Crossing the Street Shouldn’t Be Deadly (but it is)

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Crossing the road should be safe, handy, and simple, but it is not. And that’s because in the US and Canada, the streets are designed for precisely one intention: to move an abundance of vehicles as fast as feasible.

References & further perusing:

Signalized Intersection with Prohibited Right-turn-on-Red

When Cities Treated Cars as Dangerous Intruders

The Invention of ‘Jaywalking’

Jaywalking – Historically Speaking

When there is no such concept as ‘jaywalking’

“Distracted Pedestrians”: Distracting from the Real Issues

Historical photos of Amsterdam – Stadsarchief Amsterdam

Duurzaam Veilig Wegverkeer (Sustainable Traffic Saftey)

Rotonde op het Aalsmeerplein, gezien in zuidelijke richting naar de Henk Sneevlietweg

“Be Nice, Look Twice” – SFMTA

HAWK Pedestrian Signal – Compliance Review

Assessing the Impact of Large-Scale Trends on Ontario’s Pedestrian Fatality Rate

Ontario’s Pedestrian Crash Causation Study

Common pedestrian accidents in Ontario

Preliminary 2020 Ontario Road Safety Annual Report

For Pedestrians in Phoenix, 2021 Has Been Deadly

What are the deadliest areas for pedestrians in Arizona?

Institute for Road Safety Research (SWOV)

#roadsafety #pedestrian

0:00 Intro
0:54 It’s about moving cars
1:39 Beg buttons
2:23 Right turn on red
3:21 Why do we all go at the same time?
4:05 Countdown timers
4:35 Traffic engineers don’t care about you
5:27 Everything is so far away
5:50 Slip lanes suuuuuuck
6:27 A wide road in Amsterdam
7:03 Smarter, independent traffic signals
8:31 Two-phase crossings
9:24 Out damned beg buttons!
9:59 Roads designed for safety, not speed
11:10 Stop signs and minor junctions
12:26 Continuous sidewalks (yay!)
14:29 Jaywalking is bullshit
17:47 The Netherlands wasn’t always like this
19:00 Mid-block zebra crossings (“Ah, Jesus!”)
20:36 Raised crossings and speed bumps
21:38 Over-engineered bullshit (HAWK crossings)
23:08 Concrete trenches in the sky (pedestrian bridges)
24:45 WTF you gotta be kidding me (pedestrian crossing flags)
26:13 We know how to keep pedestrians safe, we just don’t
28:00 Conclusion
29:08 How to make the world a better place
31:08 Patreon shout-out


  1. Thanks to 80,000 Hours for the sponsorship. Visit for free advice and information about finding a career that provides an opportunity to have a positive impact on the world.

    Their free newsletter is actually pretty useful, so if this is something that is relevant to you, sign up today at:

    This video included a lot of 3rd party footage from professional videographers in Las Vegas, New York, and Salt Lake City. Getting good quality footage of very specific places in the world is expensive, but I think it’s worth it.

    Would this video have been as powerful if I had just shown the crossing flags and pedestrian bridges on Google StreetView? I don’t believe it would have. So I *really* appreciate sponsors like 80,000 Hours who let me hire professional videographers, pay them fairly, and make a great video out of it.

    • Hyped to see 80,000 Hours (one of my favourite podcasts) sponsoring one of my favourite Youtube channels! Feels like a crossover episode hahaha

    • @ilkham amanu What do you mean by that?

    • Parsnip Productions

      This is phenomenal. As someone who does research for a living and has experience in multimedia production, I can also tell it took a lot of work. And nobody else makes these arguments in such an accessible and straightforward manner. Thank you 👍

  2. Band-aids on band-aids on bad-aids … ‘murica!

  3. My understanding is that you’re all right starting to cross as long as the counter is still going. I’m pretty sure that’s right; otherwise, what would the counter represent? I’ve observed that traffic doesn’t get the green light and start moving until several seconds after the counter stops.

  4. ppl don’t ever yield ppl walking, they race to the red light every time even if they have to stop at red but others race through it just like they do with stop signs!!

  5. I don’t think right on red is necessarily bad, but there needs to be VERY solid education that when they say, “when traffic is clear,” CLEAR means CLEAR. ALL other traffic has the right of way, whether vehicles or pedestrians, and regardless of its direction.

  6. I really like that shot of the speedbump with visible damage.
    Don’t slow down enough? Your local garage is good friends with you.

  7. Oh geez, don’t even get me started with this. Here in the US you cant even bring this up to most people. They automatically say “If you don’t like it here, then leave” lol

  8. When I’m driving, one thing that really does piss me off is “NO RIGHT TURN ON RED” signs. There should be a standard type of traffic signal light for this purpose. Those signs are often not even illuminated at night, and they can get obscured in various ways. Very bad idea. There are also some signs, in busy areas, prohibiting left turns, or prohibiting left turns AT CERTAIN HOURS. WHO COMES UP WITH THIS CRAP?!

  9. The same here in Germany. I DON’T feel safe walking over pedestrian crossings, with a crosswalk or just a green light for me.
    It even goes so far that in recent time cars started to more often drive throughthe inner-city where cars aren’t really allowed to drive through. But you as a pedestrian have to yield and dodge, because if not, well you’ll get hurt, die or a car menacingly drives right behind you. It’s absurd.

  10. 1:27 norman church in los angeles ? william the conqueror went further thank we think👀

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