Pedestrians are nincompoops (that's the technical term - nincompoops).
Yesterday was positively the worst day I've had on the roads since I took up commuting to work by bicycle. I had near misses with three pedestrians, though thankfully I managed to dodge them all by a hairsbreadth. The incidents were all similar - pedestrians jaywalking, came into my path, jumped back and and forth, and left me with the tough question of deciding which way to turn to dodge them. If they'd at least have kept walking or stayed still I'd easily glide past them without any problems. But their hopping around put them as well as myself into a dangerous situation.
The first one, a middle aged lady wanted to cross the streets. Using designated zebra crossings is not enforced or expected where I stay. She couldn't possibly have missed me coming along - it was broad daylight and I was riding down a straight road. In spite of that, she came into my way and only jumped back at the last instant.
The second happened on my way back home in the evening. Again, the roads were well lit and the family of four had to have seen me. The son, about 12 years old, left the family and began to cross. All would've been okay had the mother not decided to shout and call him back. He turned around just as I was whizzing past behind him and barely escaped being hit by the handlebars to his middle.
The last incident occurred because of 2 certified idiots at a signal. One of them kept walking straight while the other couldn't quite make up his mind and jumped back and forth from the road to the divider. Having just had a close brush with the kid, I was in no mood to go through this again and stopped. It was better to miss the green light than to deal with jerks like this.
I complain to my wife often about how little respect some car drivers have for cyclists in our city. Yesterday I added pedestrians to the list too. I practice safety to the hilt (sparing the helmet part) when riding down the roads, and only have to thank that for having survived this long.