Jaywalking in Seattle (An Invisible Protest) / by Kevin Swantek

According to wikipedia, "jaywalking is the illegal or reckless crossing of a roadway. Examples include a pedestrian crossing between intersections without yielding to drivers and starting to cross a crosswalk at a signalized intersection without waiting for a permissive indication to be displayed."

In Seattle, jaywalking is illegal, and (anecdotally) is a ticketed offense. People wonder why Seattleites wait so patiently at a light, when no cars are coming from any direction. I think it's mostly because if we get caught, the fine is $56 dollars. In comparison, the fine for smoking marijuana in public is $27.

I'm a firm believer in allowing the public to use common sense, without being punished. If I look both ways, and there's not a car in sight, and no cars looking to turn from a side street, then as a pedestrian I should be allowed to cross the street at my discretion, without the fear of a ticket.

My best advice for anyone jaywalking in Seattle, is to think twice if you're going to do it in front of the police. I say do it whenever you can as a matter of invisible protest against punishing the use of everyday common sense in public. But be safe, and don't get caught, because it's $56.