Road users and patience

I spent a little too much time on YouTube looking up clips from “Trigger Happy TV” the other day. For those of you who haven’t seen this gem, it’s a hidden camera show from the UK that used to air on Oxygen about 7 years ago. Although my absolute favorite gag is the cell phone one, on this watch through the following clip stood out (click the image to watch on YouTube).

Yes. it is hilarious to see a grown man crawling across a crosswalk in a snail costume—but what really struck me about this clip on this viewing is that THE CARS STOP. And NO ONE HONKS. It’s really rather remarkable.

Here in Nashville, I’ve noticed an increase in signage at crosswalks and intersections over the past few months, along with an increase in sharrows and bike lanes.

Unfortunately, there has been no corresponding increase in cars actually stopping for pedestrians at said crosswalks, and the signs have ended up looking more like this (and having to be replaced) more than once. Today I stopped at a crosswalk—a new one on Wedgewood, with flashing lights that signal to motorists when people are crossing—and the guy behind me swerved around me to avoid having to wait for the pedestrians.

image by notes from the basement

I’m hoping that the Share the Road campaign launching soon will have some effect on this, but I am not going to hold my breath. Has anything worked in your city? Anyone interested in staging  a snail-crossing protest in Nashville?

 

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16 thoughts on “Road users and patience

  1. Brian Amer says:

    Signs, etc., will never work unless the police start enforcing the law. If drivers know they may get a ticket, behavior will change. This is the way it worked in Portland, OR.

  2. RobW says:

    In Georgia, its too much to hope that drivers will share the parking lot safely, i dare not ask that they obey traffic laws on the street.  :-)  Snail video was great, lol

  3. Dashadoes2 says:

    of course I would like people to obey the signs and to stop for pedestrians out of courtesy, but I think a few enforcement blitzes are what’s needed for motorists to really get that it’s not just an optional suggestion to yeild for peds in a crosswalk.

  4. Dashadoes2 says:

    of course I would like people to obey the signs and to stop for pedestrians out of courtesy, but I think a few enforcement blitzes are what’s needed for motorists to really get that it’s not just an optional suggestion to yeild for peds in a crosswalk.

  5. Zweiradler says:

    Luckily it’s normal for drivers to stop at crosswalks in Germany. They are so scared of people possibly jumping in their way that they nearly do emergency stops sometimes. But of course they compensate this cautious behaviour by endangering pedestrians and cyclists in other situations. :)

  6. Zweiradler says:

    Luckily it’s normal for drivers to stop at crosswalks in Germany. They are so scared of people possibly jumping in their way that they nearly do emergency stops sometimes. But of course they compensate this cautious behaviour by endangering pedestrians and cyclists in other situations. :)

  7. Rachelanddylan says:

    I recently stopped at a pedestrian crossing so a pregnant lady could walk across and the car behind me went around me so he wouldn’t have to wait. I couldn’t believe it, I’d never seen or heard of it before and now I read it here, on my favourite blog! So dangerous.

    • LGRAB says:

      That is so low-down. Although I’m sure the same thing would happen here!
      Since writing this post, I have had a ride home in heavy rain. I got off my bike because of visibility issues and was trying to cross as a pedestrian, in a dress and heels, dripping wet…and it took sticking the front wheel of my bike out into the road to get someone to stop. Then I almost got hit by someone coming the other way who didn’t want to stop even though I was already in the middle of the street! This was the crosswalk in front of Mafiaoza’s in 12South, for you Nashvillians out there. I agree, it’s probably going to take ticketing to get changes…

      • Illiniwu says:

        Sounds like that Southern chivalry doesn’t extend to traffic situations.  It’s scary seeing that sign crushed at the side of the road, that could be a person!  Hopefully your city will do more to stop this crazy (and illegal) behavior. 

  8. Rachelanddylan says:

    I recently stopped at a pedestrian crossing so a pregnant lady could walk across and the car behind me went around me so he wouldn’t have to wait. I couldn’t believe it, I’d never seen or heard of it before and now I read it here, on my favourite blog! So dangerous.

    • LGRAB says:

      That is so low-down. Although I’m sure the same thing would happen here!
      Since writing this post, I have had a ride home in heavy rain. I got off my bike because of visibility issues and was trying to cross as a pedestrian, in a dress and heels, dripping wet…and it took sticking the front wheel of my bike out into the road to get someone to stop. Then I almost got hit by someone coming the other way who didn’t want to stop even though I was already in the middle of the street! This was the crosswalk in front of Mafiaoza’s in 12South, for you Nashvillians out there. I agree, it’s probably going to take ticketing to get changes…

  9. Arcataarts says:

    Really nice snail! 

  10. DavidB says:

    I don’t think that this this is a model to work towards but crossing the street in some places is much different than in the U.S.

  11. DavidB says:

    I don’t think that this this is a model to work towards but crossing the street in some places is much different than in the U.S.

  12. nowhere says:

    It’s even different in various parts of the same city in my experience. This comes across in both what drivers do and how pedestrians react. I spent quite a few years as a delivery driver all over Vancouver and noticed how in certain areas it was almost universal that drivers stopped at crosswalks and in other areas when I stopped at a crosswalk the pedestrian would look at me, disbelieving and suspicious, eventually realizing that I really was stopping so they could cross. The case of a driver pulling out and around a stopped car phenomenon has to be the MOST dangerous and egregious violation. Once, I was waiting in a left turn lane (four lane road) for a woman with a baby carriage to clear the crosswalk I was going to make a left turn across. The woman in the car behind me, not seeing the pedestrian BUT seeing that there was no oncoming traffic to wait for got impatient, pulled out, passed me on the right and made her left turn by screeching through the crosswalk at full throttle missing the woman with the baby by about a half meter! On the other hand there’s many times I’ve stopped at a crosswalk for a person at the edge of the sidewalk only to sit there feeling like a fool as they pace back and forth talking with someone on their cell phone only to eventually walk away in another direction altogether!

  13. Arcataarts says:

    Really nice snail! 

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