Criminally Slow?

Hat tip to Craig Bollen for passing this along from Yahoo News. I also caught a short version on the KOIN news last night.

Woman, 82, Gets Ticket for Slow Crossing

LOS ANGELES – An 82-year-old woman received a $114 ticket for taking too long to cross a street. Mayvis Coyle said she began shuffling with her cane across Foothill Boulevard in the San Fernando Valley when the light was green, but was unable to make it to the other side before it turned red.

She said the motorcycle officer who ticketed her on Feb. 15 told her she was obstructing traffic.

“I think it’s completely outrageous,” said Coyle, who described herself as a Cherokee medicine woman. “He treated me like a 6-year-old, like I don’t know what I’m doing.”

Los Angeles police Sgt. Mike Zaboski of the Valley Traffic Division said police are cracking down on people who improperly cross streets because pedestrian accidents are above normal. He said he could not comment on Coyle’s ticket other than to say that it is her word against that of the citing officer, identified only as Officer Kelly.

“I’d rather not have angry pedestrians,” Zaboski said. “But I’d rather have them be alive.”

Others, however, supported Coyle’s contention that the light in question doesn’t give people enough time to cross the busy, five-lane boulevard.

“I can go halfway, then the light changes,” said Edith Krause, 78, who uses an electric cart because she has difficulty walking.

On Friday, the light changed too quickly even for high school students to make it across without running. It went from green to red in 20 seconds.

Councilwoman Wendy Greuel said she has asked transportation officials to figure out how to accommodate elderly people.

“We should look at those areas with predominantly seniors and accommodate their needs in intersections” she said.

5 responses to “Criminally Slow?”

  1. Jesus H Christ! Are we now at the point of de-civilization where it’s a criminal affront to have to wait during a green light while an old lady finishes crossing the street?

    I mean, really. Who is in THAT much of a hurry?

  2. I just read somewhere (maybe here on PortlandTransport?) that PDOT uses a formula involving street width to determine minimum pedestrian crossing times.

    I wonder if California has something codified on the books somewhere… anyone injured at that intersection if it is improperly timed may have grounds to sue. The 82-year-old woman, now that she has been ticketed, may have grounds to have it tossed out or file a lawsuit of her own.

    – Bob R.

  3. If the Cities & Governments in the country would quit zoning for these massive suburban roads we wouldn’t have this problem. Hell we wouldn’t have a lot of problems.

    I mean really – 5 – lanes? What twit from some auto company or city official came up with that ridiculous idea.

    I bet they could get rid of the five lane street, run a dual track street car operation right down the middle, have a walking path, and a single lane in both directions and significantly cut down the problem while creating a more pedestrian friendly environment.

    I get sick every time I hear about these massive streets.

    In Jacksonville Florida when I lived there the only way to cross from my side of the street to the others was at an intersection, across 5 lanes with approximately 20ft. of median, without a crossing sign.

    I always said while living in Jacksonville, whoever designed or allowed the city to be built in such a way should be jailed for outright idiocy. If I couldn’t cross the above described street, just think how an elderly person with not way of driving would have felt. …and don’t even think there was public transit.

    hmpf. :| Somebody in that area needs to fix the street. Anyone should be able to get across a street walking, safely, even if it takes a minute.

  4. A funny line from Martin Amis’s book “Money” sums this up well. “The only way to gt across the road in LA is to be born there. All the ped-xing signs say DONT WALK, all of them, all the time. That is the message, the content of LA: dont walk. Stay inside. Drive.”

  5. I believe Portland uses 4 feet per second as it’s standard. This is what an able-bodied person can do. Many of the elderly and disabled are lucky to make 3 feet per second. 3 fps has been suggested as a new standard by some, but not adopted anywhere that I know of.

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