Jaywalking Is A New Yorker Thing

Who knew that there was a whole guide to Jaywalking in New York City?! But that just goes to show how boisterous and busy our lives are in this giganormous concrete jungle! So what behavior makes for safe (or unsafe) jaywalking?

Beware of trucks: Meaning, don’t cross until you see the whites of the driver’s eyes. That means don’t cross late in the walk signal in front of a stopped truck, whose driver may suddenly look up, see a green light, and gun it. They may not even realize they’ve hit someone when that happens. It also means that when crossing mid-block, don’t start from behind a tall vehicle.

The extra for strollers: Kind of obi but I’ve seen it happen, if your child is in a stroller or carriage, don’t push them in front of you as you peer out to see if there’s any traffic, that means they’re two, three, four feet out in front of you, and you didn’t even check to see if there’s traffic. Don’t have your carriage be the first thing that enters traffic if you can’t see the traffic.

Beware of mirrors: I admit, I did not even realize that mirrors could be a problem, but I’ve read that mirrors protrude way beyond where they were 30 years ago. So now, vehicle manufacturers have no compunction about adding another six inches on cars, and a foot on trucks. So the front of the vehicle passes you safely but then you get hit by the mirror. There was a young doctor who was killed on 96th Street, [a mirror] sent her reeling into traffic and then she was killed.

Watch the weather: The highest fatalities are when the driver has the least visibility and traction on the road. If it’s dark, or rainy, or snowy, or worse, ice on the ground. The last thing place we want to be, is outside, let alone standing and waiting for the traffic light to change. So if we are wearing a hoodie, be sure to flip it back and look all around before gunning it across.

And the time of day: When it gets dark your antenna should go up. Statistics prove that you’re many times more likely to be killed crossing a street when it’s dark. Assume that the person at the wheel of the car is drunk, and you’ll stand a much better chance of getting to the other side.

Pay attention to the asphalt: When the road surface is compromised, something savvy jaywalkers look out for are potholes that can catch your heel or even oil on the ground that could be slick. You don’t want anything slowing you down when you’re crossing against the light.

Don’t ignore traffic: Especially in midtown: If you see the cars have stopped, and you still have the ‘don’t walk’ signal, watch out because it means someone else has a green.

So when should one never jaywalk? I almost want to say never, but after settling in New York City over the past few months, lets just say, jaywalking is a New Yorker thing. So I would say the only instance when jaywalking should be avoided is whenever you’re at a location in which you have two (or more) two-way streets meeting each other. That means that there are twelve different movements that could occur by motor vehicles. It’s just too much for anyone, so at Park and 57th.

Yvette xo