11:47 AM EDT, September 21, 2012
A path linking the hospital with Oakland Mills is exciting and long needed for active commuters because Town Center and New Town have fast traffic, inadequate intersections, and few paths. The restriction of right-on-red turns is integral to improving active commuting. Right on green is also an obstacle for pedestrians with right of way.
Today, I walked to a busy Columbia intersection, pressed the button and received my "Walk" light. Immediately the driver to my left (right on green) turned right into my crosswalk while looking at me. The next driver stopped, but continued through the moment I reached the center line.
Now I confronted the cars in the furthest lane turning right on red. Although this usually presents the same problem, they were gridlocked and blocking the crosswalk. I snaked through them and got to the other side.
Active commuters can vouch that this unlawful behavior is the norm — it is dangerous and there are never consequences. Even police officers and school bus drivers do it. Yield-right-on-green and no-right-on-red arrows that appear when a pedestrian has pushed for a light — with well-marked enforcement cameras — would improve the situation.