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RANTS: Cars stopped in the crosswalk are driving us bonkers in NYC this week

By David Cote
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i just spent half an hour googling “law prohibiting cars stopping in the crosswalk on a red light” and variations thereof, and I couldn’t find the statute declaring this behavior illegal. Yet I know in my heart that it is against the law—and I know for certain that it is immoral, disgusting and possibly fatal.

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Taxi drivers, I don’t care if you’re at the end of a double shift: Do not brake your car partially in the intersection, blocking those of us trying to cross in front of you. Yo, SUV-driving dude with New Jersey plates: Do not idle your tank in the clearly demarcated zone where non-planet-destroying citizens are trying to perambulate from point A to point B. Delivery truck person: You can thread that monster through the West Village’s dainty warrens, but you can’t obey basic rules of the road that say you stop and we cross? All of you deserve a fat fine.

“What’s the big deal?” you may ask. It’s true that getting around this city is a constant test of nerves and foot-eye coordination: one must dodge nonsensically swerving tourists, weave through gauntlets of counterfeit-item peddlers and leap across avenues with the grace of a gazelle. But the crosswalk is a sacred space, one that should never be violated. No excuses! Last year the city reported 133 pedestrian deaths in traffic accidents. Some percentage of those have to do with crosswalk obstruction. When you pause your vehicle in the crosswalk, we pedestrians have one of two options: go around you—into the street, where there’s a danger of being hit—or jump the hell up on your hood, squat down facing the windshield and scream “Fuuuck you!” One of these days, I swear I’ll do the latter.

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