To all of you self-entitled pedestrians and bicyclists that assume the law doesn’t apply to you: if it is OK for you to break the law, then it’s OK for me to break the law. Remember that when you see me accelerating at you while you’re running a red light.
Seriously now, let’s look at this. If a car runs a red light, he’s a madman, but if a bicycle runs a red, it’s somehow supposed to be OK? If there is room for the bicycle to run the red, then arguably a car with faster acceleration can make it through as well. Maybe I should run those reds alongside you?
For all of you peds that shout “pedestrians have the right of way”, that just means that if I hit you, I will get a ticket. It does not mean you have carte blanche to cross whenever you want. Yes, yes, I know Oregon has a rule that lets peds cross without a crosswalk, but that only applies if you can manage to be more than 150 feet from an intersection on a back road somewhere that doesn’t have crosswalks. City blocks are 200 feet long. Here’s some of the relevant City codes:
PORTLAND CITY CODE16.70.200 Pedestrians.16.70.210 Must Use Crosswalks.No pedestrian may cross a street other than within a crosswalk if within 150 feet of a crosswalk.16.70.750 Penalty.(Amended by ordinance nos 165987 and 176394, effective April 17, 2002.)Violation of this Chapter is an infraction punishable by a fine not to exceed $150.(A) Except as provided below, violation of this Chapter is an infraction punishable by a fine not to exceed $150.(B) Violation of sections 16.20.470, 16.70.510 A,16.70.210, 16.70.220 and 16.10.060, is punishable by a fine of not more than $500, or byimprisonment not exceeding 10 days or both.
That’s right, kids, crossing without a crosswalk is punishable by a fine of up to $500 and/or 10 days in jail. The only reason you’ve never seen anyone get a ticket from this is the fact that there just aren’t enough cops to enforce it.
Some days I really miss my old Plymouth with the 400-inch engine. Power-braking that while revving the engine was a sure way to clear the crosswalk instantly. Nothing says “move” like a 3-ton car experiencing 6 inches of torque roll.