Friday, February 21, 2014


Chris Quintero's blog has his photos/video of the University of Texas jogger being arrested yesterday morning for jaywalking by Austin police.

This story is also making national news, from every political angle:

New York Daily News

Daily Caller.

I first learned about the arrest this morning, reading the UT paper. My first reaction was a flashback to my 1995 San Francisco ticket for jaywalking, one of the many reasons that I was no fan of that uptight town. (As in: "Looking both ways before I cross the street was one of the first things my mama taught me. If I don't see any cars coming, I shouldn't have to wait for 'official permission' from the crosswalk-light before being able to walk of my own free will.") Like this hapless jogger, I also didn't have any ID on me, but unlike the jogger, I did see the bike cop and just took the ticket nonshriekingly. (I was about to get my grad degree and move back to Austin in a couple of months anyway, so knew I wouldn't have to bother arguing about it.)

My SF jaywalking ticket helped sour me on the town because I saw it as a ridiculous affront to my personal freedom -- SF had just passed a no-smoking-in-bars ordinance months earlier which I found stupid, and the ticket was yet another example, to me, of utterly needless bureaucracy. At the time, I remember thinking, "Thank god I'm about to go back to Texas, where you can have a damn cigarette in a damn bar and cross the street when you deem it safe!"

Of course, within a couple of years of my return, Austin had also passed a no-bar-smoking ordinance. It apparently took another 2 decades, but Austin has finally caught up with San Francisco on the jaywalking front. Congrats. (Get me out of here!)

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