Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on July 20th, 2016 at 9:40 am
When all else fails, turn to sasquatch. That’s the thinking from the Oregon Department of Transportation when it comes to educating people about crosswalk safety.
The fabled, hairy creature plays a starring role in a new video from the agency (made in partnership with Metro) released this morning. “Sasquatch stars in a new video spot illustrating the law and the importance of everyone being alert, be they drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists or mythical furry forest creatures,” reads the official statement.
In the video Sasquatch approaches an intersection only to get scared as someone approaches in a car. Then another person calms his fears by reminding him that in Oregon, “every corner is a crosswalk.” It’s a fun video, but it highlights a very serious issue: The number of people who were killed while walking in Oregon was up 50 percent statewide in 2015 (compared to the previous year). 10 people were killed while walking in Portland last year.
Check out the video below:
Sasquatch, aka Bigfoot, is a big deal in Oregon. And this isn’t the first time he’s appeared on BikePortland. ODOT has already used it in their “Oregonians Crossing” campaign (see bumper sticker below) and “Seski” the sasquatch popped up at a Pedalpalooza ride in 2009. And who can forget the time in May 2007 when a traffic-calming sasquatch named Zozo mysteriously appeared in Ladd Circle.
And while we have your attention, here’s the Oregon law relating to crosswalks. Bottom line: Every intersection is a crosswalk whether it’s got a painted crosswalk or not. However this doesn’t mean you can just walk or roll into the street and expect people in cars to stop for you. In order to trigger your legal rights, you must “show intent to cross” by extending a part of your body or bicycle (or cane, wheelchair, etc…) into the roadway. And you must do it in a way that gives people enough time to react and stop for you.
To make sure this video actually gets seen, ODOT and Metro have purchased online ads in partnership with KGW (a Portland NBC affiliate). The ads will be targeted at people who search online for things like traffic, public transit, maps, driving and walking directions, and so on. A Metro spokesperson also tells us they play to buy mobile ads that target people who live in designated high-crash corridors around the region. And of course we can all spread the word by sharing the video (or this post!) via social media and other channels.
— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – firstname.lastname@example.org
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