December 14, 2011

Yielding the Right-of-Way

As you may recall, I am no longer biking for the winter and am instead more of Busing Columbus. This means that I am the lowest of the low: a walker. There are few sidewalks in the Hilltop area and as such I am relegated to sharing the road with motorists and "asshat" bicyclists.

The rules of the road are pretty simple. Motorists must yield the right-of-way at all marked and un-marked crosswalks (read: any intersection). If a poor pedestrian is forced to use the road, the pedestrian must yield the right-of-way to vehicles.

Both of these requirements are interesting. The problem with motorists yielding the right-of-way is that they sometimes do not truly yield. Plus, it's hard for a pedestrian to trust the motorist because a 1.5 ton car is a lot more powerful than a person and it's better safe than sorry.

On the flip side, I have a belief that it is a personal right to be able to walk anywhere there's a public right-of-way. Therefore if I decide to walk from Hilliard to Gahanna for whatever reason, I should be able to get there without yielding. I know that this isn't the most practical position and I probably wouldn't even advocate the law which says that vehicles must always yield to pedestrians. What I am saying is that we can put a man on the moon but we cannot properly sidewalk our urban areas. It's kind of a shame.

Next up: I go to a COTA meeting

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