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Friday, 10 February 2006

Ad-hoc road crossings by pedestrians can be classified into three categories. Naturally, these categories do not include crossings at legitimate pedestrian crossings such as traffic lights or zebra crossings.

1) Crossings of one-way streets
A mild saunter across the road with minimal fuss, only requiring watching traffic that comes in one direction. These crossings are fairly safe and can be attempted during off-peak periods or at peak hour. Little danger for the pedestrian. Typical of inner-city streets like Castlereagh Street.

2) Crossings of two-way streets at off-peak periods
Judgement is required for this type of crossing, but the danger is minimal. The walker saunters across the street with little fuss, and reaches the other side without interfering with the traffic flow.

3) Crossings of two-way streets at peak periods
Dangerous but in some areas common, especially around King Street, Newtown, and Enmore Road. The pedestrian may walk or run. Running is a frequent option and requires considerable agility and skill. Walking is actually just as popular, but requires that the pedestrian linger in the middle of the road until the on-coming traffic clears. Often seen: pedestrians standing on the twin, white lines running down the middle of King Street. Tempting fate. Either standing on the line or slightly behind it, the pedestrian is exposed to the glares of drivers and the danger of collision, and possible physical damage. This method, especially, incurs the absolute wrath of automobile drivers.

It's much better to just wait for the lights and cross legally. But, then, life is short. Of course, it could get a lot shorter under these conditions.

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