Pedestrians Have The Right-of-Way

I can remember a time, and it wasn’t all that long ago, that I would take my good old time sauntering across the street(oh yes I would) in the crosswalk (takin’ my time), walkin’ with the light (check my hips), while cars waiting to turn into the lane where I was walking (yeah, you wait, bro), would just have to…wait.

And why?  Why would they have to wait?

G would urge me to step lively. ‘C’mon girl, on the hop!”  And I would politely correct her.

“No. Pedestrians have the right-of-way.”

And she would say, “Yeah? Tell that to the ambulance driver. Now, MOVE!” And she’d yank me through the intersection.

Fast forward a few years. Now when I make a crossing at the intersection, with the light, I RUN!!  And when I reach the opposite curb and I am still breathing, I give thanks.  In the intervening years the traffic at the light on Main St has increased ten-fold, if not more. There are lines of traffic at all hours of day and night. Sometimes only 3 or 4 cars get through on one green light.

To give you some idea of the traffic now, I can walk to my studio in 6 minutes. I can bike there in 4 minutes. I can drive there in 15 minutes.

These days everybody is antsy to “make the light.”  Today, one of my students, friends, and all-around amazing yoga students, got hit in the crosswalk by a truck.  She had the pedestrian right-of-way.

She’s banged up, but no broken bones, thank god.

So if you are a pedestrian, irregardless of the law, know this: You do NOT have the right-of-way. In theory you do, but in reality? Not so much. As a pedestrian, you are IN THE WAY. So you better well move it, or be killed.

RUN when you get the light! And if you are lucky enough to make it to the opposite curb in one piece, count your blessings.

(And Kestrel?  So happy and relieved that you are okay!  Love you!)


4 thoughts on “Pedestrians Have The Right-of-Way

  1. Kath I love you too! I am so glad to be okay, but I COMPLETELY agree! Pedestrians are seen as “in the way” which is NOT the right frame-of-mind to have at intersections where elderly people, young children, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers and all members of the family are walking. There needs to be a zen that accompanies these drivers, a sense of slowing down and realizing stress never got anyone anywhere! In the meantime, I have champagne to drink and a hip to elevate. Thanks for the bolsters and the kind words. Missed yoga today, but I’ll be back SOON!


  2. Many pedestrians have gotten too comfortable thinking they have the right of way and seem to ignore that important little glowing box above an intersection that says “Don’t Walk.” At intersections with traffic lights, pedestrians need to follow the light, especially during green left-hand turn arrows. The light is giving the cars permission to turn, not for the people to cross the street (that’s why the box says “Don’t Walk”!). I have had to stop mid-turn for so many jaywalkers that I’m beginning to wonder why intersections have “Don’t Walk” boxes at all anymore.


    1. We kick it old school up here in Pennsyltuckey. Just your basic Red, Yellow, Green. No words. No arrows. Nothin’ flashes. Nothin’ talks. If we had a sign, it would say: “RUN! MOTHERFUCKER, BEFORE I HIT YOUR ASS!”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s