First it was Windcrest. Now it seems that SAPD is also cracking down on jaywalkers.
Earlier this year, reports surfaced that Windcrest police were ticketing Rackspace employees who were on their way to or from lunch at one of the restaurants across Walzem Road from Rackspace’s headquarters at the old Windsor Park Mall, known affectionately as “The Castle”.
Now, there are several anecdotal reports of this happening in San Antonio itself, first at a school, now at some other location (it might even be the airport based on the person’s description of the sign, which I have only seen at the airport.)
So this begs the question, what are the state and local laws regarding jaywalking? Here is the state law:
Sec. 552.005. CROSSING AT POINT OTHER THAN CROSSWALK. (a) A pedestrian shall yield the right-of-way to a vehicle on the highway if crossing a roadway at a place:
(1) other than in a marked crosswalk or in an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection; or
(2) where a pedestrian tunnel or overhead pedestrian crossing has been provided.
(b) Between adjacent intersections at which traffic control signals are in operation, a pedestrian may cross only in a marked crosswalk.
(c) A pedestrian may cross a roadway intersection diagonally only if and in the manner authorized by a traffic control device.
By the way, in the transportation code, the term “highway” means any public roadway.
Therefore, if the nearest two intersections to your location have traffic signals, you have to use a marked crosswalk. This would mostly apply in the downtown area as most suburban arterials don’t have signals at every intersection.
The local ordinance is a little more restrictive:
Sec. 19-80. – Pedestrian “walk,” “don’t walk” and “wait” signal lights.
(a) Whenever special pedestrian control signals exhibiting the words “walk,” “wait” or “don’t walk” are in place, such signals shall indicate as follows:
(1) “Walk.” Pedestrians facing such signals may proceed across the street in the direction of the signal and shall be given the right-of-way by drivers of all vehicles.
(2) “Don’t Walk,” or “Wait.” No pedestrians shall start to cross the street in the direction of the signal, but any pedestrian who has partially completed his crossing on the “walk” signal shall proceed to a sidewalk or safety island while the “don’t walk” or “wait” signal is showing.
(b) No pedestrian shall cross a roadway other than in a crosswalk in any business district.
Sec. 541.102. RESTRICTED DISTRICTS. In this subtitle:
(1) ”Business district” means the territory adjacent to and including a highway if buildings used for business or industrial purposes, including a building used as a hotel, bank, office building, public building, or railroad station:
(A) are located within a 600-foot segment along the highway; and
(B) within that segment the buildings occupy at least 300 feet of frontage:
(i) on one side of the highway; or
(ii) collectively on both sides of the highway.
So the upshot is probably this– unless you’re on a residential street, it’s probably a good idea– both for your safety as well as to avoid getting a ticket– to cross in a marked crosswalk or at a signalized intersection. The current fine in San Antonio for jaywalking: $162.10. I don’t know about you, but that’s enough for me to walk to the corner.