Today, on the drive to lunch, I saw a person get slightly hit by a car. I think it just got his arm as he was backing away, and he seemed alright.

It was at the intersection of Market and Main in Akron. Mr. Blue Shirt (as we’ll call him) was waiting at the corner when we pulled up to the stop light on Market. The left turn light for Main came up, and he waited patiently as the cars turned left past him. The moment the white crossing light came on, as well as the regular green for the cars, he stepped into the road. An ambulance was trying to turn right across his path, so I was watching that. Other cars were going straight. A left turner from the other side came rushing along, really zooming to try to beat the next car going straight. It went as left as it could to avoid the car, but there were construction cones limiting how far left it could go. As Mr Blue Shirt approached the third lane (there are three in the direction the left turner was trying to go at that spot) it quickly became apparent that this car was on a collision course with him. He turned toward it, yelled something like “Hey Hey Hey”, and then backed away a bit as it looked like it bumped his arm and umbrella and went past.

The man looked at the car, which was continuing on at this point, with a look of surprise mixed with anger, and then started walking forward along his original path again. I thought the left turner was just going to run, but the car slowed down and stopped. The man noticed and changed course, walking toward the car. I saw someone open the door of the car looking back at the guy as he approached. They looked like they were talking, but I couldn’t hear them. Around that point, our light turned green and we continued on to our lunch at Chin’s Place.

I can be aggressive in asserting my pedestrian right of way over cars at times. I will step into the road the moment the walk signal changes or has already changed when I reach the intersection, even if a right or left turner is approaching to cross my path. But there are risks doing that, as this incident demonstrated.