How To Keep Pedestrians Safe
Walking and biking are my primary modalities of transportation. Personally, I only like to take the bus when it is raining, which means that I save a lot of money. Pedestrians have to look out for their own safety, though, so I will say paying attention to the road around you is critical at all times. As a lifelong pedestrian I have learned that often drivers are way too eager to go, even when the walking light is giving the pedestrian the right of way! So you must be ready to make eye contact with the driver, and inform them that when it is your turn to walk they cannot be in a mad dash and nearly hit you. People think oh some pedestrians must be overly fearful of crossing streets, but let me just tell you at four-way stops people driving really need to think more about the pedestrians crossing that road on the walking light. In this hub, I will share some of the things I do to ensure I am safe while walking on the Southern California sidewalks.
Do Not Be An Eager Beaver To Make A Right Hand Turn When Pedestrians Are Walking
There is one four-way stop that I absolutely hate because people are way too eager to make their right-hand turns when pedestrians have the walking light. The considerate ones stop for a pedestrian, but some days people keeping making the right-hand turns when you have a walking light, almost leaving you marooned with the threat of being hit in the intersection. With large trucks and semi blocking your view this can lead to a scary situation, so I have found at times you have to be an assertive pedestrian. If people are too anxious to go when I have the walking light I simply point to the light and say, "pedestrians have the right to go now". One thing I will encourage drivers to do is to give pedestrians the courtesy to finish crossing the street on the walking light. I am fast and run through the cross walks, but I always worry about elderly people that could be hit. If you are driving a car, remember you are going to get wherever you are going faster than the pedestrian, so let them finish crossing the street before making that right hand turn!
Do Not Block Pedestrian Crosswalks
Oftentimes I see certain drivers stopping way beyond the line where they are supposed to stop, and thus blocking the cross walk when pedestrians have the walking light. The polite drivers usually back up when you motion to the walking light, but the rude drivers just do not care. As a pedestrian I have learned it helps to breath and just wait for the next walking light. If you find you are stopping in pedestrian cross walk on red lights, then you might want to watch the road a bit more carefully. I will admit am the world's most anxious driver, which is why I do not drive and prefer to be a pedestrian. However, one tip I could give drivers is not to break California road laws by talking on their cell phones or applying makeup when driving, and many times I have actually seen that these tend to be the people that block pedestrian cross walks during the walking lights. If you are a pedestrian I highly recommend giving yourself extra time to walk to your destination and to plan for such occurrences. One thing I do miss about living in the mountains are the road that are easy to cross, and with far less traffic.
Be A Good Pedestrian: Use The Sidewalk
If you live in a place with sidewalks then please use these for your own safety. Sorry, but drivers do not need the extra hassle of negotiating the road with you walking in it. Not only does it cause a distraction for drivers, but pedestrians are also putting themselves in risk of being hit. Sidewalks are nice and we should definitely use them! If you do not have sidewalks in your community, then walk on the shoulder of the road, or on the dirt area next to a road. I am highly cautious and always walk as far off the street as possible when there is no sidewalk around.
No Jay Walking!
Just because pedestrians have right of way does not mean you should jaywalk across the street. I see many pedestrians who are too negligent to walk up to the nearest crosswalk to get to the other side of the street, and they believe their lethargy entitles them to the right to jay walk across the street. I love the exercise walking provides, and an extra block of walking to reach a proper crosswalk is both beneficial to my health and safety. I would never put drivers and myself at risk by jay walking. Being a pedestrian in Southern California is exciting and affordable, but you need to obey the rules. Jay walking is definitely not legal, and you can get a ticket for it. Happy walking!
Pedometers are great tools for measuring just how far you have walked on a daily basis. These are great motivators for people that want to start an exercise routine, such as walking five miles a day. If you have not walked much you might want to start with one mile, and gradually work your way up to five. Pedometers are a great way to stay motivated while reaching your walking goals!
Good Shoes For Walking
For me, a pair of good shoes are essential for walking, especially since many have rubbed the back of my heels of these do not fit properly. I always have to spend about at least a half an hour at the department store trying on various pairs, and I recently fell in love in love with a pair of Sketchers tennis shoes. Famous Footwear is one retailer that has a nice selection of comfortable walking shoes to choose from.