Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Two Year-old Crosswalk Law Doesn't Work!
No kidding!

the Oregonian
Tuesday, June 14, 2005
Jeff Mapes

SALEM -- it looks as if there will be a quick end to confusion on how much leeway motorists must give pedestrians at controlled intersections.

Key Oregon Legislature's say they have abandoned efforts to rewrite a two-year-old law that went further than intended in providing a zone of protection in crosswalks.

"Were going to have a situation where it's going to be very, very confusing, and were going to have a lot of misinterpretations of the law," said Troy Costales, manager of the safety division for the Oregon Department of Transportation.

Before the 2003 law, motorists turning at an intersection with stoplights or stop signs were required to simply yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk. then the legislator sought to beefed-up pedestrian protection by requiring motorist to stop until walkers had cleared the lane of travel, plus one Additional Lane..

However, the wording of the "stopping stay stopped" law unintentionally require that motorists wait until pedestrians reach the sidewalk.

unintentionally required motorists!! I remember when Eugene police made the news because they set up a sting two years ago at six and Blair to make people aware of the new law.

The Register Guard June 17, 2003

The next human rights cause reaches Oregon today when Gov. Ted Kulongoski picks up a ceremonial pen and signs a deceptively minor traffic revision into law.

The new law says that drivers crossing intersections without signals must stop and remain stopped until pedestrians crossing the street clear the driver's lane and the adjacent lane.

No more rolling pauses followed by flooring the gas pedal the instant a walker clears the fender; no more ambiguous yield-for-pedestrian laws.

and they wonder where we got the "misconception"?

The article continues --

Mark Landauer, Portland city lobbyist, said that as a result, mortars downtown often found they couldn't get through an intersection before the light changed -- if they follow the law, that is. Mark said that the law also slowed buses and caused uncertainty among police about when to ticket motorists for encroaching on pedestrians.

No Kidding, I figured that one out as soon as the law was introduced.

it would have required motorists to stop and wait until pedestrians had cleared the lane of vehicle travel, plus an additional 6 feet. The Willamette Pedestrian Coalition (figures that there is such a thing)agreed to accept a compromise in hopes it would lead to more education and enforcement of the laws protecting people on foot.

on the surface, I can definitely understand why they came up with a new law. However, it makes just as much sense as when one small city believed that they were being visited by UFOs and decided to solve the problem by passing a law stating that UFOs could not land in their town.


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