Tag Archives: crosswalks

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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America Needs Traffic Justice: Pedaling Revolution

I read the book Pedaling Revolution: How Cyclists are Changing American Cities by Jeff Mapes soon after it was published in the spring. I was going to write a review, but then David Byrne and the New York Times scooped me. Suffice it to say that anyone interested in reading this blog also would be interested in reading the book.

Senior Crossing Street in Miami Beach - PBIC Image Library

Senior Crossing Street in Miami Beach - PBIC Image Library

Mapes brings up many interesting points in the book – the kind that made me read and re-read, fold down the page, and want to talk about it with someone. I picked up my dusty copy this morning and started flipping back through the folded pages. My mind started sparking again, so I thought I would explore these ideas more through discussion here.

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Something There Is that Doesn’t Love a Crosswalk*

If you guessed “Nashville drivers”—you’re right!

Despite the fact that the law states “Traffic should yield to pedestrians when the are preparing to cross or crossing the street at a marked or unmarked crosswalk,” and the presence of brand-new, neon yellow signs helpfully pointing out the crosswalk I use every day during my commute, drivers rarely yield to pedestrians in this city.

The Beatles would have had to wait ages to cross the road if they'd tried to take this picture in Nashville

The Beatles would have had to wait ages to cross the road in Nashville.

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