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Car vs pedestrian

Lately I’ve been walking to work a lot (from Leigh to downtown), and am constantly trying to avoid being hit by cars at crosswalks. This morning, while crossing at the crosswalk in front of Bellevue Elementary, a car going pretty fast flew through the crosswalk, almost hitting me. It was close enough that I tapped the side of the car with my lunch bag (which contained one tupperware and two bananas in it). The woman driving the car actually stopped and told me to never touch her car, that I needed to slow down, then called me a jerk. I probably shouldn’t have tapped her car, but I’m tired of almost being hit every time I cross the street. Especially in front of an elementary school. Jesus.

Words by Josh Poteat, drawing by Doug Orleski AKA RVA Coffee Stain.

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49 Comments
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Braxton Tindantle
Braxton Tindantle
5 years ago

Hear hear!

Braxton Tindantle
Braxton Tindantle
5 years ago

Braxton Tindantle liked this on Facebook.

Thomas
Thomas
5 years ago

If someone passes that close to me when I’m in a crosswalk without acknowledging me first, I typically slap the car with the palm of my hand. Hasn’t happened in a while, but it’s usually a satisfyingly loud pop, and enough to scare the crap out of the driver while doing no harm to the vehicle. Better to alert them to the error in their ways now than let them run over someone’s toes or worse later. And yes, I have had them stop but there is never any damage to complain about.

Luke Crosswalker
Luke Crosswalker
5 years ago

Most drivers are ignorant as to the law in Virginia, but pedestrians in a crosswalk have the right of way! This applies to all streets, whether there’s a signal marking the crosswalk or not: Grace Street, Broad Street, Main Street, Grove Avenue, and yes, even Cary Street (I’m looking at you Carytown)! If a pedestrian is in a crosswalk, even a crosswalk without a walk/do not walk signal, the driver of the vehicle must yield. This culture of ignorance is the product of decades without enforcement. I’d be hesitant to be in a crosswalk even with an RPD cruiser approaching.… Read more »

Michael Jones
Michael Jones
5 years ago

Michael Jones liked this on Facebook.

Gordo
Gordo
5 years ago

Can someone explain to me what the bannana is a metaphor for? Or do I want to know

John Doe
John Doe
5 years ago

While this is a huge problem for pedestrians (myself being one of them), many pedestrians complicate this issue. In my personal experience in Church Hill, when given the right of way by coming to a complete stop to allow the pedestrian to pass, 99% of the time they stare at me in disbelief or wave me on. This may be the southern mentality of just being slow or not in a rush, but it tells some drivers that pedestrians don’t care about receiving the right of way. Anywho, if you want to cross, look like you mean it and take… Read more »

Bill 3
Bill 3
5 years ago

Folks who stand at a crosswalk are always going to get a kindly stop & nod from me. There is a flip-side to this issue though in those people who will stroll across several lanes in the most haphazard fashion at a turtle’s pace & not a crosswalk nearby. I can’t tell you how often this happens driving on Mosby towards the Leigh St. viaduct by folks going from the housing projects to the seedy convenience store. The best part is when they give me the stink-eye during their long stroll like I’m doing something wrong by being on the… Read more »

DWO
DWO
5 years ago

In Virginia, it is important to only use a crosswalk and never to cross in the middle of the street. The reason for this is that if you are struck by a car while crossing the street in a crosswalk you can sue the driver but if you are not in a crosswalk you have no rights to sue the driver.

Frank Pichel
Frank Pichel
5 years ago

Frank Pichel liked this on Facebook.

Doug Orleski
Doug Orleski
5 years ago

Doug Orleski liked this on Facebook.

Heather Chadbourne Lozito
Heather Chadbourne Lozito
5 years ago

Heather Chadbourne Lozito liked this on Facebook.

Scott Burger
Scott Burger
5 years ago

Scott Burger liked this on Facebook.

dontmincewords
dontmincewords
5 years ago

I’ve lived in CH almost a year and I have almost been hit twice at the intersection of Broad and 24th with my big ass dog. You’d think people would stop given the firehouse. Stop sign runners both times. Car stopped on the other side always mouths “OMG” and then I get the “you OK?” nod. Too fast for me to tap with a lunch box. I opt for both hands in the air, fingers flying. I just don’t understand.

Jason
Jason
5 years ago

Pedestrians may have the right of way, but when you’ve broken both your legs because someone blew through a crosswalk and hit you, that’s not really going to be much consolation. Just wait for the car to go by, why are you in a rush?

SueWho
SueWho
5 years ago

I walk frequently and know that pedestrians have the right of way in a crosswalk, unfortunately most drivers here are oblivious to the law. Some drivers are gleefully sadistic and speed up as if they dare you to be their victim. I was almost rear ended while driving and stopping for pedestrians on Broad St. trying to cross the on ramp to the 95. The driver behind me, with plenty of room and notice, blasted the horn and flipped me off. How about getting VCU ad students involved in creating billboards (unsightly, but in your face) informing the morons about… Read more »

Clay St.
Clay St.
5 years ago

This is a huge issue on Dock St!
There aren’t many crosswalks above 18th St. so pedestrians are forced to risk jaywalking, but even around 14th-18th where crosswalks are used, everyone’s in such a hurry to get to work that pedestrians stand forlornly. Doesn’t help that there’s a blind spot when turning left from Dock onto 14th – impossible to see if someone’s walking across the street until you’re already around the corner and they’re at risk of being hit.

Randy Seibert
Randy Seibert
5 years ago

Randy Seibert liked this on Facebook.

bozatwork
bozatwork
5 years ago

Be careful. I saw a coworker hit at 14th Street when crossing (when it was her turn) because someone turned right on red without looking. Scary. I tap cars when the driver is unaware how close they are to hitting me. Typically they are on the phone or otherwise distracted, and every time they have looked up with shock. I will say, visiting Portland, Oregon, I was amazed by how polite the drivers are. They stop for anyone even nearing a crosswalk. After 20 positive interactions with drivers it does leave an impression on a visitor, and speaks well to… Read more »

Simon Vincent Iachini
Simon Vincent Iachini
5 years ago

This goes both ways and while I definitely side with the pedestrians it’s important to know that there are laws for pedestrians as well. I can’t tell you how many times people leave the crosswalk and enter the street when I’m trying to make a turn and the signal isn’t telling them it’s safe to walk. How many people in Church Hill don’t even use the sidewalks and walk down the road ? How many jaywalkers? Everyone is responsible so don’t just blame the drivers. And…don’t even get me started on bike and moped/scooter traffic. They are the serious law… Read more »

Lee
Lee
5 years ago

@ Bill 3 – Just lay on the horn. Works great on meandering, turtle speed pedestrians who happen to be on a cellphone (I.e. Too distracted to function, as is usually the case.) Sorry if this seems crass, but there’s no excuse for walking in the middle of the street in zigzags because you’re gesturing/talking with your hands while on your phone. As for the crosswalks, and people going too fast – People park too close to the intersection/crosswalk, which makes it very hard for other drivers to see around the corner, forcing them to roll into the crosswalk before… Read more »

katzenjaammer
katzenjaammer
5 years ago

Anyone tried to cross at 18th and Franklin where the blinking light is? FUGGEDABOUDIT. You take your life in your hands

Neighbor
Neighbor
5 years ago

@Lee I have had seen this problem as well with people parking to close to the crosswalk, stop signs, and fire hydrants as well. I have started calling the police nonemergency number (804-646-5100) and have an officer respond to have them move their vehichle. I recommend that you do the same. Sec. 102-222. – Parking prohibited in specified places. (a) No person shall park a vehicle, except when necessary to avoid conflict with other traffic or in compliance with the directions of a police officer or traffic control device, in any of the following places: (1) On a sidewalk. (2)… Read more »

Neighbor
Neighbor
5 years ago

This also brings up an issue of people blocking the intersection during rush hour preventing the movement of cross traffic, especially after the light changes.

Sec. 102-158. – Blocking intersections.

No operator of a vehicle shall enter an intersection or a marked crosswalk unless there is sufficient space beyond such intersection or crosswalk in the direction in which such vehicle is proceeding to accommodate the vehicle without obstructing the passage of other vehicles or pedestrians, notwithstanding any traffic control signal indication to proceed.

Justin Swisher
Justin Swisher
5 years ago

I often notice cars do not stop for pedestrians at the circles like Jefferson and 25th Street. I think reminders like this would help. Who agrees?

Jenny Tremblay West
Jenny Tremblay West
5 years ago

Jenny Tremblay West liked this on Facebook.

wobobee
wobobee
5 years ago

Josh is a national treasure. I’m so glad he wasn’t hurt.

Lee
Lee
5 years ago

@Neighbor – I travel back and forth between Richmond, Williamsburg, and VA Beach on a routine basis, and you hit on one of my pet peeves – people who crawl through/get “stuck” in the crosswalk. (The average driver in VA Beach or Williamsburg is from out of town and acts as if they’ve never drove in a city before). Most folks seem smart enough to avoid “blocking the box”, but no one ever takes the crosswalk into account or thinks to stop BEHIND it rather than IN it – which is just rude.

Elaine Odell
Elaine Odell
5 years ago

Traffic calming and pedestrian/bicyclist safety are the 2 driving forces behind the coming near-term changes to Jefferson Avenue.

But wait, there’s more: the EPA (yes, the US Environmental Protection Agency) and city planners want to hear from all of us during the public forum coming June 7-9, as we consider the long-term potential of Greening Jefferson Avenue. Join us!

See https://chpn.net/news/2015/05/14/imagine-jefferson-avenue-at-greening-americas-capitals-meetings-in-june_42950/

tiny
tiny
5 years ago

Except at a crosswalk, it is illegal for pedestrians not to use the sidewalk if one is available. I believe that was posted here before. In DC you will get a ticket if you jaywalk.

Aud
Aud
5 years ago

Living in Williamsburg for a few years, I agree about almost non-existent problems about crosswalks, at least around W&M and CW. You drive through a crosswalk with a walker waiting to cross – BOOM, hefty fine. Cops are aching to give those tickets to drivers.

Anne
Anne
5 years ago

I was also hit by a car turning on red that didn’t look, this at the corner of Franklin and Second, leaving the library. I am not a national treasure but it still hurt. Like Jason said, it’s reassuring to have the law on your side but the law does not cure road rash or two broken legs.

WarGibFA
WarGibFA
5 years ago

I’ve been purposefully almost-run over at least twice (literally– the guys looked at me crossing the street and floored it.), down on Main Street. Not sure what can be done about it, but it is pretty damn sad.

RVACoffeeStain
RVACoffeeStain
5 years ago

RT @chpn: Car vs pedestrian http://t.co/K8L6ghuEhn

Karen Inman
Karen Inman
5 years ago

Karen Inman liked this on Facebook.

Eric S. Huffstutler
Eric S. Huffstutler
5 years ago

I think it has been covered enough here that there are laws for pedestrians but pedestrians also have responsibilities to follow which includes crossing at a corner and not against lights. I am guilty of nearly running over someone at 14th and Canal taking the right to get to Dock one day. That intersection at rush hour is busy. While looking left for an opening in the traffic to turn right, people will start walking in front of you against crossing lights and you may not see them coming from the right, like in my case. I did not hit… Read more »

JCH
JCH
5 years ago

FYI, legally drivers must yield at unmarked crosswalks as well. What is an “unmarked crosswalk” you ask? Virtually any intersection is a legal crossing for pedestrians, regardless of whether there is a painted crosswalk. Same rules apply. You yield to the ped unless the intersection is governed by a traffic signal, in which case yielding requirements are assigned by the signal.

Eric S. Huffstutler
Eric S. Huffstutler
5 years ago

There are signs in the middle of Main Street in front of the train station that says it is State Law to Stop at the crosswalk. Does anyone do it – or even pay attention those signs are there? I doubt it. Much like my returning home on the interstate Tuesday and driving through Construction Zones that post 60-mph speed limits. People still ride your bumper trying to push you up the road doing 75-80 mph instead of slowing down. That irks me and I refuse to give in knowing the fines involved if caught. And when I do slow… Read more »

Brad Belo
Brad Belo
5 years ago

Brad Belo liked this on Facebook.

Shannon Rae Carlson
Shannon Rae Carlson
5 years ago

Shannon Rae Carlson liked this on Facebook.

Kathleen Sanders
Kathleen Sanders
4 years ago

In January, one of my dogs and I were struck by a vehicle at the intersection of E Broad and N 32nd. I suffered a broken wrist and my dog had to have surgery as a result of the injury to his eye. The driver did not stop and has never been apprehended. I walk this area a lot and I can’t count the times I’ve come close to being blatantly hit. East Broad has become a thoroughfare and are very few crosswalks, especially in the residential areas. As walkable as our neighborhood is, it’s unfortunate that we are not… Read more »

Justin
Justin
4 years ago

I was half way into the crosswalk at the roundabout in front of Alamo and almost hit by a police car that had no interest in yielding. No lights/sirens on, just a typical occurrence even in marked crosswalks in Richmond.

Also anyone else notice the pedestrian signal at 21st and Broad St never actually changes? It never signals for the pedestrian to walk across Broad.

dontmincewords
dontmincewords
4 years ago

Justin – the one at 21st and Broad is on demand. You have to press the button to let it know you’re there.

Anne Percival
Anne Percival
4 years ago

Grace Street between 25th and 22nd has become a race track/cut through to avoid the traffic light and 4-way stops on Broad. It’s especially bad during morning rush hour. As Kathleen can attest, Broad at Chimbo is another speed zone. Jefferson just gets worse and worse. The crosswalks might as well not be there.

frank p
frank p
4 years ago

Is the detective for Church Hill still monitoring CHPN? This is an issue that has been troubling for me since moving here from NYC – where pedestrians are treated with much more respect. I have also been nearly run down by a police car on Jefferson Ave. – who very clearly saw me. And by several other people around Church Hill. The city could make plenty of money ticketing drivers who are not acknowledging pedestrians.

Rita Austera
Rita Austera
4 years ago

I’m on foot on a regular basis (bus for longer trips). I consider stop signs to be “pause” signs actually. Actually, I usually let people in cars go ahead…too many close calls. When someone does actually offer me the right if way, it takes a few seconds to register.

I think the problem is so out of hand, it would take a lot to fix.

To this problem list I could add: trash thrown from car windows, celebratory gun fire and loud music from cars. <>

Lorry
Lorry
3 years ago

Pouring rain as I was returning from my walk at 1:40 pm. I’m at the crosswalk of S 21st and Dock, getting drenched by the minute as the onslaught of cars and trucks continues to speed by me, splashing more water on me. I gave the oncoming vehicles on both sides of the road a chance to see me and stop, but all failed, including a city pickup truck. As I quickly started to cross, cars sped up and started honking at me. I’m not a spring chicken and I am disabled. You’d think those drivers who are comfortable in… Read more »

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