Comment 75282

By Lakeside (registered) | Posted March 19, 2012 at 12:35:41

They probably just haven't had a chance to post the second sign that details exactly how pedestrians should behave in order to properly protect themselves from injury. The sign department's probably backed up, or the wording hasn't cleared legal yet.

Just in case there are actually any pedestrians who haven't attended the Pedestrian Re-education camps yet, here's a short refresher, courtesy of the City of Hamilton website:

Pay attention. Think. Be prepared to make decisions.

Step up to the curb and make eye contact with drivers so they know you intend to cross.

Keep watching all the way across as you cross a multi-lane roundabout, watch for a driver coming in the next lane. Make sure that the driver sees you.

Look and listen for a safe gap in the traffic flow before crossing. Do not start to cross if a vehicle is so close that the driver can not safely yield the crosswalk to you, or if a driver shows by the way that they are driving that they do not intend to stop for you.

Use the sidewalks and crosswalks around the outside of the roundabout. Do not cut across the middle of the roundabout.

Use the splitter island. This will let you cross one direction of traffic at a time. Wait on the splitter island if needed.

The appropriate gap in traffic is something that you can create by your behaviour, not just something that will eventually occur if you wait long enough. Most drivers slow down as soon as they see a pedestrian at a roundabout crosswalk. Whether they then yield the crosswalk to you by slowing or stopping will depend mostly on your body language. There is enough sight distance at the roundabout for the driver to see you and slow or stop. Drivers are more likely to yield the crosswalk to you if your body language shows that you intend to cross. Use the following assertive body language to clearly tell drivers that you intend to cross:

Come up to the crosswalk briskly and deliberately – this also shows that you will not make drivers wait a long time for you to cross;

Scan for a gap in traffic as you come up to the crosswalk;

Look at the drivers;

If you have to wait, step up to the curb or even stand with one foot into the crosswalk;

Start to cross as soon as you are sure that the driver intends to slow or stop to yield the crosswalk to you.

Drivers are more likely to NOT yield the crosswalk to you if your body language shows that you are willing or expecting to wait for a very long gap in traffic before crossing. The driver will assume that you are not ready to cross or do not intend to cross. Passive body language that tells drivers that you are willing to wait may include:

  • Slowly ambling up to the crosswalk;
  • Not looking at drivers;
  • Standing on the sidewalk back from the curb;
  • Standing with your hands on your hips;
  • Setting down your grocery bags;
  • Playing with your cell phone or music player;
  • If you are jogging up to the intersection, beginning muscle stretches to fill in the time;
  • Not taking advantage of an appropriate gap in traffic to make your crossing;
  • Waving drivers on; and
  • Hesitating and not starting to cross even when a vehicle is slowing to yield the crosswalk to you.

(These instructions are specifically applicable to roundabouts, but there's lots of good advice that can be applied to pedestrian responsibility in other situations, including crosswalks.

For the full text, and some useful information on how to properly operate bicycles as well, see the website -

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