Video: Share the Road by Being a PAL

by March 21, 2012 at 9:30 am 4,163 53 Comments

Arlington County’s PAL pedestrian safety campaign — which reminds everyone on the road to be Predictable, Alert and Lawful — now has a video to go along with it.

The video makes the point that many drivers are also, at some point, walkers or bikers. Putting yourself in the shoes of the other guy — and behaving in a courteous, predictable manner — can help reduce conflicts on the road, the video suggests.

The clip was produced by the county’s Arlington Virginia Network.

  • Rebecca

    Arlington has the worst j walkers on the planet. Put down your iphone for 5 seconds and look before you cross the street or front of someone’s driveway!

    • Courthouse Res

      No, the worst are the ones who walk when cars have the green and are clearly coming at them! So entitled. Wish they’d learn a lesson without getting hurt.

    • CW

      I can assure you that this is false.

      • T.G.E.0.A….

        You’ve been to Vietnam I take it?

        • drax

          Be a P.H.O.

          • nom de guerre

            Potentially Hazardous Object?

          • drax


          • nom de guerre

            Enjoy it frequently-didn’t recognize it with the periods between the caps. But now I assume that was related to T.G.E.O.A….

    • D’oh

      You could say the same thing about drivers. And the entitled label? Give me a freaking break. Pedestrians are more entitled than anyone else? I mean, I’ve never seen a driver run a red light or anything…

      Stop complaining and start thinking. People violate rules regardless of mode of transportation, so there’s no use attacking one group over another.

      When driving, we should all take extra responsibility to be safe. Driving a two-ton piece of steel gives you quite the advantage in case of an accident with people who aren’t in cars. No one wants to get hurt, so just be alert and pay attention to the road for a change.

      • JamesE

        I have seen a lot more pedestrians walk in front of a green light than I have seen drivers run reds, both are idiots.

        • Transplant

          I concur, especially Fairfax and WIlson around Ballston are crazy. Peddy’s seem to have a deathwish. I always like to scare jaywalkers a little by only breaking when I am really close.

          • DarkHeart

            Which is why we need a Ballston Metro entrance in Bluemont.

          • CW

            With an underground tram to ferry people to the platform!

            I’m not even kidding.

          • JamesE

            Donaldson Run should have a ferry

          • Seriously

            Really? Are you serious? You’re willing to jeopardize another human life to make a minor point? Please seek help.

        • D’oh

          Ah, good. Anecdotal evidence is always really solid. /s

          • JamesE

            It’s called common sense, I can guarantee you 100% that more people jaywalk than drivers run red lights.

          • South Awwwlington

            There are studies on this behavior. StreetSmart and PAL didn’t fall from the heavens. A need was demonstrated and awareness programs were developed. Will anyone listen?

          • the jury is still out

            It depends. Just like with my teenage daughter, if there are no negative repercussions, no behavior gets changed. In this area, like JamesE says, there are no negative repercussions for jaywalkers (apparently instantaneous injury or death doesn’t register), so I don’t see where the behavior changes. At least with drivers, red light cameras, speed traps and quotas provide some sort of consequence.

            Having lived in the area for >25 years and used car, legs and bike for work and leisure throughout multiple neighborhoods, there are a proportionate number of walkers and bikers that ignore common sense and safety to match the drivers and there is no public awareness campaign that can overcome willful ignorance.

  • WeiQiang

    Ahhh, the joys of getting flipped off when I honk at a pedestrian who is sauntering across an intersection while talking on their phone when I have a green light and they have a ‘don’t walk’ signal.

    Maybe ACPD could include a quota for jay-walking tickets.

    • drax

      Just keep honking so they can’t hear the phone.

    • Carmen

      They should also have one for the idiots like the one I encountered yesterday while crossing the street in a crosswalk. She deserved a finger for blowing at me because she apparently did not appreciate having to slow down (never stopped). And I am not a slow walker.


    I thought it was gonna be corny but I think it turned out pretty good! Although as I watched the video I was thinking… this the same guy or twins?

  • bobco85

    Looks like they filmed the video on the Bluemont Junction trail at the N. Emerson St. crossing. It’s a very good choice for the video on the P.A.L. system because that crossing can be dangerous due to the parked cars that can reduce visibility for drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians alike.

    • Zimmy

      Not to mention people on the trail, especially bikers, think that they don’t have to stop and proceed right through the crosswalk. They assume that cars will stop for them.

  • PUP

    LOL sweet video, i’m going to be more of a P.A.L. from now on!!

  • Ricardo

    Please, idiots, stop jogging in the street.

    • Josh S

      Yeah, I agree. And they act like they own the road. Sometimes I feel like pulling over and politely instructing them on the existence of sidewalks.

      • Zoning Victim

        I definitely agree. I have a few friends who are runners, and they say running in the street is better because concrete is so much harder than pavement. I didn’t bother to tell them that the concrete is probably a lot easier on their joints than an impact with a vehicle would be.

        • drax

          Running in the street is definitely stupider.

      • South Awwlington

        If any of you guys live in the vicinity of soon-to-be Arlington Mill Community Center — have you noticed that no matter how many plastic jersey walls are put up or how many signs are made pleading with people not to use the “Closed Sidewalk”, people still walk (in the traffic lanes) and try to squeeze by on their bikes.

        I almost saw several people get creamed by a bus last night and then they were the ones screaming at the bus…yet pedestrians were walking in a travel lane.

        Do you think this behavior indicates that these folks value their lives? Or are they just being ignorant of the signage and clear construction area? Perhaps the ACPD should start issuing jay walking tickets like DC…

        • Curious George

          So why does the sidewalk always get blocked off? Why not take a lane of traffic instead and use it to temporarily replace the sidewalk?

          • Answer Guy

            There is no sidewalk currently on Columbia Pike in front of the construction site…there is however, a perfectly fine sidewalk on the other side of the Pike.

            Perhaps that requires too much energy to use?

        • drax

          Yes, just saw this happen a few days ago.

  • Ummmm

    Why does the announcer have an English accent? Why not a Virginia dialect?

    • Reptilian shapeshifter

      It was a ‘Virginian Gecko’ announcer, they are known for their English accents

    • DarkHeart

      Virginia Appalachian, or maybe they hired Nigel from Kornheiser’s show.

    • Josh S

      I agree. I guess it’s because of market research which shows that people are more receptive to an English accent?

  • Transplant

    I was ready to pounce, but that video was actually kind of nice.

    • DarkHeart

      I have that same red shirt!

  • Richard Cranium

    I want to see tickets issued for failure to use directionals at all, or for failing to initiate them until you after you have already started to do what the directionals are supposed to warn people you are about to do.

    Quota wouldn’t be necessary, and it could support a full-time position.

    • Quoth the Raven

      What is a “directional”?? I thought the thing sticking out of my steering wheel was supposed to be used for hanging air fresheners. Are you saying it actually has a purpose?

      • drax

        I think Richard Cranium is the guy with the English accent.

  • Dave

    Predictably, most of you are defending the drivers. As a driver and pedestrian (and occasional cyclist!) I have to say that drivers are just as negligent, if not worse. Take, for example, the minivan that nearly wiped me out at the Joyce / Hayes Street intersection south of Pentagon Row. Hint to the driver — the stripes are a crosswalk that give a pedestrian the right of way when it is unsignalized!

    • Ricardo

      Crosswalks are a terrible idea. They give people like you a false sense of security. It is often the case–not always, but often–that drivers cannot see you. Example: car in left lane stops so you can cross (from left to right). Car in right lane cannot see you! You are blocked by the car that stopped. Car in right lane assumes you are stopped because you’re making a turn. Car in right lane hits you.

      Your fault? No. Car in right lane’s fault? No. Car in left lane’s fault? No. Crosswalk’s fault? Yes!

      • Curious George

        Yes let us blame some paint on the ground.

        Drivers don’t kill people; crosswalks kill people.

        But I do agree that anyone who jaywalks is fair game.

        Of course in North Arlington you have to assume the driver will not stop at a stop sign so even crossing legally eventually you are going to get run over.

        • Ricardo

          I’m blaming whoever it is that puts crosswalks in the road.

    • John Fontain

      “Hint to the driver — the stripes are a crosswalk that give a pedestrian the right of way when it is unsignalized!”

      Ah, you are one of the peds who mistakenly believes you can walk without regard to oncoming traffic so long as you are in a crosswalk.

      Unfortunately for you, this isn’t the law. Drivers must yield to peds already in a crosswalk, but peds must not enter a crosswalk without regard to oncoming traffic.

      • Ricardo

        I saw a long comment thread on this once before, the gist of which was: the law doesn’t say “in” the crosswalk, it says “at” the crosswalk. Whether standing by the side of the road counts as “at” the crosswalk was then heavily debated.

  • Imagine that

    There are actually countries where people follow the laws of biking, driving and crossing the road. Think of it…we Americans could actually put our energy into feeding the hungry and raising our children if we stepped out of our own little movies in which we tiresomely play the starring role. Just be aware of others…follow the rules, and teach your children to as well. The rules are there to keep us all safe regardless of our means of transport. Why is this so hard???!!!
    Can I have the Gecko’s number? Anyone?

    • Quoth the Raven

      Which countries are those? I’ve lived in a few places throughout the world, and let me tell you – from my experience, Americans follow the rules more than most.

      • Transplant

        Agree 100%, been all over Europe, South America, Asia and Africa, and maybe except for the Netherlands and Germany, Americans are the best in following rules of the road. Take Italy for example: 3 cars in 2 lanes and no ones cares. You don’t see that here everyday.

      • nom de guerre

        Italians substitute the use of the horn for brakes.


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