One of the busiest and most culturally diverse cities in the country is San Francisco. Tourists flock from all corners of the globe to see the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island.
Another famous reason tourists go to the city is the urban landscape. The narrow streets, steep rolling hills and the historic cable cars give the city its beautifully unique character, but many pedestrians have died because of car collisions on those very same streets.
Pedestrian rights on the road
Since there have been an increase in pedestrian deaths, San Francisco is making an effort to further the walkability of their city streets. As a pedestrian these are the rights you have when taking a stroll down the city:
- Pedestrians can legally walk in any intersection of streets that are at least twenty-five feet wide, even though the crosswalk is unmarked.
- Pedestrians always have the right of way, which means the city legally obligates vehicles and motorists to yield to you.
- It is illegal for bicyclists 13 years old and above to ride their bikes on the sidewalk.
- It is illegal for motorcyclists to ride their motorbikes on any sidewalk.
- It is illegal to park on all sidewalks.
In addition to these, the state authorized the “Freedom to Walk Act,” which basically decriminalizes jaywalking. There have also been changes in public safety infrastructure to attract more people to walk rather than drive.
Do not abuse your rights as a pedestrian
Even though you know your rights as a pedestrian, you should still always be careful when crossing any street. By looking both ways, you could help make the streets a safer place to cross.