According to the Union Leader, City police are beginning an education campaign aimed at jaywalkers and motorists. They’ll be stopping drivers and pedestrians who violate the state’s crosswalk laws, but issuing educational information rather citations at first:
New Hampshire law provides that cars have to stop or slow down when a person in a crosswalk is on the vehicle’s half of the road. But the law also says a pedestrian can’t step off the curb and create an “immediate hazard.”
It’s a smart campaign to increase safety and walkability in the city. That’s good for pedestrians, as well as as businesses, as the strength of Downtown–an city center neighborhoods–depends on people feeling comfortable walking around.
“In Concord, they stop for people in crosswalks; that’s not happening in Manchester,” [Mayor Ted] Gatsas said recently.
Hopefully this campaign will change that, and make Manchester an even more pedestrian-friendly city. Streets are obviously used by cars, but motorists aren’t the only ones with rights to the road. This campaign should make the streets safer and more comfortable for motorists and pedestrians alike.
Next, the City needs to look into bike lanes, bike racks and so forth, to make it an easy and safe place to get around by bike.