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Who has right of way at business accesses?

I almost killed a lady today with kindness. Did I do something wrong? I was coming south on the street behind Costco (Lear Way), when I saw a lady standing at the bus stop. This bus stop is across the street from the Walmart entrance at the northwest corner of Walmart's property, which is due west of the new Owens Drive and Crater Lake Highway intersection. She was on the curb line and was looking both ways at the traffic, but there was no northbound traffic.

Being a gentleman and in no hurry, I stopped my car so she could cross in front of me. She smiled and proceeded to cross the street. Well, at least she crossed until she was almost run down by a pickup pulling out of the Walmart driveway heading south.

Did I do wrong by stopping for her or should I have just made her wait on the curb as I drove by? Since the city of Medford does not mark pedestrian crossings, I don't know whether this site qualifies as a pedestrian crossing, or if the bus stop creates a pedestrian crossing zone. All I know is the air turned blue as she gave the other driver her opinion of his driving, and I was left thinking I should have just driven past her and proceeded on my way.

— David, Medford

I'll take a shot at this one, based at what I saw when I drove by and looked at the situation you are describing.

In this case, it appears the lady crossing the street should be yielding to vehicular traffic, as this is not an intersection, but a driveway access to a business. If this was a street, then it would be a T-intersection and pedestrians would have the right of way in marked or unmarked, but implied, crosswalks.

I think that's why it's not marked because of the driveway access, rather than being an actual street.

That being said, the driver pulling out of the driveway had obligations, too. He has a stop sign there and while he probably did stop, he didn't meet the second part of the statute, which requires that you proceed after stopping only when it is safe to do so.

If a pedestrian is crossing an otherwise empty road, then he was probably in error to pull out without stopping and waiting for her to cross safely.

Dace Cochran is a patrol sergeant with the Jackson County Sheriff's Department. Have a question for him? Write to Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501, or email cochradc@jacksoncounty.org.