Jaywalking ticket-writing begins today?

There appears to be a bit of confusion as to whether or not HPD's new crackdown on jaywalking begins in earnest today:

Houston Police Chief Harold Hurtt announced the plan June 1, allowing two weeks to "increase public safety and awareness" through "education and enforcement."

On Sunday, however, HPD public information officer Joanna Abad said she wasn't aware that officers would begin actually writing citations today including both warnings and tickets in a crackdown on jaywalking.

"I wasn't sure it started (Monday) so I can't confirm that," Abad said.

Bob Eury, president of Central Houston, Inc., which was supposed to work with the department on the initiative, said Sunday:

"The last time I discussed it with the police department was about 10 days ago, and I haven't heard anything since."

"Let me say that we've been urging discretion, and that only the most flagrant people are ticketed for jaywalking," Eury said.

"Flagrant" jaywalking includes, "crossing streets at midblock, ignoring "walk/don't walk signals" and walking in the street."

Interestingly a Chronicle letter to the editor two days ago said this:

I HAVE been reading with interest the articles on the push to ticket jaywalkers. My wife and I often travel to the Texas Medical Center by MetroRail and we have observed many violations at the rail stations, mainly due to the nonsynchronized action of traffic lights. After pushing the walk button, we've had to wait through at least two light cycles before being allowed to cross. Perhaps if the city would correct this, the Houston Police Department would not need to ticket citizens who are only trying to cross the street.

For rail to be truly functional and for Houston to become a pedestrian-friendly city, some easily managed changes are needed.

- TOMMY SCOTT, Pearland

Posted by Anne Linehan @ 06/13/05 08:16 AM | Print |

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