Cross Street with Caution- Vehicles May Not Stop

Yesterday, on the first day of the Copenhagen conference, I went for a bike ride around San Francisco to clear the cobwebs. I rode past the Golden Gate Bridge, and noticed that a new pedestrian ‘safety’ device had been installed.  Clearly, tourists from the UK had been visiting the bridge, and seeing a zebra crosswalk, assumed they had right of way.   It’s good that the Bridge District put in an audible warning so as to remind visitors who really has priority on the mean streets of the good ‘ol U S of A.

I then rode past City Hall where men were ripping open plastic bags full of ice out of the back of a lorry, and depositing them into a large grinding machine, so as to make it ‘snow’ all over the front of city hall.   I wonder how much carbon was emitted to make the ice, put it in plastic bags, drive it to City Hall, then run the snow machine for an hour.   All this on the first day of Copenhagen.   Oh the sweet sorrow.  Oh the irony.

Sea level is rising now, the climate is changing, but if we cover City Hall with snow hopefully no one will notice and we can continue to eat hors d’oevres

This kind of display would have been absolutely unheard of in the National Parks while Bush was in office

The transformation of Crissy Field from industrial wasteland to nature preserve has been astounding.  There are birds, mice, pelicans, and butterflies where once there was an airfield and military base.  It’s nice to see the changes after three years away.

If the ice at both poles melted, sea level would reach the roadway on the Golden Gate Bridge.  At least the oil tankers couldn’t reach the Richmond refinery any longer!

4 responses to “Cross Street with Caution- Vehicles May Not Stop

  1. Of course, stopping in a UK zebra crossing is a bit hit and miss:

    What the US does have -and even enforces sometimes- is the give way to pedestrians when turning. In those places where it is enforced, it is something to treasure

  2. Hi Steve- Indeed but at least peds have priority- there isn’t even a facility that provides this is the US. A pedestrian must actually be IN the crosswalk for a vehicle driver to have to stop.

    It was my understanding that cars do have to yield to peds when turning, though that is infrequently enforced. In this case, as with so many it seems that might makes right unfortunately.

  3. Here in the UK cars, truck etcs nearly always stop at Zebra crossings. It is always the descretion of the driver as to whether to stop or not. The more built up the area the less likely the driver is to stop.

    • In the UK, if a pedestrian is waiting at a zebra crosswalk, it is illegal for a driver to continue. I believe the UK has one of the most stringent pedestrian priority laws anywhere- certainly compared to the US and Australia.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s