Urbanphoto’s Chris Dewolf takes on the utility and silliness of jaywalking laws.
Jaywalking, after all, is a necessarily interactive process. It forces drivers and pedestrians to acknowledge each other, making them more conscious of the other’s presence. It’s probably pretty safe to say that drivers on streets like Ste-Catherine in Montreal become more cautious when they know there’s a high possibility of someone wading out into traffic. On streets with few pedestrians, on the other hand, or one-way roads engineered for maximum traffic flow, drivers speed up and become lazy, making the few who dare to jaywalk far more vulnerable. Jaywalkers, basically, put drivers in their place, reminding them that the city isn’t their own personal speedway.