New York State vehicle and traffic law states that motorists must yield to pedestrians who are crossing the street at designated crosswalks:
“When traffic-control signals are not in place or not in operation the driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way, slowing down or stopping if need be to so yield, to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a crosswalk on the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling.”
This right-of-way is one that is frequently ignored by motorists across New York state. With the great increase of both car and pedestrian traffic in downtown Skaneateles during summer months, it is especially worth noting now.
While most people follow the crossing signals and stoplights at intersections, there are also a couple of crosswalks that don’t fall at intersections on Genesee Street in Skaneateles. There is one that crosses by the pier in Clift Park and another leading from St. James Episcopal Church. At these special crosswalks, pedestrians always have the right-of-way.
Cars that are turning at a red or green light also must yield to crossing pedestrians.
Motorists should have no problem seeing these crosswalks, and should be keeping an eye out for people about to cross the street. If more drivers were in the habit of stopping to yield to pedestrians, people would probably feel more comfortable about crossing the street at these designated crosswalks and perhaps everyone would feel a little bit safer.