Crossing the Road Safely- Diagonally not okay.

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    This morning as I was driving my son to school, I came to the intersection of Oregon and Glen, a 2 stop sign intersection (not 4). After stopping at the stop sign, and looking both directions (multiple times), I accelerated to continue on Oregon and cross through the intersection. Fortunately, my husband was with me and spotted a pedestrian and yelled for me to stop. I literally came within a foot or so of hitting her. Not understanding why I didn’t see this woman when I stopped at the stop sign, I realized she had crossed from the diagonal, and was walking through the middle of the 4 way intersection-which by the way only had 2 sides with a stop sign. Because of this, she was obscured by my A-pillar. My point in sharing this, is that it is not safe, nor legal (RCW 46.61.240) to cross diagonal through an intersection unless marked safe to do so ( like at the Alaska Junction). It is already a tricky and somewhat dangerous street, and walking through the middle of the street like that in the early morning was simply dumb. Ive experienced a great deal of loss through traffic accidents, and so I this experience really shook me up. People, be smart and safe, and doesn’t hurt to read up on the laws of the road.



    It is a VERY dangerous intersection, for drivers and pedestrians alike. Unfortunately for pedestrians, the diagonal direction of Glenn Way means that crossing from corner to adjacent corner is also a lengthy diagonal. Given the rampant speeding on Glenn Way, it can be difficult to make it across before someone runs you down. That’s probably why some pedestrians opt for the shorter path to the opposite corner.
    So yes, it would be best if pedestrians would obey the law. But more often than not, it’s drivers I see flouting the law at this intersection. They speed. They pull out from the stop without looking. And they almost never stop for pedestrians. They also park too close to the intersection, making it hard to spot crossing traffic or pedestrians.
    Glad you and the pedestrian are OK. We have complained to the city about safety at that intersection, only to be told that “data don’t support any changes”.



    What kind of data do they need? People injured? People killed? So if you’d run her down, you’d have contributed to a safer intersection in the future?



    That is exactly what I’ve been told by SDOT when pointing out difficult crossings for pedestrians. Changes are based on accident rates, with “how many deaths” as the best predictor.

    As a pedestrian who always tries to follow the rules (crossing at crosswalks, never against the light, etc.), I can tell you that some intersections – like the one described above – offer pedestrians a choice: cross completely legally and die, or fudge it for a better chance of survival. Sometimes there just isn’t a safe way to cross the street, and it has a lot to do with drivers not paying attention, or thinking they are entitled to use their multi-ton vehicles to menace pedestrians into conceding the right of way.

    I’m not saying that pedestrians never do anything stupid, but sometimes options are not clear cut. In those cases, a little enhanced awareness and some mutual respect are all that’s needed.



    KBear pretty much nailed it. Pedestrians and drivers alike should approach that six-way intersection with an expectation of being alert to potential mishaps. Not the place to be in a rush. I drive it daily, only to avoid going through the Junction at Alaska.

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