I have been reflecting on my trip to San Francisco back in early March. I had a ball. I did all the things I had planned.
One thing that struck me as odd is seeing the large number of pedestrians all across the city who adhere to the walk, don’t walk lights at intersections. Several times during my visit I noticed people stop and wait for the light to change, even when no traffic was present. I haven’t seen that in DC or New York or Memphis or lots of other cities. Many places do not consistently enforce jaywalking laws. I don’t know whether most places even have a jaywalking ordinance on the books. It seemed odd to me. I found out later that fines can be up to $250, especially for repeat offenders.
That’s a huge incentive to keep from jaywalking. I wonder what percentage of San Francisco’s jaywalking citations are issued to visitors. If I hadn’t seen people stop and wait for the light to change, I would have crossed the street in a rote manner like I often do at home. In talking to a few people who are from San Francisco, there are jaywalkers, but people generally do adhere to the rules.
I’m sure it makes it safer for pedestrians.