Jaywalking is a thing everyone has done at least once in their lives.
In almost every major city in California, it’s so ubiquitous, you almost always expect it from anyone who even LOOKS like they want to cross.
And it might get a green light from the California state government.
According to KRON4, a new bill would decriminalize jaywalking for good.
Assemblyman Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), who authored the bill, explains in a press release:
Safely crossing the street should not be a criminal offense.
Why was Jaywalking Illegal?
Prior to Jaywalking laws becoming the norm, pedestrians, motor vehicles, carriages, bicyclists, and trams all shared the road.
As cars became increasingly more common on the roadways, and accidents involving pedestrians became more prevalent, vehicle lobbyists fought to make roadways exclusively for cars.
Current Jaywalking Laws
Jaywalking is considered an infraction, with fines up to $186 (if you’re caught).
As Assemblyman Ting explains in his press release, the law hasn’t always been applied equally:
A jaywalking ticket can turn into a potentially life-threatening police encounter, especially for Black people, who are disproportionately targeted and suffer the most severe consequences of inequitable law enforcement.
The law has already passed the state legislature.
Now, it awaits final approval on Governor Gavin Newsom’s desk.
Assemblyman Ting says he hopes the new law reconsiders the way law enforcement interacts with pedestrians.
In addition, we should be encouraging people to get out of their cars and walk for health and environmental reasons.
In the midst of the 2020 pandemic, Al Fresco-style dining became far more prevalent.
San Pedro Square famously shut-down traffic on San Pedro between Santa Clara and St. John streets.
And as these types of closures continue to become permanent fixtures…
Downtown is going to become increasingly walkable!