girls jumping on his back and guys running up on him with video cameras. That is not how a good cop would do it. That is not stellar police work. But a good cop might also be more worried about real crimes rather than jay walking.

He might be trainable, but I think it is more likely he is just a Barney Fife.
88
" I was talking about rainier in general"

@83 Well guess what, this didn't happen on 'Rainier in general'...this happened at a particular spot, next to a school where a pedestrian bridge was built because kids have been hit and killed there before.

Now if we're going to have a new rule that says 'young black kids are allowed to run across dangerous streets and ignore pedestrian bridges and jay walking laws', then fine but put it in writing, a big fucking sign on that street that says:

'Hey black people, we're so fucking liberal and tolerant we don't give a shit if you get run over'.
89
At busy intersections in downtown Denver, jaywalking is not only legal, it's encouraged... complete with signals and diagonal crosswalks.
90
As someone who spent a lot of time driving up Rainier to downtown I have to say that the corner where the incident happened yesterday is always chaos - the mornings especially. Kids and bus commuters are darting across the street and it impedes the flow of traffic. Sure, jay walking might need to be decriminalized but that incident in that area yesterday shouldn't be your example.
91
@89: If there is a signal and a crosswalk, then how exactly is it jaywalking?
92
@88 the issue is not jaywalking or letting some people break the laws and not others. the issue I brought up in my earlier posts is poor planning that leads to a lack of accessibility for pedestrians. this is what compells me to jaywalk when I feel the planning is unreasonable and breaking traffic laws would be a safer, more logical, and/or convenient choice to get across the street. here is a good examination of the accessibility question:

http://anstreetsblog.net/2010/06/11/life…
93
Jaydog, it's not jaywalking if you cross at the intersection.
94
"osts is poor planning that leads to a lack of accessibility for pedestrians"

Again, irrelevant to this case and this blog entry.

Go to your urban planning blog for that debate.
95
@85: In short, history matters.

1) B is correct.

2) Given where this first came to pass, it prefaces an era associated with the automobile and its then-newfound predominance over all other modes of mobility. the answer, by the way, is C.

Though the law was originally passed in 1925, the enforcement signs were erected by 1930. (Norton 2008, 77–8). What's interesting is that car drivers of the day (mostly well-to-do on leisurely rides) were briefly referred to as "jay drivers". In D.C., two municipal traffic engineers fundamentally fought over this — one decrying pedestrians as jaywalkers who needed to be removed from the street (where they had always been before the 1910s when leisure car drivers and "automobile clubs" made their hasty appearance), while the other argued that calling pedestrians "jaywalkers" was disingenuous and that reckless drivers needed to be reined in.

3) It's actually C. (Karnes 2009, 9–10; Paxson 1929[2007], 165). In descending importance, B, D (after about 1905), and then A.
96
"lack of accessibility for pedestrians"

The only 'lack of accessibility' at that section of road was those fat bitches inability to access the use of their legs to use the stairs to get across via the bridge.
97
@92: Well said, and thank you.

No one has yet brought up the problem with pedestrian timers. It's problematic for two reasons. First, it fosters the encouragement for drivers to race to beat the light for, say, a left or right turn, increasing pedestrian danger.

The other is that the lack of on-demand responsiveness, coupled with a limited window of legally and "safely" crossing the intersection, will soon be of utmost importance politically for boomers who, after spending their entire lives driving and suddenly unable to pass a driving test for driving as an elder citizen, will turn their political heft over to making streets far more amenable to their own mobility. Except this change to gently find its way into civic discourse over the coming two decades. The irony is that it was the boomer generation's push to the third- and fourth-tier suburbs built from the 1970s to the 2000s which will become the boomer's greatest barrier to their own mobility. This is why urban property development is certain to increase while poorer citizens are relegated to the abandoned, yet large houses out at the periphery.

Ray Suarez discussed this in earnest eleven years ago, and it's now starting to become visible for the first time.
98
dan is not just talking about that incident. he's talking about jaywalking, traffic patterns and urban planning as larger complex issues. please, please, please read the entire original post
99
@97, part 2: To more succinctly explain point #2: the timers, if they reveal to an elderly or mobility impaired pedestrian that they won't have enough time to safely cross, will actually render them immobile. Suddenly a road assumes the unfortunate role of an impassable barrier. If their social gathering place is across the way, it means they risk losing touch with that which makes them a part of their community.

It's simple, if not simplistic to poo-pooh this, but as it has already begun, this really goes beyond a transportation policy or infrastructure planning issue. It becomes a social integrity issue as well as a community issue.
100
Telsa: Los Angeles would certainly have been my guess for the first jaywalking law. But well before 1930 there were campaigns and signage discouraging (and stigmatizing) jaywalking all across the country. It doesn't really matter where the first law was passed - it was a national movement.

I love the idea of jay drivers. Pedestrians and drivers share a right to use the street. It should be obvious that drivers, surrounded as they are by motorized steel, have a greater duty of care than pedestrians.