Just realized that pedestrians should always go around intersections counterclockwise. Otherwise left-turners get you. You're welcome.As one who has run and biked regularly for a decade, I vehemently dispute this. The following is applicable whether you are obeying pedestrian traffic laws or not (I admit I rarely do and simply cross as soon as I am able to, without obstructing traffic of course. When I'm on bike at a light, I hop the curb and become a pedestrian until I've made it through the intersection, at which point I merge back on to the road again). First, an analysis of the counterclockwise move (sorry for not bringing the helicopter a little lower before snapping these shots):
You're on the southeast corner, attempting to head north (orange arrow). You can see the car potentially turning left from the north end of the intersection to head east (blue lines), so he's not going to hit you. However, the car coming from the south and looking to turn right and head east may go at any time, irrespective of whether or not his light is red. That you are able to see his traffic signal makes no difference. As he is preparing to turn, he is primarily looking at the car on the west side of the intersection (purple arrows). Additionally, if this is a two-lane road, he is checking to see the car on the north end is not about to make a left and head east just as he is (if there are four or more lanes, this isn't much of an issue and he is entirely focused on the west end car). Unless he is especially wary of pedestrians, he is definitely not looking to his east, where you are crossing, since there is no chance another car will be coming at him from there.
This is the essence of why you should always progress through an intersection in a clockwise direction--those making right-hand turns are the only ones who are consistently not looking where they're going. Even if there is not a car waiting to turn right when you begin crossing, it doesn't take long for one to appear. Because drivers often roll through right turns on red*, you are vulnerable.
As you cross the lane(s) heading east and into the lane(s) heading west, you are again at risk of a car on the east end of the intersection wanting to turn right and head north. He is looking in your general direction, but he's not looking at you. And as pedestrians and drivers alike know, until a driver makes eye contact with a man on foot, the safe bet is that the driver has not seen him.
Finally, when moving counterclockwise, if the light changes on you halfway across, you're faced with cars a couple of feet away whose paths are through you.
Now the more prudent clockwise move:
As you begin to cross, you are able to easily navigate past your biggest threat, the south end car turning right to head east. You have an opportunity (which you should take) to make eye contact with him, or if need be you can just run behind him.
The west end car turning right to head south is a potential problem because he is not going to be looking at you as he turns. However, you have been directly in front of him for as long as he's been sitting there and continue to be as you cross. Thus there is a better chance he will see you than the east end car heading north will in the counterclockwise scenario. More importantly, you are easily able to see him during the entire duration of your crossing.
The east end car turning left and heading south is really you're only concern. You are able to see his light, so if this is a left-turn signal only intersection, you're golden. If left turners just have to yield on green, you have the west end traffic heading east directly in view. If there is a steady flow of cars moving through in this direction, they protect you and again you're golden. If not, you have to turn your head at a 90 degree angle to see whether or not a left turner is coming toward you as you go through the second half of the crossing. If he is initially waiting at the east end, you should attempt to make eye contact with him before you begin.
If the light changes on you halfway through, the cars bearing down on you have the length of the intersection--rather than just a few feet--to go before flattening you.
* When I was a senior in high school, I got the only two traffic tickets I've ever received. Seeing there were no cars coming from my left, I rolled (slowly) through a right on red. A cop was behind me, but I'd always driven in such a manner and so thought nothing of it. Exactly one mile later I did the same thing. The officer then pulled me over and handed me two citations for the same damn thing--running a red light! Truly a dick, I know.