Jaywalk on 15th? That’ll be $140, please.

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Jaywalking on 15th Street will cost you.
Starting Thursday, if you’re caught jaywalking on 15th Street, it will cost you $140. It’s a common site on 15th street. Jaywalking. And it’s taking place on one of the busiest streets in Augusta. The speed limit is 35 mph and 25 mph on Laney Walker Blvd. Since the accident a month ago, that left an MCG student dead. MCG Police Officers are patrolling the crosswalks at 15th and Laney Walker Blvd and 15th and Harper from 7-9 in the morning and 3:30-5:30 in the afternoon. They’re there to help people get across the streets. But the officers still see a lot of jaywalking.

Rather than working to improve pedestrians’ ability to cross 15th Street, the City of Augusta/MCG(?) has decided that it makes more sense to punish those that jaywalk. If you’ve ever tried to cross the street at a crosswalk downtown, you’ll find that cars rarely stop to allow pedestrians to cross, even though it’s a state law (O.C.G.A. § 40-6-91). Can you blame pedestrians, who likely have no other choice but to cross the street when and wherever possible?

Even though safety officers are present during peak times, it doesn’t change the fact that crossing 15th Street is dangerous. The City and/or the Medical College of Georgia needs to do something to improve pedestrian safety in this high traffic area. A pedestrian bridge of some sort seems like it would make the most sense. If pedestrians had a safer way to cross the street, they probably wouldn’t resort to crossing illegally.