I live in a small city outside of Atlanta. Most people would say I live in Atlanta but starting several years ago a number of the outer suburbs voted to become independent cities and so here I am living in Dunwoody, Georgia instead of Atlanta.
Whether you live in Atlanta or Dunwoody or Brookhaven or Roswell there is one thing you are going to have to deal with on a daily basis and that is traffic. The only times of the day that are likely to be traffic free are between 10 and 2 and even that is iffy since traffic backs up around popular lunch places.
Atlanta and most of the little cities around it have built walking trails both paved and unpaved. Walking to and from these trails and in many cases walking on them involves crossing busy streets. All of these streets have well marked crosswalks and yet vehicles rarely yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and pedestrians often cross outside of crosswalks.
Use the Crosswalk!
Use the crosswalk! Pedestrians are saving virtually no time crossing in the middle of the street rather than walking to the nearest crosswalk and yet they are risking their lives. Is it the risk that provides a thrill or are we just too lazy to walk the extra few yards to get to a crosswalk?
And cars, don’t even get me started on cars that are supposed to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk which means stop not step on the gas and speed up. The Dunwoody police issue tickets all the time to drivers not yielding to pedestrians in crosswalks. They use social media to advertise that they will be doing this and yet drivers still refuse to yield. It is crazy!
Distracted driving may be one reason drivers don’t yield. It is hard to notice a pedestrian waiting to cross the street when you are texting or reading your email.
Some Things To Know About Crosswalks
- Drivers are required to stop and remain stopped for pedestrians in crosswalks
- Turning vehicles are required to stop for pedestrians, even on green lights
- Crosswalks exist on all four corners of most intersections even if they are not marked (at least this is true in Georgia)
- Crosswalks may exist mid-block meaning they are located in places other than on corners
- In most places crossing outside of a crosswalk is both unsafe and illegal
- When crossing outside of a crosswalk the pedestrian must yield to cars
- Crossing outside of a crosswalk is illegal only when the nearest intersections on both sides are controlled by traffic signals
- Be sure drivers see you and are slowing down before you step into a crosswalk
- Look for turning vehicles