Comment 94591

By j.servus (registered) | Posted November 09, 2013 at 11:04:54 in reply to Comment 94540

There is a vast difference in the way pedestrians are conditioned to operate, and the way motorists are conditioned to operate. As others have observed, pedestrians already treat every crossing as a yield situation for them. They won't cross until they're reasonably sure it's safe to do so, and the spontaneous threshold of safety is a judgement that oncoming traffic has at least enough time to notice and react appropriately. Moreover, pedestrians treat every point of crossing as an intersection.

Motorists, on the other hand, do not spontaneously perceive all intersections as a yield situation for them. Rights of way for auto traffic are variable, and drivers both expect and need instructions to know what to do. They will default to yield only if it is indicated, or if the situation is radically unclear (e.g., if the traffic signals go out). Moreover, motorists are conditioned to perceive intersections only where another street crosses. They do not readily perceive pedestrian points of crossing as intersections, unless some other affirmative indication is given, e.g., painted stripes and yellow lights.

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