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Stopping on crosswalks is illegal

Note the picture of the green car in the left lane on Main Street (U.S. Route 11) in the village of Malone. This eastbound car is waiting for the red light at Harrison Place, but is right on the crosswalk. This driver is in violation of Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 1202(a)1d, which states: No person shall stop, stand, or park a vehicle on a crosswalk.

I see this violation every day in Malone. Certain crosswalks are blocked more frequently, but this appears to be a function of how many vehicles are waiting for a red light and that the cue is long enough to stretch to an upstream crosswalk. In the case of the green car in the picture, instead of stopping ON the crosswalk, the driver should have stopped PRIOR to the crosswalk, as did the vehicle in the right lane. When there isn’t enough room to clear the crosswalk, you must stop short of it, not on it.

In the example shown in the picture, if there had been a pedestrian trying to cross the street, the car that is stopped on the crosswalk would have blocked his/her path. Not only is it illegal to stop on a crosswalk; it is just common sense. Crosswalks are to be used by pedestrians, not to be blocked by vehicles.

While we’re on the subject of prohibited places to stop, stand or park, another prevalent violation is by vehicles that park on any sidewalk, period. This is another violation common in the village of Malone. I realize we do not have a lot of pedestrians in Malone, but walking along our village sidewalks only to encounter a vehicle parked across the sidewalk, forcing pedestrians to go around the vehicle, is also illegal as well as inconsiderate.

Lastly, a third violation, again common in our village, is parking within 20 feet of any crosswalk at an intersection, unless a different distance is indicated by official signs. Again, I don’t believe most drivers are aware of these laws. In bigger cities, these violations don’t happen so often because of more pedestrian traffic and signs that more clearly define “no parking” areas.

And if you are riding with someone that violates these laws, please say something — they may not be aware that they are in violation.