I work in downtown Worcester on Main Street where there are streetlights at each block for a good 2 mile stretch that seems more like 10 miles when you catch all the red lights. But when you get the green lights, you should be able to drive right?
Not so! It is nothing unusual for pedestrians walking together deep in conversation to just step off the sidewalk and cross the street right in front of you. They don't skip a beat in their conversation and don't even glance your way, even if your brakes screech or you beep the horn. They are oblivious. It is also nothing unusual for them to dart out in front of you, thinking that if they run and wave their arms like it's an emergency that it will be okay. These are all people I would like to refer to as "speed bumps"; however my legal training knows that "the pedestrian always has the right of way".
And how many more tools can we give these tools, I mean pedestrians?? They have magic buttons at each intersection that, once pushed, will give every driver a red light, making it safe for the pedestrian to cross. Additionally, they have crosswalks, designated areas that they should be walking in, and when a driver approaches, it has the same effect as a dog approaching an electric fence as you slam on your brakes because someone is in the designated area. And furthermore, there is a 10 or 15 second countdown that flashes for the pedestrian so they know how much time they have before someone is going to get a green light and be allowed to drive over the restricted area. So, my dear pedestrians, if the number is already on 3, you better book it across the street, not step off the curb and take baby steps across as if the leader of Mother May I is waiting across the street instructing you to take 100 baby steps. And if you are blind, there is some leeway (sp?), but you also get a beeping sound to let you know when it is safe to cross, and you also have a walking stick and a dog. However, I will not ever label you as a speed bump so you are good there.
Now, when I am not in the car and am a pedestrian walking the sidewalks of Main Street, I stop at the intersections. I may not use the magic button because I find it demeaning and more fun to play Frogger and dart across the street, but I honestly only do that when it is safe and no cars are coming toward me. I would never dream of just stepping off a sidewalk, while looking down, and walk into oncoming traffic forcing drivers to stop because I have the right of way. Wise up, walkers! And P.S. The customer isn't always right either, but that's another rant.