diamond geezer

 Friday, April 24, 2015

Thank you for your astute and comprehensive comments on the subject of guerilla pedestrians. Having read them, here are three paragraphs I wish I'd written yesterday. Please insert them where you think fit.

And it's not just at pedestrian crossings. Guerilla pedestrians are perfectly happy to cross the road inbetween, even when this might be entirely unwise, because they think walking all the way up to the lights takes too long. The worst miscreants get only halfway across the road, and are then forced to hover in the middle on a thin white line hoping that a passing driver will take pity and pause to let them pass. Or maybe just run across anyway causing havoc, as is their prerogative.

Spotting approaching cars is easy, but the guerilla pedestrian often overlooks those on smaller means of transport, forcing cyclists and bikers to curse and swerve or worse. Stationary traffic creates a particular hazard, as guerilla pedestrians assume nothing's moving so start to weave their way through the maze of vehicles, only to be mown down by a two-wheeled oncomer previously invisible partway across. And if one side in the conflict raises a fist in blame, it'll probably be the wrong one.

Perhaps the advance of the guerilla pedestrians is the byproduct of a policy shift. To keep the traffic flowing, pedestrian crossings have been subtly retimed to give greater priority to the motorist, leading to an increase in the time that walkers are left stranded on the pavement. Who'd not get impatient after waiting seconds longer day in day out, no matter how many times you press the button, and so start jumping the lights as a matter of course? Downgrade our lights and we misbehave more.

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