Wednesday, February 27, 2013

In Santa Barbara, Every Stroll Is a Walk on the Wild Side

By Craig

I was browsing Edhat yesterday when I came across this item:

I would like to ask why pedestrians are not considered jaywalkers in Santa Barbara, but instead drivers are supposed to stop for them if they are waiting at the curb or wherever to cross the street.

The simple answer to the question is that a pedestrian who is crossing a street at an intersection or is within a crosswalk is not a jaywalker. Fact is, California law requires drivers to stop for pedestrians who are already in the crosswalk. But (to paraphrase the words of Matthew McConaughey's character in the movie, Magic Mike) "I see a lot of lawbreakers around here."

I live downtown about three blocks from State Street and so I walk a lot. I walk to work, to the grocery store, to coffee and yes, I even occasionally walk to a local watering hole to enjoy an adult beverage. And every time I take a walk I'm reminded that every pedestrian in this town has something in common with Rodney Dangerfield. We can't get no respect.

Drivers in this town loathe ever having to yield for a pedestrian. I think they'd rather have a root canal than stop and wait for a pedestrian who is crossing the street. I've seen women in crosswalks in the middle of the street pushing baby strollers and drivers blow right past them.

So, to that person who posted the question on Edhat, I have a question for you: Where are you going that you are in such a hurry to get to? Would it kill you to slow down and yield for a pedestrian? After all, if I happen to be that pedestrian who you don't stop for, I fear it could kill me.