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Original post made
on Feb 28, 2012
I have noticed a general lack of caution by pedestrians around cars in Palo Alto. People have walked right behind my car as I have backed out of a parking spot, a woman stepped out into an intersection while reading a book and listening to her ipod while I had right of way, parents don't have control of their kids in parking lots. It's obvious parents are not teaching their kids how to keep safe as pedestrians (or as cyclists for that matter). It would be worthwhile for elementary schools to drill this into our kids heads -- that cars are dangerous, drivers may not always be attentive, you need to take responsibility for your own safety. It's sad that so many parents can't come through on this basic child-rearing task.
Parents don't teach their children pedestrian or bike safety because they don't know it themselves. We now have parents who have used cars to get everywhere for their whole lives and they don't know anything else. PAUSD schools do teach ped and bike safety to the students, and have for years.
In recent years most pedestrians have become nonchalant and foolhardy. It's not just a problem with kids -- adults jaywalk and don't obey signs as well.
You have to be a true "defensive driver" on the Stanford campus.
Not only are pedestrians prone to jaywalking (or hurrying through a crosswalk when cars are already going through them), but the bicyclists don't follow the rules of the road. It is common to see bicyclists ignore stop signs.
If you drive through Stanford, please be aware that many people will NOT follow the law.
I don't condone jay walking but yelling at bikers is immature. We can't go on the sidewalk because there are pedestrians and there are not well marked bike lanes in many places.
The vast majority of pedestrians that are hit by cars are crossing legally at crosswalks or driveways. I cannot believe the number of self-entitled drivers who love to pile on every time a pedestrian is seriously injured. How many times do you see cars roll through stop signs or exceed the speed limit or carelessly change lanes? Cars move so much faster than pedestrians that even very careful and defensive pedestrians cannot avoid all of them all the time.
As someone who walks, bikes and drives, I can say that most drivers have passed a test to drive a car and know to look out for pedestrians or bikes.
Most walkers and bikers haven't passed tests to be on the road. Both groups think they are entitled to do as they like and ignore good road etiquette.
I definitely agree that everyone feels entitled on the road, whether they are driving, biking, or walking. Although personally I am always cautious, I have noticed that when I am driving I get annoyed by pedestrians and when walking I get annoyed by drivers. Everyone just has to be more careful, seems like a lot of people do not realize how easy it is to get hurt. I go to Foothill College, and I cannot tell you how many times other drivers have been about to hit me.
> Most walkers and bikers haven't passed tests to be on the road
True .. too true.
Stanford's roads are on private property, so they can decide whether to enforce the "rules-of-the-road", or not. Cyclists clearly move freely on campus, and don't seem to "switch gears", mentally, when they move onto the roadways. That is very true here in Palo Alto, where cyclists routinely blow through stop signs and red lights with nothing but contempt.
I saw a cyclist almost hit someone backing out of her driveway the other day because he ignored a stop sign and was moving so fast he almost couldn't stop when the lady's car entered the street. Maybe of these cyclists in Palo Alto are going far too fast, and react rudely when people speak to them about their poor riding habits, or contempt for stop lights and signs.
Something needs to change, where this "wild-wild-west" attitude of cycling in Palo Alto is concerned.
It certainly doesn't help that so many drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians are ON THE PHONE and not looking at the conditions around them.
I find driving, biking, and walking equally stressful in this area. You must always be on high alert, proceed with caution, and move defensively. There are simply too many people on the roads who don't know the rules or feel they're exempt from them. So much arrogance, rudeness, impatience, and inattentiveness! Every day I witness multiple near misses in and around campus/Palo Alto. What's more, certain drivers consider Sand Hill their personal race track.
I can say that most drivers have passed a test to drive a car and know to look out for pedestrians or bikes.
Yet 41,000 people are killed annually in car accidents. Occam's razor - the test is too easy and once passed in late adolescence, another road test is never required.
There is only one rule I would like to see enforced - whether walking, driving or biking stay off the phone. In other words, pay attention when on or crossing roads.
Cyclists, especially, are crazy on campus. Be very careful when driving or walking/running. My wife got hit by a student cyclist just yesterday as she was jogging on a sidewalk - he got and rode off without apologizing... really pissed me off.
" I can say that most drivers have passed a test to drive a car "
Yet, with all the violations I see, that fact is not resulting in good drivers.
Car drivers speed regularly, roll through stop signs, use bike lanes to pass cars turning left, talk on cell phones, use their horns for "get out of my way" buttons, etc
Passing a test does not make them superior drivers, just means they are good at multiple choice tests. So they know the rules and still violate them.
cyclists at stanford almost never pay attention. I almost hit some girl riding the wrong way who didn't stop at the intersection--even though they have those mini stop signs on the sidewalks ...this was right by the gas station. Then she gives me grief about it.
Spend about 5 mins on Sand Hill across from the shopping center and you'll see a dozen bikes run the red lights....spend 5 mins on a Sunday and you'll see about 50.
"Stanford's roads are on private property, so they can decide whether to enforce the "rules-of-the-road", or not."
That is incorrect. The CVC still applies there because the roads are open to the public.
As a student about the same age, I'm so surprised at everything you are all saying. First, the reports are too recent so fault could still be ambiguous. At the end of the day, a young Stanford student was seriously injured. I hope a speedy recovery for her and wish her family the best.
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