Before any Bostonians get all angry, let me say upfront I am not anti-jaywalking. I grew up in New York and like here, jaywalking is the rule. If there is an opening, you take it. When I moved to Vermont, it was the same thing, except that the cars would stop for you instead of just honking loudly and swerving. When I moved to San Diego my roommate and I were trying to cross the street at some point and I just started to walk when no cars were coming. She looked at me like I was a criminal. "What are you doing?! You have to wait for the little walk man!" she cried. Well, I can assure you that a year in SoCal did not change my jaywalking ways and as soon as I went to Boston I was back at it, dashing across the street in gaps between a Silver Line bus and a taxi. So, I hope I have made it perfectly clear that I am not anti crossing the street when the little orange hand is up.
What I HATE though, is when pedestrians walk through traffic. Nothing is more frustrating to have a little green arrow (and no "Yield to Pedestrians on Turns" sign) and have to wait through several light cycles for all the pedestrians to get out of your way. I want to yell out the window, "Wait your turn! It's my turn!" but I'm afraid I'll sound like a 5-year-old waiting in line for the slide at recess. It's just so terrible to wait in line at a light while it goes green several times and you can't go anywhere because people are crossing the street when they shouldn't be. Usually at these times I have to pee or I'm running late and that makes it all the more frustrating.
I also see crazy people who literally cross through oncoming traffic. Meaning, the light is green, you are trying to go straight, and someone just steps out onto the street like they are so self important that they don't care about you or anything else. They don't care that your adrenaline spikes, you slam on your breaks to avoid hitting them and your heart pounds for several minutes after. And you know that in court it would totally be your fault if you hit them, even though they pretty much pounced in front of your moving vehicle. Maybe next time I should just plow into them, you know, for the sake of our species and removing the lesser beings. All that natural selection jazz.
Finally, my greatest pet peeve in regards to pedestrians and jaywalking is when people cross the street, with no regard to oncoming traffic, and they have a small child with them. If you are pushing a stroller, you know that stroller goes into the street first, right? And your child would be hit before you?? Having a child is the most beautiful gift in the world (well, so I've been told by new moms) and seeing caregivers putting their child in danger makes me insane. Just for once, think about someone other than yourself!