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Jaywalking at the Police Station... - Elf M. Sternberg
Jaywalking at the Police Station...
This morning, I was walking toward work. There's a police station that I often walk past-- not always, as there are many routes from the train station to the office-- and today, just as I got to 8th and Virginia, the light turned against me and I had to wait. Another man was standing there, bouncing on his feet, watching the traffic. A cop came out of the Starbucks there and walked up behind us. The other man was clearly anxious to cross, waiting for a clearing in the traffic, bouncing energetically. The cop and I exchanged looks.

The man took three steps out and the cop whistled. "Hey, buddy," he said. He jerked his head with a 'come here' motion. "Just wait. It'll change."

When it did, the man and I walked across the intersection. The cop walked the other way. "Gotta be careful," the man said.

I mean, really. Jaywalking at the police station, how stupid is that?

Current Mood: giggly giggly

11 comments or Leave a comment
omahas From: omahas Date: July 16th, 2013 05:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
No. Jaywalking at the police station....


How stupid is THAT?

kengr From: kengr Date: July 16th, 2013 05:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
How about *this* dumb:

Or the teens in Florida who tried sticking up the receptionist in a storefront in a strip mall. Said storefront being a *clearly labelled* Police station? ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b9kh5qDjemI )
elgatocurioso From: elgatocurioso Date: July 16th, 2013 06:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
Different places...

I don't think I've ever heard of jaywalking enforced in New England, upstate New York, or in the mid-Atlantic states where I've lived. Your post just makes me think of overly protective/fascist police who expect to be obeyed for no good reason (not saying they are- it's just that the contrast/culture gap must be large because I don't understand your reactions).

Boston in particular is a walking city. No-walking signals are mere suggestions to use your own best judgement.

Edited at 2013-07-16 06:26 pm (UTC)
reynai From: reynai Date: July 16th, 2013 08:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ditto where I live; I've watched someone jaywalk right in front of a police cruiser, that politely waited for her to finish jaywalking before making its turn and driving on.

And I regularly jaywalk to work at the Hall of Justice.. (then again, with the light in question, it's difficult NOT to if you want to cross the street in any reasonable amount of time..but that's an urban planning issue, not a jaywalking one...)
elgatocurioso From: elgatocurioso Date: July 17th, 2013 12:26 am (UTC) (Link)
Apropos, it took me my full month in Vietnam to get used to this:

elfs From: elfs Date: July 16th, 2013 09:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
Seattlites famously don't jaywalk. One of our police chiefs, when he was in town to interview for the job, said that he knew he wanted to move here when he saw people waiting for the signal to walk despite the fact that it was the crack of dawn and there wasn't a single car in sight.

And 8th & Virginia is a pretty busy intersection. Seattle is becoming more walkable, but it's still a car culture city.
autopope From: autopope Date: July 16th, 2013 09:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
"Jaywalking" is a weird made-up American crime.

Doesn't exist over here.

Pedestrians have priority on all roads, except motorways (where they're strictly forbidden).

(This doesn't mean you should randomly cross anywhere; just, that wheeled vehicles are not supposed to hit you if you're in the road, and you should ideally use a pedestrian crossing if you're within range of one.)
elfs From: elfs Date: July 16th, 2013 09:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
The odd thing is that, if you do hit a pedestrian here, the law comes down very hard.
whipartist From: whipartist Date: July 17th, 2013 12:53 am (UTC) (Link)
I've actually jaywalked while taunting police officers.

President Obama was in San Francisco, and his visits mean that (a) there are police officers everywhere in the neighborhood around his hotel, and (b) the streets are closed to vehicle traffic for a block or two in either direction.

I was on foot, and stopped at a traffic light on one of the closed streets. There were a few officers standing right next to me. "Oh hey! I just realized that I can jaywalk and you won't do anything about it." They laughed as I started crossing the intersection on the diagonal.

See also: the privilege of being a middle-class middle-aged white woman.
tekalynn From: tekalynn Date: July 17th, 2013 01:55 am (UTC) (Link)
My father died at 42. He jaywalked against the light, at night, in front of a car. The driver didn't see him in time.

I do not jaywalk. Ever.
blaisepascal From: blaisepascal Date: July 17th, 2013 03:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've used jaywalking as an example of the difference between general and cultural knowledge in an RPG I was designing. My friends and I were perfectly willing and able to cross the road circling our campus, seemingly oblivious to the traffic, the lights, etc, but a hypothetical, equally intelligent, medieval transplant following us would get killed at that intersection because he wouldn't know how to deal with the cars.
11 comments or Leave a comment