Pedestrians should be fair game if they're crossing outside the crosswalk!

In practice it is a fantasy in Oregon. You step off a curb anywhere in Portland and the traffic just whizzes by. I had 23 cars go by without even slowing down, then I saw a police car approaching. “Aha!” I said to myself, “At least someone is going to get a ticket”.
The police car just zips by me.
In fact I can’t recall seeing any police stopping to let people cross, let alone handing out tickets to others. The “No Smoking At Bus Stops” signs are better regulated.

So if you block my crosswalk while i am legally crossing the street, I can pull out my 44 magnum and blow you away. Sweet.

Yes, going after those “dangerous pedestrians, threatening cars with their own frail bodies” seems to be much more common than actively enforcing those few laws that are supposed to favor pedestrians.

Line of cars zipping through a crosswalk as a pedestrian makes to enter in a locality where doing so is supposed to confer right of way? No problem. Lone pedestrian crossing a street outside of a crosswalk during a gap in traffic, threatening no one and in no way interfering with the passage of vehicular traffic? Write 'em up!

I’m not so sure. At least when there are substantial amounts of traffic, I suspect a world where there are clearly defined traffic laws and everyone follows those laws is preferable to a world where there are no traffic laws and everyone just tries to behave safely.

Not so much an absence of laws, but there have been some experiments with removal of signage and postings at certain intersections, predicated on the idea that the strangeness/ambiguity of the situation causes people to proceed more cautiously.

Vox did a short video on the subject. Road signs suck. What if we got rid of them all?

Spoiler alert: apparently it works great, unless you have a disability that impairs your ability to cross and/or be seen by traffic.

What I meant was that a lot of aggressive behaviour on the road is rooted in the notion ‘I have right of way here’ and people behave quite unsafely in their assertion of their right of way, and also in reaction to when someone else violates their right of way.

For example, on dashcam footage you very often see things like this:
Someone switches lane right in front of the dashcam driver (sure, they shouldn’t have done it)
The dashcam driver is at first surprised, but soon after, offended and as a result of being offended, does something unsafe - such as accelerating to tailgate and honk at the other driver, or overtake to shout abuse sideways.

If I need to catch a bus near my home my choice is either to go across the street to the bus stop, or walk five blocks to the nearest crosswalk.

Sounds like we may be unique based on the posts above, but Hawaii has numerous laws regarding pedestrian and driver rules that cover the majority of circumstances. https://hidot.hawaii.gov/highways/safe-communites/walkwisehawaii/faq/ I have to know the driver rules for the right to drive and non-idiotic pedestrians know or use common sense when crossing the read.

BTW, Yes, I don’t always follow all the driving laws to the tee, but I always use the crosswalk and stay in the crosswalk when there is one, even if it means walking another block to get to it.

In “Adam Ruins Everything” (Netflix, TruTV), they did an episode that addressed “jaywalking” and the battle between pedestrians and autos.

Basically, before autos, everyone walked in roads willy nilly. People knew to look out for street cars and horse carriages, but it was all a big mis-mash. One can find ancient films on Youtube showing street scenes for examples. Once autos came along, they were a danger, and eventually the manufacturers and AAA got legislatures to impose rules on pedestrians. And here we are!

Adam Ruins Cars
Season 1 | Ep 3
Adam dives into the much-beloved auto industry and exposes the surprising truths behind car dealerships, and the fact that the concept of “jaywalking” was created by auto manufacturers to blame pedestrians for car crashes.

Since I’ve become car-less and walk almost everywhere, I’ve become aware of how many a-hole drivers are out there resenting my use of the crosswalk (at a near-jog) when dammit, they’re in a hurry. It’d be great if people turning right would pay attention.

Y’all have at least a ton of metal around you. All I’ve got is my clothing.

For heaven’s sake, don’t be running into the cross walk as that’s a good way to get killed. You must remember from your driving days, a right turning driver must also be looking left for cars coming. While that driver must respect your “right” you don’t want to be ‘dead right’.

And yet pedestrians think that a ton of metal moving at 30mph will instantly be able to stop as soon as they step off the curb!

My anger and frustration is certainly fueled by the fact that I was hit very lightly by a car because I unknowingly crossed against a light (I was in grade school and thankfully suffered just a few scratches and a huge bruise on my thigh). And having worked on a coning crew where I was sometimes left standing on the double solid line on the road with cars zipping along 50mph on both sides.

Been there, done that. Pedestrians, you vs a car. Car ALWAYS wins!

So being Goth & only dressing in black (at night) is now considered a disability?

Which is why pedestrians who enjoy living cross midblock (where cars are coming from one or two directions), and are looking where you will be walking) rather than going to intersections where cars may be coming from multiple directions and looking everywhere but where the pedestrian is.

Even if the cars have a green light?

Accused: “Yes, your honor, I did run over that pedestrian, but the light was green!”

Judge: “Well, that changes everything! Case dismissed!”

As a child you were assaulted by a vehicle, and yet now you identify with your attacker? Hmmm…

Tell that to the literally hundreds of drivers in Hillsboro and Beaverton and on SE Division and Powell who got nailed to the floor by sting operations. Since then it’s been much less wild west out here in SE anyway. The city also put in a shitload of very nice crosswalks with buttons to turn on flashy lights and islands in the middle of the streets to help protect steppers–this has helped tremendously. I may or may not see the person dressed all in black and dark grey sneaking off the curb behind a parked car to leap out at me while I’m driving but I sure can’t miss the flashy lights. I live off SE 122nd and there used to be almost no crosswalks except those at traffic light intersections and now there are at least ten between Foster and Marine Blvd and it’s ever so much less crazy making. Division, Powell and Foster have likewise gotten the road diet/crosswalk treatment along with a big downward change in speed limits. I can’t help but applaud these measures even if it does make my drive a little longer. Foster was a goddamned GTA nightmare before they fixed it.

I wouldn’t hit anybody if I could avoid it but if I’m heading towards a green light and a pedestrian steps off the curb inside my stopping distance I’m not sure how you could hold me responsible.

Attacker? The driver? Absolutely not!.

At the time, I insisted that I had the crossing light, but thinking about it even back then, I was wrong even if I did have the right of way. I saw the crossing signal, turned to talk to my friend then stepped off the curb without looking. I don’t know if the car was stopped when I first looked at the light or not. Again, I was wrong because I didn’t fulfill my responsibility of double checking if the right of way was still mine and not checking for any vehicle movement.