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Unpublished Opinion

Thursday, September 22, 2005

A post about (gasp!) the law!

I realize that this blog hasn't had a law-related post in some time, so I thought I would throw this out there. Chicago officials are planning a new measure to crack down on jay-walking. Like most new laws of this type, I am concerned about selective enforcement. Will it matter if I cross on red when I am wearing a suit (okay, I know, but pretend with me) versus a t-shirt and jeans (which make me look 15)? Will there be quotas? What if a whole group of people jaywalk? That happens often. (Side story: more than once I have been standing in the back of a pack and started walking when everyone in front of me did, only later to realize that the light hadn't changed and there was a large vehicle speeding towards me. I blame sleepiness and group mentality).

Personally I rarely, if ever, engage in the kind of jay-walking that they are trying to curtail: namely when people cross against the light and prevent the turning traffic that has the green light from turning. I get REALLY annoyed when I am on Michigan Avenue and this happens. People go when the east/west traffic gets a red light, not realizing (or not caring) that the northbound traffic gets a (very brief) green arrow. Then the car has to stop in the middle of the intersection, lest he run over 15 tourists from Wisconsin, and that ties up the north/south traffic which then has the green light. This is most annoying when I am on the bus and am sitting still on green. (Grr!!). Speaking of tourists, will they get ticketed? What about a school group that goes outside of the white lines (also an infraction) as they walk to the Sears Tower?

I do cross when the little red hand is pointed at me, I will admit it. But I am also very familiar with traffic patterns and know which traffic has the green light when. I walk the same 10 minute walk to the bus stop everyday after work. I know that after all the traffic in the turning traffic on a particular street has turned, I can cross, etc. Will this behavior be subjected to ticketing since technically I am jaywalking, but not affecting the flow of traffic? Only time will tell I suppose.

Let me know what y'all think about this.
Now that I look back, it isn't really about law at all, just the ranting of a city girl, but oh well :)

4 Comments:

  • I think this post was a clever attempt to draw attention away from your shocking admission to watching So You Think You Can Dance?!

    I think that enforcement will have to be selective. There's not enough cops to write all the tickets.

    Here in Trenton, New Jersey the cop's mentality is if it's not a murder, a shooting or a drug deal involving a shooting or murder then don't interrupt my donut break. They do have pretty horses that walk around the capitol streets.

    By Blogger ShoreTurtle, at 12:18 PM  

  • I am an avid Jay-walker. I do look out for traffic for the most part, but in Ann arbor, the walk signals are so short and the cross walks are far apart making it annoying to cross legally.

    Unlike some student pedestrians though, I always look for oncoming traffic...

    By Blogger Kiki, at 1:12 PM  

  • I like stepping on the gas and moving people out of the way.

    By Blogger Prince E, at 10:13 PM  

  • I just like stepping on the gas and moving people out of the way.

    By Blogger Prince E, at 10:14 PM  

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