Sunday Video: Should “Jaywalking” Be Legal?


Dave Amos explains how automobile interests fought against pedestrian rights by concocting “jaywalking”. He also argues that “jaywalking” should be legal.

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Stephen is an urban planner with a passion for promoting sustainable, livable, and diverse cities. He advocates for smart policies, regulations, and implementation programs that enhance urban environments by committing to quality design, accommodating growth, providing a diversity of housing choices, and adequately providing public services. Stephen primarily writes about land use and transportation issues.


  1. No more Jaywalking laws, no more Jaywalking tickets~ how do does that not lead to more pedestrian injuries and deaths? What ever happened to Vision Zero?

  2. Jaywalking tickets should be reserved for only the most egregious cases, like somebody jumping out in the street in front of a moving car, as a form of suicide.

    Routine mid-block crossings when there are no cars, or when all cars are stopping at a red light on the next block, does not do anybody any harm, and should be allowed.

    • If the police don’t enforce something like jaywalking then it is effectively allowed. Just remember the law on jaywalking is to protect the pedestrian from getting hit by a car, which risks serious injury and death. So be sure to look both ways when jaywalking. You won’t get a ticket but you might get killed.

  3. When was the last time SPD cited someone for jaywalking? I sometimes jaywalk, but when I choose to follow the signals and use crosswalks it is because I don’t want to get hit by a car. I never jaywalk on busy arterials because a pedestrian is going to come out the worse in a collision with a car.

    Where I do think jaywalking should be enforced is in dedicated bike lanes because pedestrians either think they have the right of way or just don’t pay attention to bicyclists, although I imagine SPD has more pressing concerns b

  4. Traffic regulations are obviously not optimized for pedestrians, bicycles, and PEV’s (ebikes, escooters, and eskateboards). Cars are king and everything else is roadkill.

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