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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Monday, July 28, 2014

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Obey these signs and ones on the streets.
Obey these signs and ones on the streets.
Stop for pedestrians.
Stop for pedestrians.

Stop for pedestrians

My guess is that you generally ignore Yield to Pedestrians signs.  

Even if one is placed in the middle of Lincoln Memorial Drive or prominently at the Riverwalk, you probably see it but ignore it and let the walkers wait.  Most do.  I’m not judging.    

I don’t ignore these signs.  Yet, usually when I stop at them I get a finger or honk from the car behind me.  Whatever, dude.  I’m in the right, you’re being a jerk.  OK, jerk’s a bit strong.  But really, stop for the pedestrians.  You’re not in that much of a hurry.     

Great cities are built for people.  Yes, cars, streetcars, busses, buildings, etc. are vital, but cities need to first function on a walkable, human scale.  Thus, it’s important to find ways to soften traffic and for us to stop for pedestrians.  Obeying the law, of course, also is important.  

Maybe my passion around pedestrian safety stems from my Downtown lifestyle.  I lived on Wells St. in Downtown Milwaukee for nearly a decade and saw how cars disobeyed signs and stripes and consistently put pedestrians at risk.   It made me not only fight for better signs and enforcement, but also to get the street changed to two-way traffic.  

I love my car and drive it well and fast.  So, maybe since I consistently break the speed limit laws while obeying the stop for pedestrian laws I’m a bit of hypocrite.  Whatever.  

My point here is please stop for pedestrians.  And, when you’re walking be smart and don’t tempt traffic. Great walkability makes for a better city and that’s something we can all cheer for. 

Talkbacks

pfan | June 25, 2013 at 12:54 p.m. (report)

You're being too timid by saying that you don't judge people that don't stop/yield to pedestrians. I certainly do. These people are @-holes, plain and simple.

In places that have evolved into wonderfully walkable places, you don't think twice about these things. In fact cars stop for pedestrians if they look like they're even thinking about crossing the street. I was amazed to see this in Switzerland, among other places.

Here, apparently if you're driving a car your time and life is more important than others. That mentality needs to change, for so many reasons.

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PaulK | June 22, 2013 at 11:17 a.m. (report)

I agree 100%, and I stop for pedestrians. I have had cars pull around me, honk, and yell -- but stopping for pedestrians is the law and just makes sense. I also want to add two suggestions for pedestrians (that I practice when I am walking.) First, make it look like you want to cross the street. Make eye contact and stand by the curb. And, second, don't cross and talk. Put down the cell phone while you cross the street. It will make you more aware and also minimize distractions. I have actually seen people stop in the middle of the crosswalk to make a point to the person they were talking to on the phone. Both drivers and pedestrians need to pay attention.

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littletinyfish | June 21, 2013 at 2:11 p.m. (report)

35524 Motorists just need to slow down, period, when they're driving through crowded areas. Always yield to the more vulnerable road users. You can afford to spare those two seconds since you'll probably be waiting at a stop light soon enough anyway.

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devidia | June 21, 2013 at 1:15 p.m. (report)

Brought to you by the National Council for Walking.

Seriously, good points, though.

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