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Have any of you have close calls with pedestrians

I recently didnt let a pedestrain cross while they were midway in the crosswalk. The oncoming traffic did stop for the person, but on my side of the road, I just kept going through. The person had to stand literally in the middle of the road between the lanes. I have to admit; I didn’t see the pedestrian until last second because of the glare from the oncoming traffic. But it is still my fault

Have any of you have any close calls before

Only with four-legged pedestrians.

These pedestrian cross-walks are an accident waiting to happen. Where I live if a pedestrian steps off the curb at a cross-walk all cars, both directions, must stop. So we have a person with clear vision going 2 MPH requiring a stop of a vehicle doing 20 MPH with limited vision??? That is insane. Pedestrians should cross at the corner when traffic allows or where there is a traffic light. The pedestrian cross-walk is more of the PC tree huggers wanting to eliminate motor vehicles. Where is the common sense?

Yes… In Boston. One reason I hate driving there.

Not so much at crosswalks…but between crosswalks. People just dart out in front of you. One woman pushing a carriage and three other kids in tow. It was close.

The other problems are with bicyclists. Many of them are just rude.

Even with all my complaining about Boston…MOST of the time the problem is with the driver.

I haven’t had any close calls with pedestrians, but I live in a fairly rural area where we don’t have many sidewalks or crosswalks to deal with.

I did hit a bicyclist with my car a couple years ago. More accurately, I hit his bicycle, not his body.

I was driving on US Highway 1 in Florida’s Treasure Coast area and a homeless man on a bicycle was riding in a construction zone that had concrete barriers on both sides and no shoulder on either side. Why he was crossing the road on a bicycle on a stretch of road that had no bicycle access, I have no idea. I think maybe he was trying to get hit, because he was riding on the right side of the right lane, he swerved into the middle of the lane, and then after he saw me coming, he swerved back to the right. Then, as I approached, he swerved back in front of me with too little distance for me to stop. I slowed down when he first swerved in front of me, and I accelerated when he saw me coming and swerved back to the right. When he swerved back in front of me, there wasn’t enough distance to stop, but I was able to slow down so much that the only damage I did was to bend the bicycle’s rear wheel with my front bumper before he rolled over the front of the bike and landed softly on the ground in a weird acrobatic maneuver that looked unnatural to me because he didn’t look like he was riding fast enough to have fallen when his rear wheel seized.

There wasn’t a scratch on him or any damage to my car, but I called 911 to summon the police and an ambulance. They took him to the hospital, I reported the incident to my insurance company (just in case he decided to sue me later), and I never heard from anyone about it again. To this day I wonder if he was drunk, suicidal, or perhaps both.

I learned a lesson that day that the woods in that area are occupied by homeless people, and it’s better to exercise an over-abundance of caution when it comes to pedestrians and bicyclists than take any chance you might hit them.

I’d like to know what you propose as an alternative, because I don’t think there is anything political about pedestrian crosswalks.


Yes. 'Round here pedestrians are downright arrogant about exercising their right-of-way at crosswalks, intersections, etc. And of course abusing their right-of-way too. But my biggest problem is the way that pedestrians and cyclists disappear in my driver’s side A-pillar: it’s large size, and location relative to the seating position in my car, for my height, gives a large blind spot. I have to constantly re-train myself to lean forward and back at 4-way stops to look for people crossing the street. The blind spot is big enough that somebody walking from the left could be in the blind spot as I approach the intersection, coming out from behind a building, or shrubbery or what have you. As I roll to a stop they keep walking and stay in the blind spot. I don’t see anybody so I start to roll forward again when suddenly they’re in my field of vision, stopped in the middle of the intersection and glaring at me.

What was Moody’s line in Harry Potter? “Constant vigilance!”

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Have you ever considered installing small wide-angle fish-eye mirrors on your side view mirrors? On cargo vans and RVs, they’re indispensable. On a vehicle with wide A-pillars, they’d eliminate blind spots.

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I have no problem with pedestrians exercising their right in a crosswalk. I have no idea how that could be a problem. They have the right-of-way…so STOP.

What I have a problem with are the pedestrians who cross the road in the middle of the street…or crossing at a traffic light controlled crosswalk when they clearly have red light (do not cross).

I also have a problem with the drivers who clearly think it’s an inconvenience to stop for pedestrians. This one town my daughter played travel soccer in - you parked on one side of road and then had to cross to get to the fields. Signs everywhere saying to stop for pedestrians in cross-walk. Yet people would be barreling down that road at 40-50 in a 30 zone. Many times I heard tires squeaking.

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I’ve had several close calls, but no contact. I live near a city university with 30,000 students and many, many more people walking from place to place, across streets and between cars, slow and fast, disabled and running. It’s very hard to be safe. The worst is any four lane street (2 each way) when the car in the lane near the center slows and you can’t tell why - pedestrian, dog, pothole, left turn with no signal? The slow car blocks the view of what’s going on to the left. You just have to slow down a lot until you can figure out what’s up, and then sometimes someone on the right decides to cross the street or a car turns in from the side street. It’s a “fluid situation”, and you just have to have eyes open everywhere. Add cell phones, fast bicycles with no regard for traffic controls, hormonal conversations between college students, lane splitting motorcycles and very rough streets, and there you are.

I think that’s what @MikeInNH is talking about in Boston. It’s just as nuts in Berkeley.

NY just changed the crosswalk law here so you don’t have to stop for someone crossing from the opposite side until they approach the middle.

round here you have to be extra careful. The amount of pedestrians I see crossing WITHOUT looking to see if it is safe to cross is mind boggling.

and Downtown I see folks all the time that misinterpret the signals, and will stand there and wait until they are crossing against the light to cross.

The problem is that they don’t even break stride to enter the crosswalk regardless of cars going the speed limit that are almost upon the crosswalk. When walking, I will typically wait for an opportunity to enter the crosswalk and that usually means waiting a few seconds for cars to pass. Many people think they can just stride right into the road regardless and cars must yield no matter what. That’s how I interpreted macfisto’s post and it’s my gripe as well.

Of course this is the worst time of year for potential problems. It’s dusk for the evening commute and people with dark clothes crossing any old place they feel like it. Most don’t even lift or turn their head to look first… It’s downright frightening to drive home and my head is on a swivel the entire time I’m in the city.

Walking should be outlawed. Roads should be expanded to where sidewalks are now: the total person-delay will decrease.

The places I am most afraid of hitting a pedestrian are streets through and around a university campus. College students seem to think they are invincible. Many are on their cellphones texting and paying no attention to where they are going. I once was crossing a campus drive that was a one way drive and a female student on a bicycle came the wrong way. I walked right into the bicycle but fortunately caught the girl before the bicycle fell out from under her.

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Whitey, my problem is looking forward through the A-pillar. It’s a big fat one. The angle from my eye to the pillar is perfect to block my view of the far side of the crosswalk at an intersection unless I deliberately move my head forward and back to see around it.

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Oops! I read “A-pillar” and thought “B-pillar.” You’re right, of course, that modified side view mirrors won’t help with that.

I sometimes encounter signs at crosswalks on city streets that announce pedestrians have the right of way and drivers must stop. I think this is instead of having traffic lights at every street corner. You really can’t go faster than about 20 mph in this area because of traffic turning, pulling to the curb, or pulling into traffic from the curb. I try to be extra cautious as I don’t trust pedestrians to look at traffic. I’m surprised that pedestrians are oblivious to cars that weigh 20 times what they do and have no soft surfaces whatsoever.

While we are complaining, I agree with @MikeInNH about jay walking between lights. I also see a fair number of people that walk across the road at the intersection, but do so against the signals. These folks are asking for problems too.

Yes only 2 months ago, no crosswalk or light, light about 50 ’ behind me. Pedestrian crossing busy 4 lane street, 30 mph speed limit from my right. I am in the left lane next to the yellow line. He is walking briskly and will pass in front of me before I get to him. He stepped om the line with his left foot and pivoted on it stepping directly in front of me. The only reasons he didn’t get hit were , my reflexes are much quicker than most people my age and there was no on along side of me.

All that means is that when driving in places like that…SLOW DOWN. That’s what I do. Driving in downtown Boston…I do about 20-25.

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