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August 10, 2007

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For several months I walked weekdays to the Ferry and from the Whitehall Ferry terminal to 60 Wall Street. Upon exiting the Whitehall Ferry terminal, we Ferry riders were herded like cattle entering a slaughterhouse along sidewalks edged with jersey barriers. Once at the crosswalk we struggled to cross streets jammed with cars, buses and trucks, engines idling poison, their impatient drivers poised to accelerate. Our large numbers allowed us often to take the streets for ourselves. As the frustrated drivers honked we yelled -- "Next time take the subway." We were asserting walkers' rights.

When a Ferry is off-loading passengers during the morning, we passengers should have the right of way at all intersections.

It is the law in Los Angeles - that most car-oriented of American cities - that pedestrians ALWAYS have the right of way. I gained proof that drivers can be trained to respect this principle --- when I stepped off a curb on an LA back street. I expected the approaching car to go by, before I could cross -- however the driver (with no possibility of consequences if he didn't) stopped and let me cross.

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