I'm at a street corner, about to walk across it, using the clearly identified crosswalk. It's a four way stop, and there are cars approaching from a few different ways but none are already stopped and waiting to go. I start walking across the street. One of the cars slides through the stop sign, guns it, then has to stop mid-way in the intersection so that I can continue crossing. A police officer then pulls up and tells me I need to wait to cross streets until every car from every direction has gone through. Say what? If I follow that rule, it could take me hours to cross one little side street!
Let's see here... I'm quite familiar with the laws of the road, having taken and passed an Illinois driving test recently, but to be sure, let's review the Secretary of State's driving handbook:
A driver must come to a complete stop (and yield):
• When a pedestrian is in a marked crosswalk.
• When a pedestrian is in an unmarked crosswalk on the driver’s side of the road and there are no traffic control signals.
• When making a turn at any intersection.
• When making a lawful turn on a red light after coming to a complete stop.
• After coming to a complete stop at a stop sign or flashing red signal at an intersection.
• When a pedestrian enters a crosswalk before the traffic light changed.
• When a pedestrian is walking with a green light, to a walking person symbol or a walk signal.
• When a pedestrian is leaving or entering a street or highway from an alley, building, private road or driveway.
Clearly, the car was in the wrong. I know how to cross a street properly and I'm quite surprised that a police officer would take the time to stop ME, when all I did was follow the rules and almost get run over! Shouldn't people, especially those in positions of power, be trying to make their city more walker friendly?
As much as I love Chicago, there are SO many things backwards about it. This is just a silly, small example, but I can think of a hundred more. I should start a series of blog posts titled "What's Wrong with Chicago". Next week's post? The lack of recycling. It's disgusting.