Continuing on the “things I learnt about Oregon Revised Statutes as they apply to me as a cyclist and pedestrian” vein, I learnt that:
811.025 (1) The driver of a vehicle commits the offense of failure to yield to a pedestrian on a sidewalk if the driver does not yield the right of way to any pedestrian on a sidewalk.
and, even more strongly:
811.505 (1)(a) A person commits the offense of failure to stop when emerging from an alley, driveway or building if the person is operating a vehicle that is emerging from an alley, building, private road or driveway in a business or residence district and the person does not stop the vehicle [… if] there is a sidewalk or sidewalk area, the person must stop the vehicle before driving onto the sidewalk or sidewalk area.
Much like when I learnt that every intersection as a crosswalk, I went from a neutral world to one in which ever motorist was failing to yield my right of way.
So early this morning, I was walking to work on a sidewalk on 14th street. On my right I was approaching a parking lot with a large garbage truck reversing out. The truck was still far from the sidewalk — perhaps 40 or 50 ft — but was going fast enough that it would be ill advised to not wait and make sure that the truck would stop before I stepped into the path of 10 tons of steel. I’m glad I waited, because the truck did not slow, even slightly, before the crosswalk. I didn’t know whether or not the truck would have seen me.
I tend to find professional drivers more courteous. Perhaps this driver, because it was so early in the morning, didn’t expect there to be any pedestrians. Of course, that is no excuse. So, I got the driver’s attention to let him know that he should have stopped. He responded “but I saw that you had stopped for me.” Who in their right mind would step into the path of a moving block of steel, I am not sure.
So again, the world goes from one that is dangerous and filled with discourteous drivers to one that is dangerous and filled with law-breaking drivers.