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Crosswalk Talk

What are the things that puzzle, enrage, delight and tickle you as you go about your life in Madison?

Re: Crosswalk Talk

Postby Igor » Mon Jul 16, 2012 9:56 pm

I spoke to soon. Moron pedestrians at 9:30 PM in dark clothing crossing 15 yards away from the much better lit crosswalk.
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Re: Crosswalk Talk

Postby Violet_Skye » Mon Jul 16, 2012 10:45 pm

Coming down Sherman Ave. the other early evening when a couple were crossing Sherman on foot to go to the Mallards game, presumably after parking in the shopping center lot. I was traveling at posted speed or most likely less, given the highly unpredictable nature of pedestrians in my hood. There is a median, at which the pedestrian couple had stopped. So I kept going. As I passed, they indignantly shouted something about a crosswalk. Even though they were not crossing. They were on the median area designed specifically for the purpose of stopping to observe and then cross the other lane of traffic when it was safe to do so. They had stopped and were observing. They waited for me to pass, and then yelled at me. WTF is that?
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Re: Crosswalk Talk

Postby green union terrace chair » Mon Jul 16, 2012 10:46 pm

Ninja wrote:I haven't read any of the posts here, and I don't know if I can bear to do it, but ...

You'll do well here.
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Re: Crosswalk Talk

Postby narcoleptish » Tue Jul 17, 2012 7:41 am

As I've said before, my only problem with the crosswalk law is uneven enforcement. If you're going to enforce it and write tickets on Monroe, Atwood, and Willy, then you should do the same on Mineral Point Rd, University, and E Wash.

I do question the sanity of pushing this in these days of increasingly distracted multi-tasking drivers..
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Re: Crosswalk Talk

Postby snoqueen » Tue Jul 17, 2012 7:52 am

...they were not crossing. They were on the median area designed specifically for the purpose of stopping to observe and then cross the other lane of traffic when it was safe to do so. They had stopped and were observing. They waited for me to pass, and then yelled at me. WTF is that?


That, my friend, is the reason this law is impossible to enforce or to follow.
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Re: Crosswalk Talk

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Tue Jul 17, 2012 8:32 am

Crockett wrote:When you make rules that defy the laws of physics, common sense and widely-practiced norms its not surprising that confusion reigns.
Four pages in and this post, the second on the thread, is still the best (OK, I didn't actually read page 2, because PB is an asshole.)

And anytime I hear about how people drive differently in some other place ("...the West Coast, where stopping for pedestrians is the norm...") , I know it's a safe bet that the discussion has little basis in reality and is just a bunch of unconnected perceptions based on limited experience. Except England, of course. People really do drive differently over there. I hear they drive in reverse. With their feet.
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Re: Crosswalk Talk

Postby DCB » Tue Jul 17, 2012 9:14 am

Violet_Skye wrote: They had stopped and were observing. They waited for me to pass, and then yelled at me. WTF is that?

Right, they stopped to see if any cars were recklessly violating the law about stopping for pedestrians. As it turned, their caution proved wise.

You know those red flags they sometimes put at cross walks, to signal to cars that they intend to cross? They should replace those with loaded shotguns. That would make things safer for pedestrians.
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Re: Crosswalk Talk

Postby Peanutbutter » Tue Jul 17, 2012 10:09 am

Dairylander wrote:That James Madison/Memorial Union boardwalk is genius.
I assume that it would allow bicycles?


The way Madison is, bicycles will be not just allowed but mandatory.
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Re: Crosswalk Talk

Postby narcoleptish » Tue Jul 17, 2012 10:22 am

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:
And anytime I hear about how people drive differently in some other place ("...the West Coast, where stopping for pedestrians is the norm...") , I know it's a safe bet that the discussion has little basis in reality and is just a bunch of unconnected perceptions based on limited experience.



This is what I think too. I tried to find a live feed Los Angeles area street cam website with no luck, mostly just freeway stuff. Perhaps a better surfer than I can find one.
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Re: Crosswalk Talk

Postby gargantua » Tue Jul 17, 2012 11:22 am

DCB wrote:
Violet_Skye wrote: They had stopped and were observing. They waited for me to pass, and then yelled at me. WTF is that?


You know those red flags they sometimes put at cross walks, to signal to cars that they intend to cross? They should replace those with loaded shotguns.


Now that's the kind of creative thinking this town needs! Or, they could plant mines on each side of the crosswalk that pedestrians could arm by pressing a button when they wish to cross.
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Re: Crosswalk Talk

Postby seemunkyz » Tue Jul 17, 2012 11:29 am

Stebben84 wrote:Emphasis mine. Why is your decision to speed endangering others lives ok, and my decision to make a rolling stop endangering MY life wrong.

Listen, we'll agree to disagree. I DO stop for pedestrians when I know they're crossing. Would you stop on, let say Fish Hatchery road, during rush hour if you saw someone ready to cross. I'm sorry, but I think that is asinine. What about University during rush hour. I don't think it's as cut and dry as you think.

Yes, I break the law when it comes to traffic rules. Seems as though you do too.


It is a stretch to assume that anyone follows every traffic law every time, and I never really made the claim that I do. But are there some laws that I do follow all the time? Yep. The speeding thing was more of an exaggeration to emphasize that enforcing one spot for one day doens't really solve any issues, and that city wide random patrols are necessary to influence public perception.

As far as the University, Fish Hatch, etc. point. Well, most major streets with multiple lanes of traffic have stop lights every so often that you can go to if you are too scared to establish yourself in the crosswalk. This doesn't apply to the guy who stands on the corner asking pretty please, the ped needs to enter the crosswalk for the law to apply. (I did say earlier that both cars and pedestrians need to have some give in this situation.) But law says that once they do establish themselves, you are supposed to stop.

It is your choice to follow the law or not, but let me re-phrase my argument a bit. While I still state that the laws are there for public safety, and a line needs to be drawn somewhere, I don't necesarilly think that all laws are perfect. However, the law is the law, and if you get caught breaking it, the rules were pre-established and you don't really have any justification for complaining about the consequences. So unless you think you can get the State to change the law, deal with it, and stop for a pedestrian once in a while.
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Re: Crosswalk Talk

Postby Stebben84 » Tue Jul 17, 2012 12:18 pm

seemunkyz wrote: However, the law is the law, and if you get caught breaking it, the rules were pre-established and you don't really have any justification for complaining about the consequences. So unless you think you can get the State to change the law, deal with it, and stop for a pedestrian once in a while.


I fully agree and I'm willing to pay the price. I may not like it, but I will accept it. As I have stated before, I do stop for peds because I am well aware of the law and as a frequent pedestrian myself, I find it courtesy. I find it equally discourteous when some pedestrians think they can do whatever the hell they want.
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Re: Crosswalk Talk

Postby Jademan7 » Tue Jul 17, 2012 12:47 pm

This morning, approximately 10 a.m. there was a crosswalk sting at the corner of Raymond and Leland. Just west of Whitney Way. We knew it was coming soon with the big flashing signs saying to yield to peds in crosswalk. Didn't see anyone get pulled over, but wonder how many they caught today.
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Re: Crosswalk Talk

Postby Ninja » Tue Jul 17, 2012 1:31 pm

Some of the comments here reinforce my suspicion that there's a critical mass of people in Madison who just don't understand the law. And it couldn't be simpler. If you're a driver, and there's a person in the street, don't hit that person with your car. And if you're a pedestrian, and you want to cross the street, wait until there are no cars. Crisis solved.

I think part of the problem is that cops and other city vehicles have been instructed (I assume, based on the uniformity) to engage in some very dangerous, and I would argue illegal, behavior when driving, and residents model that behavior. I'm refering to the practice of arbitrarily stopping in the middle of the street and waving pedestrians off the sidewalk and into traffic. That's just freaking bananas. How could anyone, anywhere ever think it's a good idea?

I can't count the number near miss accidents I've seen as a result. I can barely count the number of shouting matches I've gotten in with drivers who absolutely insist on being "helpful" in this way, and refuse to just drive away and let me cross the street in peace (which indicates to me that it's really about making a statement for those people, not about actual pedestrian safety).

This has been an issue that's bugged the hell out of me since I first came to Madison, and if anything it's only gotten worse during the years I've lived here. That's messed up. What is going on with this place?
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Re: Crosswalk Talk

Postby rabble » Tue Jul 17, 2012 2:03 pm

Ninja wrote:Some of the comments here reinforce my suspicion that there's a critical mass of people in Madison who just don't understand the law. And it couldn't be simpler. If you're a driver, and there's a person in the street, don't hit that person with your car. And if you're a pedestrian, and you want to cross the street, wait until there are no cars. Crisis solved.

I've watched a right-turning pickup truck just beep at people in the crosswalk, at a stop light, and force them to jump out of his way. The truck (for some reason it's always a pickup truck with a guy who looks like a construction worker at the wheel) figures he's got the right of way because he's got a green light. The pedestrians think they've got the right of way because the little while stickman is lit up. Truck wins. I've seen it three times.

After the third one I checked with both Campus and Madison police and the person at Madison police told me it was a legal 911 call if you see somebody do that.

Haven't seen it happen since.
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