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Letter: Jerks in Cars Need to Let Walkers Walk

by RestonNow.com — December 19, 2014 at 11:00 am 1,315 67 Comments

Cars waiting to get into Reston Station garages at 7:45 a.m. MondayThis is a letter from Joy Myers, Reston resident and Metro commuter.

I’m a “safety first” kind of gal. I don’t eat expired food, I wait for the “walky-guy” signal at crosswalks, and I always come to a full stop when I turn right on red.

Not that I don’t like adventure. I do take many risks, but I want to know that if I fall or fail, or if someone around me is hurt, it’s not because I’ve been careless or negligent.

The new Silver Line has been a game-changer for me. I hate to drive and I love to hike, so the mile to-and-from the Wiehle station has provided not only respite from 80 minutes of daily behind-the-wheel torture, but also taken 10 pounds off my curvy frame. Win-win, right? Wrong. Because every day, twice a day, I still have to deal with jerks in cars.

You know who you are. You are the driver who does not slow — much less stop — for pedestrians in the crosswalk on either side of the Wiehle/Sunrise Valley intersection. Some of you are turning right on to Wiehle Avenue from Sunrise Valley. Some of you are turning right on Sunrise Valley from Wiehle Avenue. No matter — you’re all jerks.

Here’s how it plays out: I’m walking to the intersection and I have the right-of-way. It’s cold –and lately, raining — and you, in your warm, dry car with your music blaring and the heat blasting, decide that your time and livelihood are more important than mine, so you just keep going. You see me. I know you see me. But you don’t care.

So I stand there on the corner, watching the lights change and the walky-guy disappear, and I begin to count the cars ignoring me. Yesterday morning, 12 of you sped by before one gentle soul stopped to let me cross to the intersection.

Look, I know you’re in a hurry. It’s Washington — we’re all in a hurry. And I know you may have forgotten about me because the boss is calling, or the kids are crying, or you’ve just spilled your coffee in your lap. But I’m here, I have the right-of-way, and it’s cold and wet, and I really just want to safely and legally cross the street.

Jerks, I challenge you to make a point today to stop and let someone cross. Just one person. That’s all I’m asking for. Count the number of seconds it takes them to walk in front of your car. I guarantee it’s less than 10. And in those 10 seconds you’ll find your redemption.

Thank you,

Joy

Photo: Reston Station Boulevard

  • Dexter Scott

    Calling people jerks is not the way to get them to do what you want.

  • IJ

    The county had a number of improvement projects scheduled for the Wiehle Ave metro station area. It should have included a change to the lights at the intersection that would give a red light for all traffic so that pedestrians could cross. That along with a no right on red signs would go a long way towards promoting walking to the metro. This is a problem that will not be going away given all of the future development that’s planned. Time for Kathy Hudgins to step up.

    • Adam Petersen

      I agree with most of what you said. The part I disagree with is the no right on red. That will greatly add to traffic congestion.

      • Dexter Scott

        In the mornings it is, effectively, “no right on green” — the traffic on Wiehle backs up massively because people can’t turn right because pedestrians are crossing Sunset Hills.

  • Charlotte Geary

    I am shocked at the number of times drivers have honked at me while I’m crossing the street legally, with the pedestrian light lit. It happens all the time, all over town. I think a lot of people honestly don’t realize that drivers don’t have right of way at crosswalks.

    • Adam Petersen

      I agree. Why do they shield cross walk signals from drivers? I have never understood why they put the shields on the sides of the cross walk signal. To make it even more visible to drivers they could have a signal on the light tree that indicates the time for pedestrians to cross, or have a blinking red that means no right on red while the pedestrians are allowed to cross.

    • HP

      Perhaps they were paying you a complement?

  • HP

    Park ‘n Ride…problem solved. Then, you’ll be one among the “jerks” and have a field day cutting off pedestrians. That’s what I call redemption.

  • JR

    Maybe I’m reading this wrong but you said “So I stand there on the corner, watching the lights change and the walky-guy disappear.” If the sign says don’t walk, you don’t have the right of way. Looking at the intersection on street view, Sunrise Valley WB has a continuous right turns with a signal. Are you saying drivers are treating it as right turn on red? The SB Whiele right turn looks like it could definitely be better though.

    • LesAnn620

      I think she means she’s just standing there waiting while she has the WALK/right of way because the cars turning right aren’t stopping long enough (or at all) to let her cross.

  • bobfv1

    Joy Myers, a little less name calling might go a long way. I am shocked by the seeming absence of traffic law enforcement in the area (I live near South Lakes). As a motorcycle rider, my leading risk factor is drivers who just fail to stop at stop signs – I mean they just roll right through. You are right, this puts pedestrians, bicyclist, motorcyclists, and others who are not sitting in a 2-3 ton vehicle at great risk, yet the FCPD seems to just not care. If FCPD would sandbag some red lights and stop signs in these high traffic areas we would all be much safer.

    • Adam Petersen

      I agree 100%. 40% of all accidents happen at intersections. Accidents involving pedestrians is much higher at intersections. Many fatal motorcycle accidents happen at intersections. You also see many illegal actions at intersections and bone headed moves like blocking intersections which add to traffic congestion. What you never see is police sitting at intersections writing tickets. They are more worried about writing a speeding ticket for doing 10 over the speed limit.

  • Juanita Neese Barnett

    Dexter, Joy calls them as she sees them. And, they ARE jerks anyway!

    • Mike M

      So there?

    • Dexter Scott

      Which, um, totally makes me want to do what she wants and be nice to pedestrians. (New policy: floor it and lay on the horn.)

  • Mike M

    Who named you Joy? Calling people “jerks” does what for your cause?

    Look, if you have the right of way, then either they are running a redlight or they are turning right. is that correct? That would be a systemic problem.

    I think the jerks are the local pols who were so desperate to get the Silver Line that they turned their heads away when consideration was asked for better pedestrian access to the station. Contact Ms Hudgins and Bulova and see what they can do for this problem. They approved it and have taken ample credit!

  • sgb

    I’ve seen signage near another Metro station in Fairfax County that says “No right turn on red when pedestrians are present” — we need that at all intersections within 1/2 mile or so of the Wiehle station! (Also need a high $ figure for the fine, shown on the sign, and enforcement — but a sign is a good first step.)

    • Adam Petersen

      Great suggestions

      • Mike M

        Mao used to say that a lot. Joe Stalin too.

  • Gavin

    I just like watching people turn right from Sunrise Valley onto Wiehle and run right through that bright red ARROW. It’s not right on red its there’s a red arrow. Red ARROW means no right turn. Sit and wait for green. Sucks but that’s the new traffic pattern.

    • Reston-ese-er-onian-ite-ican

      You are correct (http://www.dmv.state.va.us/webdoc/pdf/dmv39c.pdf), but considering the use of these lights isn’t all that pervasive, can you blame drivers for not knowing how to interpret it? It also doesn’t help that this is a state-specific flavor: “If you are traveling in another state, make sure you know its laws for right and left turns at red and red arrow lights.”

      A “NO TURN ON RED” sign would be more consistent with what people are accustomed to and it would be pretty unambiguous.

      • Driver

        Yes I can blame them and ticket them! If you have license you damn well should know red arrow means stop and do not turn. Likewise, green arrow does not mean stop and wave on the cold wet pedestrian. They need to wait on the island until the sign says walk and the arrow is red. Very simple people, if followed, nobody gets killed.

  • Paul

    I might use a much stronger word than “jerks.” I think Joy restrained herself.

    There is a broader theme here, I think. I noticed that people at the Wiehle-Reston East metro station also seemingly forget that you have to walk up the escalators on the left, and stand right. And people just move slower than in the city. I work in downtown DC — people stop and, most of the time, wait for pedestrians and cyclists to cross before proceeding through an intersection or making a right, as is the case on Sunset/Wiehle. It’s time to change gears from an suburban mentality to an urban one, at least around the metro station as the area develops.

    • Mike M

      So did Joy reach the right people? Did she change anyone’s mind from calling them jerks?

      First of all, the people to whom she refers probably don’t live in Reston. Secondly, I think she is venting for her own sake and not even intending to change any minds. Just to shake her finger at the “other.”

  • E Pluribus

    People in Reston travelling on Wiehle aren’t used to the new pedestrian traffic. But they better get used to it and learn how to yield.

  • KMK

    Any pedestrian who steps into a road crossing your path has the right of way over a car. You have to stop, regardless of the cross lights.

    • LesAnn620

      It actually depends on whether the pedestrian is still on the sidewalk or is in the roadway. If they’re already in the roadway, yes drivers have to stop. If they’re on the side of the street and decide to step into the roadway even when there is traffic coming the favor is to the car. Margaret, who commented shortly after you included pedestrian laws in her post:
      No pedestrian shall enter or cross an intersection in disregard of approaching traffic.

      So if you decide that you’re just going to walk across the street without looking to see if a car is coming, and there’s no traffic control device, the car is on the right side of the law.

      • KMK

        Yes, my point is that if they inadvertently step into the road, and didn’t see the cross signal had stopped or changed, the driver is still obligated to stop. Always.

        • LesAnn620

          Not what the police told me. (I moved here from Michigan where pedestrians always have the right of way no matter what. I asked a police officer friend one day after moving here who has the right of way because where I grew up the law was X but here I’m confused. That’s what I was told.)

        • LesAnn620

          Also, this is from Fairfax County’s own website:

          http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/fcdot/pedestrian/pedfaq.htm

          What are a pedestrian’s legal rights when using crosswalks?

          In Virginia, a pedestrian has the right of way if they are not crossing *in disregard of oncoming traffic* when they are in a crosswalk, or if they are crossing at an unmarked crosswalk on a road that is 35 miles per hour or less. At a traffic signal, a pedestrian must obey the traffic signal. If a pedestrian is crossing and did not disregard oncoming vehicles, a driver that approaches must yield and allow the pedestrian to safely cross the street. Multi-lane roads present a dangerous situation for pedestrians in the crosswalk. A vehicle in one lane may stop for the pedestrian in the crosswalk while another vehicle in the adjacent lane is blocked from seeing that there is a pedestrian in the crosswalk.

          • KMK

            Yes, and I’m telling you that is the law that they have to right as jay walking is obviously illegal. But you can not willingly hit someone with your car because they made a mistake. If they’re in the road, you have to stop.

          • LesAnn620

            Duh. No one would intentionally kill someone just because of this. But if someone does it accidentally the driver is likely not getting charged with anything.

        • Guest

          Uh. Duh.

      • KMK

        And did you think it was ok to plow down a pedestrian with using the Traffic light was on my side defense? Think again. Pedestrians always have right of way over a moving vehicle in a roadway. Stop.

    • Mike M

      You are 100% wrong on this. This mentality is THE PROBLEM! Pedestrians have been killed in Reston crossing roads and no charges have been filed because they were in the wrong. In fact, I am not aware of any charges for pedestrians strikes except hit and run.

      • TheTruth

        You’re 100% wrong, and you’re the problem-Car has to yield to a pedestrian IN the road. If they’re waiting to go and don’t have a signal your car has the right of way, but this person is suggesting, once they’re IN the road..read more, react less.

        • Mike M

          I don’t recall striking a pedestrian. I do recall pedestrians being hit without charges being filed. You are the problem if you thinking hopping in front of a car gives you legal rights at the expense of safety issues.

          • TheTruth

            I’m just saying to look out for people in the road, which is the whole point of this article. Don’t willingly plow people over, because you think you have the right of way in your car. Try to be a decent person, if that’s possible, for you-probably not.

          • Mike M

            The whole point of the article was “I am angry at behavior that I perceive as unsafe, so those OTHERS are jerks.”

            In all my years driving around Reston, I don’t recall “plowing” anyone over. I’ll check my grill and undercarriage.

            So, if I disagree with you, I am not a decent person. There’s a theme in all this. It’s a theme of presumed moral superiority and a profound disregard for the true mechanics behind real, and not imagined or simply longed-for safety. There is also an implicit failure to recognize the importance of personal responsibility. Bottom line is this: Your orb of self-righteousness will not protect you from anything on this good earth.

            Peace and Joy, brother.

  • Margaret E.

    I’ve experienced the same around Reston – especially the cross-streets of the W&OD. After a frustrating walk one morning, I took a moment to look up the VA Code – see below. In section B, it does appear that if a cross-walk is regulated by a “traffic control device” i.e. The Walky Guy…than we, as pedestrians need to obey and not cross the street when Don’t Walk appears. Better to be safe than sorry around here.

    § 46.2-924. Drivers to stop for pedestrians; installation of certain signs; penalty.

    A. The driver of any vehicle on a highway shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian crossing such highway:

    1. At any clearly marked crosswalk, whether at mid-block or at the end of any block;

    2. At any regular pedestrian crossing included in the prolongation of the lateral boundary lines of the adjacent sidewalk at the end of a block;

    3. At any intersection when the driver is approaching on a highway or street where the legal maximum speed does not exceed 35 miles per hour.

    B. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection A, at intersections or crosswalks where the movement of traffic is being regulated by law-enforcement officers or traffic control devices, the driver shall yield according to the direction of the law-enforcement officer or device.

    No pedestrian shall enter or cross an intersection in disregard of approaching traffic.

    The drivers of vehicles entering, crossing, or turning at intersections shall change their course, slow down, or stop if necessary to permit pedestrians to cross such intersections safely and expeditiously.

    Pedestrians crossing highways at intersections shall at all times have the right-of-way over vehicles making turns into the highways being crossed by the pedestrians.

    • clambj

      I agree about the W&O trails crossings. I routinely stop to let people cross on Sunrise only to get honked at or have drivers move to the other lane and blow right through.

      • Mike M

        You are not supposed to stop, clamb. This problem has become so serious it is simply a matter of time before someone gets killed and I think someone already got comatose shortly before the 4th of July in 2013. It is so bad now, that people jam on their brakes and wave on the bikes coming down the trail. The bikes and pedestrians are supposed to stop. They have a stop sign. You are not supposed to stop at a four-lane road and wave them on. A few Sundays ago someone going east in the far right lane stopped to wave on all comers off the trail. An recumbent bicyclist going south rode out past the stop sign i front of an SUV ad then stopped. The SUV slammed on it’s brakes and almost clobbered the guy. The bicyclist just stared in disbelief that his right to run a stop sign had almost been violated by the laws of physics.

        • Driver

          Mike,
          I really wish you would go speak with a traffic cop and quit spreading false information before you get somebody killed. As clamb said, you must stop when a pedestrian is stopped and waiting to cross at an uncontrolled cross walk, you will not find these on roads with speed limits over 35 mph which is why it is safe for vehicles obeying the speed limit to stop to allow pedestrians to cross.

          We all need to ensure everyone is aware of traffic patterns around the metro; most importantly, obey the walking signs and traffic lights. Pedestrians do not have the right away when it says don’t walk, the turn lane crossing walks and lights are not in synch with the main crossing walk and lights. This is to allow rights turns so traffic does not back up. Those cars have a green right turn arrow, so obey the signals. Pedestrians need to wait on the island that separate the turning lane from the rest of traffic and cars should not be stopping on a green arrow to allow pedestrian to cross}

          • Mike M

            You are not really responding to what was said. I have consulted the police on this because I live near the intersection and they are ambivalent. The law of Virginia is ambiguous. The laws of physics are not. If the peds run the stop sign, as they often do sometimes waved on by smugly self-righteous drivers, they run the risk of losing their lives. No one should stop at 35 mph for people approaching the crosswalk. If you want to do so and lure a ped into a four lane road, you’d best be sure you are not increasing risks to everyone. The only time I saw police react to the conflicts at this intersection, was when a cruiser patrol saw a speed biker run the stop sign. They chased him down.

          • Driver

            “you must stop when a pedestrian is stopped and waiting to cross at an uncontrolled cross walk”. I said nothing about peds running the stop sign, I said stopped. Your comment “don’t stop unless peds are in the cross walk,” is wrong and in violation of law. I hope one day you will receive a ticket for violating that law. And I’m glad the police ticketed the cyclist for also violating the law. Cyclists would actually not be able to cross Hunter Mill during rush hour without this law, usually one out of 20 or so cars will stop and allow them to cross.

        • Neville

          Who has right of way? Generally the pedestrian/bicycle rider has right-of-way at crosswalks, but the law also imposes a major responsibility on the crosswalk user not to hazard himself by entering in front of traffic too close to stop. Since Virginia is a contributory negligence state, if a pedestrian is hit, he may have real problems collecting civil damages in proving that he followed that part of the law. Please read more on contributory negligence if that phrase does not alarm you in this context. To repeat, a pedestrian in the hospital with severe injuries MAY have to pay for all his own medical expenses if he is hit, and the driver may have to pay for a new fender. My opinion is not important here, though. What matters is what judges have written.

          At a crosswalk Virginia courts have held “the pedestrian has a superior right — that is, the right to cross from one side of the street to the other in preference or priority over vehicles — and drivers of vehicles must respect this right and yield the right of way to the pedestrian. The pedestrian’s right of way extends from one side of the street to the other. It does not begin at any particular point in the intersection nor does it end at any particular point. It begins on one side of the street and extends until the pedestrian has negotiated the crossing.” (Marshall v. Shaw. Supreme Court of Virginia, 1955) (http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=2476417758289562501&hl=en&as_sdt=2&as_vis=1&oi=scholarr)

          “The duty of a motor vehicle driver on approaching an intersection is to keep a vigilant lookout for pedestrians between curbs on the traveled portion of the highway, andwhen pedestrians are negotiating the crossing, or about to step from the side into traffic lanes, to operate his car at such speed and under such control that he can readily turn one way or the other, and, if necessary, bring his machine to a stop in time to avoid injury to pedestrians.” (Sawyer v. Blankenship, Supreme Court of Virginia, 1933) (http://va.findacase.com/research/wfrmDocViewer.aspx/xq/fac.19330615_0040113.VA.htm/qx)

          “At intersecting streets where there are neither traffic lights nor traffic officers, the pedestrian has a superior right — that is, the right to cross from one side of the street to the other in preference or priority over vehicles — and drivers of vehicles must respect this right and yield the right of way to the pedestrian. The pedestrian’s right of way extends from one side of the street to the other. It does not begin at any particular point in the intersection nor does it end at any particular point. It begins on one side of the street and extends until the pedestrian has negotiated the crossing.” (Lucas v. Craft, Virginia Supreme Court, 1933)
          (http://va.findacase.com/research/wfrmDocViewer.aspx/xq/fac.19330921_0040039.VA.htm/qx)

          Social norms prevent someone pushing their shopping cart in front of a frail older lady in a grocery checkout line, in full knowledge that if she fell she would possibly break bones. Current driving social norms do seem to permit a driver to bully that same pedestrian at a crosswalk. Calling motorists bullies is nothing new. Questions of who had right of way and right to use the streets and highways were only a little easier when everything moved at a walking pace. The next quotation is now only of historical interest, before pedestrians were pushed from the streets in exchange for priority at regularized crossings like crosswalks, but a 1919 Virginia Supreme Court ruling held:

          “The pedestrian and the automobile have equal rights upon the highway, but their capacity for inflicting injury is vastly disproportioned. It follows also from this that the driver of an automobile cannot be said to be using the highway within his rights, or to be in the exercise of due care, if he takes advantage of the force, weight, and power of his machine as a means of compelling pedestrians to yield to his machine superior rights upon the public highway designed for the use of all members of the public upon equal terms. . . . If there is anything in the argument of priority, man was created before the automobile, and, to paraphrase a quotation from Holy Writ,man was not created for the automobile, but the automobile was created for man.” http://archive.org/stream/jstor-1106472/1106472#page/n1/mode/2up

          For a driver who has not completely forgotten high school driver’s education, a crosswalk SHOULD be all he needs to see to know that he has to yield or stop for a pedestrian or bicyclist at that crosswalk. Virginia Code and Virginia court decisions for the last 80 years firmly support pedestrians and bicycle riders’ priority “at” crosswalks. Certainly a wishful driver may prefer that motorized vehicles had precedence over an individual wanting to cross at an crosswalk without a signal, but such a driver is being a bully and using sheet metal to intimidate, and probably acts knowing that there are few tickets handed out to those who ignore crosswalks, and perhaps knowing that a pedestrian has limited legal recourse if that pedestrian hazards himself by being hit at all.

          • Mike M

            Your case law is wickedly out-of-date and numb to context. The intersection of the WO&D at Sunrise Valley is the case in point. Speed limit is 35 and there are four lanes of divided drive. Pedestrians who do not stop at stop signs at major crossings will, as you note be found negligent, if not dead. No driver should ever stop for pedestrians approaching the cross walk. The peds have a stop sign. Now we have drivers stopping suddenly to even see if there are peds possibly approaching Reckless! They do it to get a rush of smug self-righteousness, ignoring the danger of luring the peds and to the other drivers. Shameful.

          • Neville

            Thank you for your opinion. It is a very healthy reminder that there are individuals in Virginia who INTENTIONALLY do NOT value crosswalks. Pedestrians beware: some drivers may know they have to yield to you at crosswalks, some are daydreaming, and others are fully convinced laws of physics are preeminent. Self-driving cars can’t arrive soon enough.

            I would summarize your opinion as “might makes right, I paid lots of money for my car, and I want to drive it like in the car commercials.” My opinion is that for the last 80 years cars have had priority in the roads as pedestrian moved to the side of the road. In exchange, pedestrians gained priority at intersections and crosswalks. Again, our opinions are worth absolutely nothing to law enforcement compared to a Virginia Supreme Court ruling, like: Marshall v. Shaw. Supreme Court of Virginia, 1955; http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=2476417758289562501&hl=en&as_sdt=6&as_vis=1&oi=scholarr ; Sawyer v. Blankenship, Supreme Court of Virginia, 1933, http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=1308369487245637909&hl=en&as_sdt=6&as_vis=1&oi=scholarr ; or Lucas v. Craft, Virginia Supreme Court, 1933,
            http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=11015068700312823320&hl=en&as_sdt=6&as_vis=1&oi=scholarr .

            So you want to overturn 80 years of transportation legal history about crosswalk right of way? Please cite newer Virginia case law which explains how drivers do not have to follow laws from the last century. I would welcome the chance to expand my knowledge.

            I also think you are misinterpreting the meaning of those little stop signs facing trails as giving you magical priority. It is very understandable, since drivers on priority roads see hundreds of car drivers waiting patiently behind stop signs on side roads; however, you as a driver need to focus on the crosswalk markings. A pedestrian/bicyclist “at” a crosswalk is the same as a stop or yield sign to you as a driver.

          • Mike M

            Your ability to summarize opinions is . . . well. . . you don’t have that ability. It’s not about the law. It’s about safety.

        • clambj

          You are supposed to stop if they are in the cross walk, which is what I do, but it seems that nobody else bothers. There are signs clearly posted that you must stop. It’s the law. So save your rant for someone else.

          • Mike M

            My comment was for you. Yes. Stop when there is a human IN THE CROSSWALK. Do not stop when they are approaching it. Dangerous for them and the other drivers.

        • pmruiz

          Mike, I’m seriously worried that you think it’s okay for motorists to hit pedestrians when they see them in the crosswalks — simply on the basis of your belief in the right of way under these circumstances. That kind of thinking is dangerous: it is NEVER okay to hit pedestrians. ever.

          Look, you’re entering a high-pedestrian area. It’s not Disney’s Autopia in Reston — it’s an urbanizing area with all sorts of traffic patterns and transportation modes.

          • Mike M

            Actually, you don’t seriously believe that at all. You’re just being a drama queen. You haven’t read what I wrote. My point is pretty plain. Pedestrians shouldn’t walk in front of moving cars. There is some personal responsibility involved on both sides. But consider this drama queen: The pedestrian strikes in Reston have been almost entirely due to pedestrians crossing when and where they shouldn’t. And look back at the comments. There is definitely a trending theme that implies that the law is on the side of pedestrians no mater what, so they are entitled and drivers are not. Therein lies the true danger. As I have said, laws don’t trump physics.

            I am a pedestrian too. I use my head. And I have rarely seen the behaviors described here. I see more bad behavior from bicyclists than anyone else.

        • Reston-ese-er-onian-ite-ican

          I’m going to have to side with Mike here. Those saying “BUT, THERE ARE RULES!” or hoping for the best in people are in for a rude awakening. Stopping and waving people to cross isn’t going to be safe when there is no consensus in the other 3 lanes.

          Traffic here is only going to get heavier. 35 mph limits or not, if safety is really a concern then add EXPLICIT signals.

      • clambj

        “Now we have drivers stopping suddenly to even see if there are peds possibly approaching Reckless! They do it to get a rush of smug self-righteousness, ignoring the danger of luring the peds and to the other drivers. Shameful.”
        What’s funny Mike is that you never read what people write. You have your own pre-conceived comments ready to go no matter. No one, and neither did I, ever say that they stop for people making their way down the paths and approaching the crosswalk. All I said is that I stop for people trying to cross, but they can’t because people don’t obey the law which is clearly posted (on a large sign) stating that they must stop and YIELD, subject to fines if they don’t. How did you even get to the comment above? I never wrote that. You need to see someone to help exercise your demons.

  • clambj

    This is the intersection with the green right turn arrow is it not? If so, then if the light is green pedestrians should not have a walk signal. Otherwise, someone messed up because that’s a dangerous traffic situation. Calling people “jerks” for going when they have a green light seems a little much. Walk on the green, not in between.

    • JohnJamesIII

      There’s a green light to turn right at SouthLakes and Reston Parkway and a crosswalk with a walk signal that don’t match, I can attest to. If you’re not paying attention, you could hit someone..

      • Walker

        At weihle, it matches, it’s just not in synch with the main cross walk, you have to wait on the island.

      • clambj

        I drove by there this weekend. It is impossible for a driver to see the crossing signal due to the metal blinder on the side of the sign. If people are getting a walk signal on a dedicated turn light then the county needs to fix that pronto. That should not happen.

  • Chuck Morningwood

    I worked in the city and I live in the ‘burbs. City drivers seem to be more aware and quicker to yield to pedestrians. ‘Burb drivers tend to act as if their car always has the right of way.

    Get a hint, car drivers. Where there’s an uncontrolled crosswalk, pedestrians ALWAYS have the right of way. If you see somebody who’s about to step out into the street, you must YIELD to them. If you doubt this, ask a cop.

    At controlled crosswalks, pedestrians must wait for the walk signal. Pedestrians only have the right of way when the walk signal is LIT.

    Lastly, in the car-pedestrian physics contest, the pedestrian always gets to ride in the ambulance. You might legally be in the right, but you’re still going to be very hurt if you push your luck. For that reason, car drivers should always be willing to yield even when they have the right of way.

    (Both are generalizations, so…)

  • vdiv

    I have done this and I have felt like a jerk — I’m sorry.

    The op has a point, even if it is not elaborated to our likings.

  • Charlotte Geary

    Wow, la la land, huh? I’m not sure how you feel justified in your insults and assumptions, but you are incorrect. Obviously I stop and wait for the pedestrian light before crossing the street. And to make this into a political argument is comically irrelevant.

    • Mike M

      There is definitely a political undertone. There are those who think the law of man ever stopped anything and could possibly trump the laws of physics. The same ilk tend to love to call names and shake their righteous finger at their fellow man. I am glad you wait. That was not clear. I assume your problem is with right turns. Not clear.

    • Rob

      Mike M. turns everything into political arguments – it’s part of being a professional troll with too much time on his hands.

  • Sam

    I think it helps if you look directly at the driver. Also, able bodied people should cross as quickly as safely possible. People meandering with a cell phone are incredibly annoying (not saying OP does this).

  • YL

    There was a recent survey on this site about whether people feel unsafe in Reston due to the recent increase in crime. I have long felt unsafe in Reston as a pedestrian and have nearly been run down by cars at least three times around the town center. One time I was with my 4 year old son and both of us were nearly hit. Now whenever I have my kids with me I hold their hand very tight and make sure there are no cars anywhere near before stepping into the crosswalk.

    Sometimes I take morning jogs in different areas of the region and I was blown away when jogging through a poorer DC suburb when cars stopped for me and people said good morning to me.

    Before the metro came I was once waiting for the bus along Sunrise Valley watching cars that were going to turn right onto Wiehle, and people not looking at their cellphones while waiting to make the turn or making the turn were in the minority. I think this intersection is particularly dangerous because it’s very crowded when it’s still dark out and if it’s raining and dark or there’s glare from the sun it is very hard to see people crossing the street.

  • Dave…

    Well duh. This area is the capital of self-absorbed “my time is more valuable than everyone elses” “im better than everyone else” a-holes. Im sure people like joy (not picking on her directly, but trying to make a point) think they have the right-of-way while on foot, but then while in their audi honk at pedestrians when they are late to pick up their “gifted” kids. The same people who walk through the door like royalty when you hold it open for them and dont acknowledge your existence, the ones who almost run into you with their shopping cart without saying excuse me, who “accidentally” cut in front of you at the self-checkout line. That is nova for you. Its more than a pedestrvs driver problem…

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