Time: 8:30 - 9:00
Date: Wednesday August 7, 2013
Where: City Hall Steps Manhattan. Duane Street NY, NY
TA states that these pedestrians had right of way and as I believe pedestrians, as the most vulnerable road users, SHOULD have right of way I will be at the rally and I fully support Transportation Alternative's desire to raise the profile on these deaths, to demand improved safety and to take action to reduce pedestrian deaths. I then looked up the rules and was disturbed by the tone of the document and how little rights it seems pedestrians really have. Section 4-04 of the NYCDOT Traffic Rules is below.
(a) Pedestrians subject to traffic rules, except as otherwise provided herein. Pedestrians shall
be subject to traffic control signals and pedestrian control signals as provided in §§4-03(a) and
4-03(b) of these rules and to the lawful orders and directions of any law enforcement officer, but at all
other places pedestrians shall be accorded the privileges and shall be subject to the restrictions
stated in this section.
(b) Right of way in crosswalks.
(1) Operators to yield to pedestrians in crosswalk. When traffic control signals or pedestrian
control signals are not in place or not in operation, the operator of a vehicle shall yield the right of
way to a pedestrian crossing a roadway within a crosswalk when the pedestrian is in the path of
the vehicle or is approaching so closely thereto as to be in danger.
(2) Pedestrians shall not cross in front of oncoming vehicles. Notwithstanding the
provisions of (1) of this subdivision (b), no pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place
of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impossible for the
operator to yield.
(3) Vehicles stopped for pedestrians. Whenever any vehicle is stopped at a crosswalk to
permit a pedestrian to cross the roadway, the operator of any other vehicle approaching from
the rear in the same or adjacent lanes shall not overtake and pass such stopped vehicle.
(c) Restrictions on crossings.
(1) No pedestrian shall enter or cross a roadway at any point where signs, fences, barriers, or
other devices are erected to prohibit or restrict such crossing or entry.
(2) No pedestrian shall cross any roadway at an intersection except within a crosswalk.
(3) No pedestrian shall cross a roadway except at a crosswalk on any block in which traffic
control signals are in operation at both intersections bordering the block.
(d) Operators to exercise due care. Notwithstanding other provisions of these rules, the operator
of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian.
Reading the Traffic Rules makes me feel like a dog on a short leash. I accept that we pedestrians need to pay attention to where we are going and other forms of transportation but there are many things that can be done to make life safer for people on foot. I will be exploring some of these as I report on the New Rochelle Street Walking Challenge. For now, attend the rally if you possible can!