Respect the Pedestrian

Exciting news! There seems to be some campaign in place to stop people from getting hit by cars.

The crosswalks on Av. Nove de Julho are now populated with people holding the above banners. When it’s time for pedestrians to cross, these guardian angels throw their banners in front of the stopped cars while people cross the street. Good deal.

Here’s the only flaw in the plan. I’ve never seen someone almost get run down on Nove de Julho. Crosswalks are well marked, traffic lights can be seen from all angles, and there are pedestrian signals. Just the opposite, I’ve seen pedestrians test fate on Nove de Julho and attempt to beat the oncoming traffic when it is NOT their turn to go.

How about sending these banners deeper into the neighborhood where there are NO pedestrian signals, where it’s impossible to see if the traffic light has changed as you are crossing the road, and where I’ve both experienced (as a pedestrian) and witnessed cars perform the act of totally disregarding any traffic direction and nearly running down innocent pedestrians?

They would plant themselves there, but, you know, it’s a little too dangerous. I mean, who wants to get hit by a car?

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12 Responses to Respect the Pedestrian

  1. workmomad says:

    Baby steps, baby steps!

  2. Danielle says:

    The pedestrians are worse than the drivers — crossing the street whenever and wherever they feel like it. Lawlessness!

  3. Ray says:

    Dear B.A.B,

    The biggest and growing problem in Sao Paulo in recent years and what generated this whole campaign are the darn “MOTORCYCLES”, they hit more people and get in more accidents than anyone in the city.
    Imagine this very common scenario ” Cars are all stopped at the traffic light, pedestrians are crossing the WIDE avenues at their correct “pedestrian green lights”, the traffic light turns green for cars, but some pedestrians are still finishing to cross the last portions of the double wide lanes, on the other hand you have motorcycles cruising in regular speed in between the cars, they see the traffic light green from far away and don’t reduce their speed. Cars already stopped at the red light see those last pedestrians finishing to cross those wide lanes, but the motorcycles crusing at regular speeds don’t, BAMMMM! Someone is hit, and pedestrians are hit very often this way, motorcycle drivers get hurt and pedestrians get hurt like this more often than any other form of accident in the city.
    Motorcycles have became a real pest in the city in late years, too many of them all over the place, not a good combination.


    • They are the worst! I had to learn, when traffic is stopped, I cannot simply cross the street – I must go at the intersection because those motorcycles will shoot through the cars and you don’t even hear the coming! I almost got knocked out a couple times.

  4. Ray says:

    There are several attemps to stop this motorcycle maihem from going on, the city just passed a law a couple weeks ago blocking PIZZA places and other food delivery business from offering those promotions that promisse your food to be delivered in “30 minutes or it’s free”, you know, the one started by Domino’s in the US sometime in the 90’s, yeap, it’s illegal to offer that now. They found out a ton of the motorcycle accidents was due to Food delivery services trying to rush deliveries to avoid having to give the food for free.
    The city is also creating “exclusive” motorcycle lanes and trying to pass a law making it illegal for motorcycles to cruise between the lanes of traffic, they will have to sit behind cars and wait like everyone else, and help preserve our sanity while doing so… 🙂


  5. Ray says:

    My brother got hit by a motorcycle in that exact way, he was dragged on the asphalt for over 100 feet, it was an ugly site. One broken tooth, 15 days in the Hospital and might not be able to have children ever again… 😦

  6. Ray says:

    The motorcycle driver never saw him, my brother was crossing 10 lanes of traffic, 5 each way, he was crossing at the proper pedestrian crossing lanes at the green for pedestrians sign, but when he was almost done, the other cars saw him and waited but the motorcycle was driving in between the cars at normal cruising speed saw the traffic light opening up for cars and never even reduced the speed… The good news is that my brother has fully recovered now, with the exception of the having babies situation…that is still an ongoing drama.
    You can never be too careful when crossing streets and avenues in a big city, you don’t know how many awful accidents I have witnessed in New York city, it’s complete mayhem, well, you actually do have an idea of what I am talking about… 😉


  7. Yes, in NYC it was dangerous too, especially if you didn’t move very fast – like the elderly. But at least we didn’t have the crazy motorcycle guys. You are so right, they are so dangerous. My husband mention that fatality rate for the motor guys is very high because they take so many risks.
    I hope your brother recovers fully soon.

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