In what I could barely believe to be happening, I nearly collected my first jay-walking ticket today. While crossing a not-so-busy street in Redmond to make it to a meeting, one of Redmond’s finest halted me in my tracks.
“Whoa, what do you think you’re doing?”
I had a reply ready, “Crossing the street.”
As did he, “You can’t do that, it’s illegal to cross the street. It’s not safe.” I should point out here that he was saying this while holding up a big red stop sign in the road for oncoming traffic to allow a construction vehicle to maneuver.
I neglected to tell him this, figuring that he already knew what he was doing. Instead I asked him to clarify a statement I found odd. “Excuse me, did you say it was illegal to cross the street?” If this were true, I would be in a lot of trouble to make it to my first meeting of the day.
“Excuse me? What did you say? Say that again!” The Officer was now daring me. I declined to get into a pissing match with an angry man with a gun who had nothing better to do than stop traffic for large trucks but not people.
“I was just asking where it was legal to cross the street,” I surrendered.
Welcome to Washington State. Here you can be involved in a gang war, run the border, grow pot, cook meth, or just invent your own kind of crime. One would think that with far less cops here than for New York City (probably a comparison that many states can make) there would be better things to do than prevent jaywalking. But no. That’s crime that’s worth fighting.