PDL_20110715_0203
Those helpful Aussies!
As a kid, sometime around 6th grade, back in 1974, or so, I was a crossing guard. All through elementary school, we were taught not to jaywalk, but to cross at the correct place in the street, at the corners.

The other day, a friend of mine, James, honked his horn and tried to get my attention as I was crossing an intersection. I told him later that that wasn’t going to happen. I was trying to stay alive. People just don’t pay attention.

After the invention of cell phones, texting, and such, I’m here to say that crossing somewhere away from the corner is much, much safer. I’ve been walking pretty consistently for a bit more than 3 years, several times per week. Each corner of a 4-way intersection has its own challenges.

1. People turning right, hardly ever look to the right to see if there is a walker. You’re taking your life into your own hands by crossing with someone to your left who is turning right, smashed and never seen!
2. Usually, when people come to the corner, they take a moment to peek at their cell phone, send a text, or are talking on the phone, not really paying attention to where they are going.
3. If people, in front, and to your left who are turning left, are only looking for traffic, not a person in the crosswalk.
4. In a busy 4-way, with left turn signals, etc, people completely ignore the crosswalk. Here, especially on a divided road, you have to watch for people turning left as well as making a u-turn. Too much going on!

Walking down the road a bit makes it safer, where you only face two challenges, initially, traffic coming from your left, then from your right – I can handle that.

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