The failings of the drivers of San Francisco are well-documented…
…but what about pedestrians – how are they doing?
Not well, based upon their behavior in the Financh and other nearby districts. Let’s take a look at the Metropolitan Transportation Commission‘s “Safety Toolbox: Common Violations for Pedestrian-Involved Collisions” for some help:
Common pedestrian-at-fault violations
The problem is that lots of peds violate California Vehicle Code Section 21451(c) and 21456(a) without knowing it. That is, they routinely enter crosswalks immediately after their light turns green. That’s a no-no in CA unless you make sure that traffic has cleared the intersection first.
“21451(c) A pedestrian facing a circular green signal… may proceed across the roadway within any marked or unmarked crosswalk, but shall yield the right-of-way to vehicles lawfully within the intersection at the time that signal is first shown.”
“21456 Whenever a pedestrian control signal showing the words “WALK” or “WAIT” or “DONT WALK” or other approved symbol is in place, the signal shall indicate as follows: (a) “WALK” or approved “Walking Person” symbol. A pedestrian facing the signal may proceed across the roadway in the direction of the signal, but shall yield the right-of-way to vehicles lawfully within the intersection at the time that signal is first shown.”
Can a ped get a ticket for blocking a car? Yes, but I’ve never heard of it. Prices start at $108 – I’m sure that they can easily exceed that what with court fees and whatnot.
21451(c,d) Green Signal–Pedestrian Responsibilities $108.00
So, green does not mean go. Green means go after the intersection has cleared – this applies to pedestrians, cyclists, motorists, everybody.
The real concern for pedestrians is them being held at fault after being hit by a vehicle. The issue turns on whether the driver entered into the intersection on a red light or not. When you encounter Third Street and Market, where cars need to travel 175+ feet to clear the intersection, extra vigilance is needed. The only thing keeping most pedestrians from immediately crossing on a green is a caravan a slowly moving cars trying to clear the intersection.
So you can continue living your life thinking that cars are running red lights at every busy intersection during every light cycle, or you can learn the PEDESTRIAN CROSSWALK DUTIES in California.
Your choice, ped.